The Washington Post ran an opinion piece Friday critical of President Joe Biden’s planned withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and did not disclose that the author sits on the board of one of America’s premier defense contractors.
Co-author Meghan O’Sullivan is described by The Post as a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, the North American chair of the Trilateral Commission and the former deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan during the Bush administration. The paper did not mention that since 2017, O’Sullivan has been on the board of Raytheon Technologies.
In the op-ed, entitled “It’s wrong to pull troops out of Afghanistan. But we can minimize the damage,” O’Sullivan and co-author Richard Haass write that Afghanistan will still ” warrant American attention and resources” even after a full withdrawal of U.S. troops. They also argue that preventing Afghanistan from once again becoming a terrorist safe-haven will “require long-term economic and military aid for the government.” (RELATED: ‘Can You Guarantee That Won’t Happen In Afghanistan?’: Chris Wallace Challenges Jake Sullivan With Comparison To Iraq Withdrawal)
Raytheon has historically profited mightily from “military aid” granted to foreign countries. In 2019, the firm received a $108 million contract from the U.S. government to help train the Afghan air force on maintenance practices. In May 2020, it pocketed up to $145 million for an agreement to train Afghan pilots.
Earlier this year, when the Biden administration paused offensive aid for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, Raytheon lost out on a bomb sale worth nearly $500 million. A 2019 deal with the United Arab Emirates, which has killed untold numbers of civilians in the Middle East and North Africa through its drone campaign, sent Raytheon more than $1.5 billion. (RELATED: Trump Urges Biden To Reconsider 9/11 Afghanistan Withdrawal)
Editors for The Washington Post’s Outlook section, which ran the piece, did not respond to a request for comment as of the time of this publication.