In Press: Talking Defense Contracting in Le Parisien

by Craig Hooper on February 24, 2023

I had a good time trading emails with Marc Chalamet, Le Parisien’s New York correspondent, about who might be profiting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Part of the discussion made it into Marc’s latest column, which you can read here.

Exploiting European suspicion of American profiteering is fertile ground for Russia’s ever-willing cadre of disinformation experts. It’s easy to point at the booming stock of American defense contractors, highlighting the sector’s expansion as it builds out some woefully ignored sectors–munitions and back-end support stuff.

Going forward, it’s going to be important for U.S. diplomats–and U.S. military contractors–to highlight how Russia’s poor gear and mismanaged invasion have both destroyed Russia’s arms industry AND created opportunities for all kinds of European arms innovators. It might also be smart for big primes (waves at Lockheed, gestures to the F-35 program) to highlight the contributions from European subcontractors and/or foreign offsets.

It also might be smart to point out that European dithering over weapons–like the German effort to slow-walk efforts to provide any Leopard tanks-not even defensive-oriented Leopard I’s-only opens opportunities to others. Folks bordering Russia want the rest of Europe to back them, and when European suppliers balk, they look elsewhere. South Korea, for example, is a major beneficiary of German recalcitrance in heavy weaponry.

But there are a lot of other European arms providers that are getting big opportunities from the Russian invasion. Turkey’s unmanned sector–after proving to be so useful early in the conflict–is getting a huge global boost, and Turkey’s shipbuilding sector is setting up to build Ukraine’s future Black Sea Fleet.

As I said (with apologies to google translate), basically, the rising tide of demand raises all boats:

“the dramatic change in security and the collapse of the reputation of Russian military equipment, have created enormous opportunities for Western defense contractors,”not just Americans, then. He adds: “Everyone wants to make sure you have enough ammunition, drones and other battlefield tools Ukraine has used so effectively to survive.”

There’s also concern that the U.S., as a natural gas exporter, is somehow reaping a profit too. I’d suggest that commentators take a moment to explain that moving America’s otherwise locked natural gas production into the global market doesn’t do great things for average U.S. citizen. I don’t think Europe understands that our crash effort to ship gas over to Europe is going to leave the US electorate facing big, permanent natural gas price increases.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Российское Лото. Добрый вечер. Выплата в размере 78 144 Рублей. Войти в кабинет > November 8, 2023 at 11:20 am



Charles G. Hart September 2, 2023 at 12:08 pm

Dr, Hooper, I sent you an e-mail at It came back as “undeliverable”. I’d like to connect. E-mail address attached. Cheers, Charley


James O'Keefe February 26, 2023 at 11:42 am

“our crash effort to ship gas over to Europe is going to leave the US electorate facing big, permanent natural gas price increases”

All the more reason to invest in energy conservation and renewables now.


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