LaMarche: America’s little Corporate General

We must create a clear demarcation between corporate interests and the protection of national security.

by Kolby LaMarche

I’m sure you have heard the news, but we must talk about it. 

Since the outset of the Russo-Ukrainian War, Elon Musk’s SpaceX, through its Starlink product, has been delivering technical solutions and support to Ukraine’s military.

Initially, this assistance was provided through SpaceX’s charitable efforts. However, following Elon Musk’s cautionary statement that he could not indefinitely cover the monthly expenses, estimated at approximately $20 million, to maintain the system, the U.S. Department of Defense recently awarded Musk a sweet contract to ensure the continuity of this support. 

In September 2022, Ukrainian officials sought Starlink’s assistance for a possible large-scale operation targeting valuable Russian naval ships anchored in Sevastopol, situated within Crimea.

Musk denied their request, citing a concern that the operation could spell sudden nuclear armageddon.  The operation promptly fizzled out. 

Ukraine’s former deputy prime minister, Mykhailo Fedorov, found it necessary – at that time – to personally beseech Elon Musk, a private American citizen, to reconsider his decision for the sake of advancing Ukraine’s military objectives.

At that same juncture, Musk engaged in extensive discussions with high-ranking U.S. officials, including President Biden’s national security adviser and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Musk undeniably wielded a substantial and palpable influence, a fact not lost on the United States.

I’m not going to speculate on how Musk’s decision has altered the course of the war, or if he should or should not have done what he did. I care, more broadly, about the existence and persistence of America’s corporate-generals. 

Musk’s towering presence as a corporate titan on the global stage is undeniable. And his ability to use his vast economic resources to reshape public discourse and opinion is proven. But that doesn’t make him a West Point graduate.

In stark contrast to intragovernmental and electoral accountability mechanisms in place for U.S. officials, where decisions in office, especially those involving war, are subjected to direct scrutiny and oversight, the case of Elon Musk stands as a glaring example of a different paradigm. 

It is a paradigm where accountability primarily rests in the hands of its largest shareholders rather than that of the broader public interest. 

I firmly oppose any American involvement in the Russo-Ukraine War, and my conviction is doubly stronger when it comes to avoiding national security entanglements with unaccountable corporate figures during a period of conflict.

We cannot allow corporate interests and figures to wield unfettered and influential access to our military and government while at the same time proclaiming to uphold – and defend – the principles of a transparent and accountable democracy. 

Crucial military decisions should be made through established channels, by elected officials and individuals who have undergone robust screening processes. Significant decisions – like that in Ukraine – should not be subject to the arbitrary inclinations of corporations or their agents. 

In order for America to sustain a strong and objective-minded military apparatus, it is paramount that we create a clear demarcation between corporate interests and the protection of national security.

Musk, in my book, now joins a long list of other corporate entities entangled in the affairs of government (Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, etc.) that require a stern reevaluation of boundaries between private interests and public governance to safeguard the integrity of our state.

Burning Sky is dedicated to providing critique and commentary on the issues of the day from an unapologetic perspective, fueling change in the heart of Vermont. Authored by Kolby LaMarche every Saturday.

Categories: Commentary

1 reply »

  1. I went back and forth on Musk for several years. He’s a good guy, he’s a bad guy, he’s a good guy, and on and on and on.

    I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I don’t like him. He’s greasy, in a Zuckerberg Bezos Gates kind of way. Here’s my reasoning, which the above article sort of confirms.

    His rockets blow up, Tesla cars are a joke, even among EV competitors, he went way over his head to purchase Twitter, etc etc. So where is the money coming from given the huge drain on his bottom line those three things are? The author even mention the $20M the government gave him to keep SpaceX running. And out of all the failures, his satellite communications system somehow seems to work.

    I don’t think Musk really cares whether his rockets or cars fail. Those are mere distractions from the real goal, the SpaceX satellite system, which oddly enough seems to work just fine. Think of it like NASA, the approved space exploration program which (supposedly) has never advanced past launching things with carbon-based fuel. While all this time, the REAL research is being done in Beyond Black projects, which are so far ahead of NASA it would make your head spin.

    Same with Musk. And all the rest besides SpaceX satellites is a cover story, plausible deniability if you will. What I’d really like to know is who’s bankrolling him and his projects. I smell a fox in the henhouse.

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