Presidential Candidate Forum Under the Influence of Pentagon Contractors

Judy Elliott on April 30, 2015

Today Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security (APPS), a military-industrial complex advocacy organization, launched a National Security Forum for Presidential candidates. Pentagon contractors sit on APPS Advisory Board.

Is this another case of Governing Under the Influence?

Americans for Peace Prosperity and Security (APPS) holds its first National Security Forum on April 30 in Manchester, with featured speaker and Presidential candidate, Carly Fiorina.

APPS, which says it favors “strong foreign policy,” has an agenda that focuses on military readiness; “engagement” with Iran, Russia, China, and ISIS; and cybersecurity.

While APPS says the candidates will be questioned by “educated volunteers,” there seems little question about whose agenda is being served. APPS NH Advisory Board chair is Walt Havenstein, former CEO of heavy-hitter defense contractors BAE Systems and SAIC. Six other Advisory Board members represent New Hampshire defense contractors: Rich Ashooh of BAE, James Bell of EPE, Gerardine Ferlins of Citronics, Dean Kamen of DEKA Research, Jason Novak of Fat Mongoose Technologies, and Ken Solinksy of Insight Technologies. In addition, board member Paul Speltz is former president of Kissinger Associates, a firm with strong ties to the national security complex (to say the least).

“Our students and faculty are eager to participate,” according to Mike Hickey, Interim Dean of UNH Manchester. Hickey, too, is a member of the APPS Advisory Board. A former telecommunications executive, he lists numerous ties with the national security complex on his LinkedIn profile.

I hope to ask Carly Fiorina a question about our nuclear arsenal tomorrow. But I’m not counting on it. Questions are to be submitted in advance to APPS.

So here’s my question:

The US already has nearly 5,000 nuclear weapons in its military stockpile, many of them on hair-trigger alert. Do you favor the $1 trillion plan to create a whole new generation of nuclear weapons, which will bring huge profits to nuclear weapons manufacturers? How can we keep these corporations from dominating national security policy?

The event with Fiorina will be held 11:30 AM in room P-201 at UNH Manchester, 88 Commercial Street. APPS will hold more events throughout the primary season in New Hampshire, Iowa, and South Carolina.