Over 80 percent of four-star retirees are employed in defense industry
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Washington Post
Posted: October 23rd, 2023
More than 80 percent of four-star officers retiring from the U.S. armed forces go on to work in the defense industry, a new study has found, underscoring the close relationship between top U.S. brass and government-contracted companies. Twenty-six of 32 four-star admirals and generals who retired from June 2018 to July 2023 were later employed in roles including executive, adviser, board member or lobbyist for companies with significant defense business, according to the analysis from the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank that advocates restraining the military’s role in U.S. foreign policy. “The revolving door between the U.S. government and the arms industry, which involves hundreds of senior Pentagon officials and military officers every year, generates the appearance — and in some cases the reality — of conflicts of interest in the making of defense policy and in the shaping of the size and composition of the Pentagon budget,” authors William Hartung and Dillon Fisher wrote. The findings shed new light on a phenomenon examined in a 2021 report from the Government Accountability Office, which found that 14 major defense contractors ... employed 1,700 former senior officials or acquisition officials in 2019. The GAO concluded that while defense contractors benefit from the practice, it could “affect public confidence in the government” by creating a perception that military officials may favor a company they see as a future employer.