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US embassy in Norway, as O got peace prize, had "lived and breathed" for >1 year making Norway Lockheed customer


From War Is Business

In the cable, a US diplomat in Olso writes that Embassy staff spent more than a year “living and breathing” their successful push to sell the Lockheed Martin-made Joint Strike Fighter to the government of Norway.

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The cable’s “lessons learned” section suggests other embassies should “[g]et the whole country team involved” to duplicate the success of the deal with Norway. Why not just have Lockheed sign the Ambassador’s paycheck, at that point?

Then there’s this advice to US diplomats:

Jointly develop a press strategy with Lockheed Martin and collectively determine the role the Embassy will play in this strategy.

How does it benefit tax-paying Americans to have a private corporation decide what government officials should and should not say to reporters?

The cable also offers a lesson in the mechanics of conventional arms proliferation. Lockheed Martin works kind of like Amway—the customers become a sales agents, too:

While the [government of Norway] will not actively lobby on behalf of JSF with other governments, it is in the [government of Norway's] interest that other partners buy into the program. [Deputy Defense Minister Espen Barth-Eide] expects the Danes will ask for the [government of Norway] data analysis and the [government of Norway] will try to accommodate that within the limits of confidentiality.

The cable, and its “heart-stopping tale” of official arms brokering, is reproduced below, minus some header information.

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