Apparently, even war-mongers understand the necessity of Keynesian economic stimulus to keep unregulated capitalism from self-destruction. Now, if we could only spend those millions on education, social programs, the arts, and zero-interest small business loans …

” … According to a military report that outlined the use of passenger and cargo airlines in the Iraq conflict, the government paid $636.2 million to 10 airlines that flew troops overseas during a 131-day emergency mobilization from February through June. It also paid $574 million to 14 cargo carriers to deliver equipment to Iraq and neighboring countries in that period.

The payments were made as part of the Pentagon’s Civil Reserve Air Fleet program, in which airlines contract to transport troops and supplies on domestic and international flights in peacetime, and agree to participate in a mobilization during war. They must provide planes and crews for 30 days at a time, often with as little as 24 hours’ notice.

This was only the second time the government has used the program in wartime since President Harry S. Truman created it in 1951. The first time was a decade ago, when the Pentagon spent $1.35 billion, the equivalent of about $1.7 billion today, preparing to eject Iraq’s army from Kuwait in the Persian Gulf war. That mobilization, which involved four times as many troops, lasted much longer — 402 days — and involved far more flights and aircraft.

However, executives at several airlines, who would speak only if they were not named, said that while they valued the Pentagon’s business, the industry as a whole would have fared much better without the disruption the war caused to the business climate and to the psyche of passengers. … ”

> NYTimes: “Pentagon’s war needs are a lifeline for airlines”

Author: Rob