Military experts against Afghanistan withdrawal on Fox News and others reportedly have financial ties to defense contractors


In the recent weeks many retired officials with ties to the military and defense organizations have come on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN and more to criticize the American troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan as well as President Joe Biden. However, none of these experts not the news channels have disclosed the strong financial ties that these experts have with defense contracts and companies.


Many of these defense companies have been the major recipients of billions of dollars through defense contracts for equipment and allied services. The Daily Beast, The Intercept and watchdog Media Matters for America are among the very few news agencies who have exposed the financial ties of these former military experts while major mainstream news agencies have aired the views of many hawkish experts without a single mention of conflict of financial or other interest. Some of them are as follows:


Retired Four-Star General Jack Keane


General Keane has been vociferous in his criticism of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. However there hasn’t even been a whisper of his many financial ties to defense contractors and companies in the past and present who have built fortunes supplying military hardware and software to the war effort in Afghanistan for two decades.


General Keane reportedly has financial ties with


  1. AM General, the military vehicle manufacturer who makes Humvees used in the Afghan war. Retired Four-Star General Jack Keane has been the executive chairman of AM General from 2016.
  2. He is the senior strategic analyst for Fox News.
  3. He is also on the board of Cyalume Technologies Inc. a company that manufactures chemical lights used by the military.


Before holding these positions, he was working as


  1. Director of General Dynamics, one of the largest defense companies in the nation.
  2. Adviser to Academi, a private military company that was previously called Blackwater.


When the Daily Beast contacted Fox News for comment, they had not responded, as yet.


Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta


Panetta recently appeared on CNN and compared the Afghan withdrawal to the Bay of Pigs. However, neither CNN host John King nor the former defense secretary himself mention his role as senior counselor for a defense consulting firm or that he was a member of Oracle’s board of directors.


David Petraeus, Commander of U.S., and NATO troops in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2011


Former commander Petraeus mentioned that President Joe Biden “should literally reverse the decision” of withdrawal from Afghanistan. However, he did not mention that he is a board member of a cyber security firm that has contracts with the Department of Defense. He also failed to disclose that he is a partner of KKR and Co, which is a private equity firm that has a huge stake in defense spending.


Many experts and allies have criticized the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan. However, President Biden said among other statements that he had inherited the deal which the Trump administration made with the Taliban and that he refused “to send another generation of America’s sons and daughters to fight a war that should’ve ended long ago.”


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