How Philip May's Company Benefits From the Syria Strikes: Lockheed Martin, the JASSM, and the Capital Group

JASSM Strikes in Syria Creates a Conflict of Interest for Philip May

Philip May is an investment relationship manager at Capital Group which owns over 10% of Lockheed Martin

Philip May married the future 81st Prime Minister of the UK, then Theresa Brasier, on September 6th, 1980, at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin in Wheatley, Oxfordshire. They had been introduced to each other by the late Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, during a Conservative Party student disco at Oxford University. 

Philip would serve as the Oxford Union Society President in 1979, where he was to personally escort Richard Nixon to a debate, in which the controversial and disgraced ex-POTUS was due to address members of the Oxford Union. They would pass demonstrating students chanting "Stonewall Nixon," and "Nixon is dead," as reported by the Washington Post on the first December of that year. 

Philip May seated to the left of Nixon

Philip May now works as an investment relationship manager for the Capital Group.

In a BBC Newsnight piece entitled “'A Marriage of Equals: Profile of Philip May,” Conservative Member of Parliament for Chichester, Andrew Tyrie, said, “Philip is clearly acting as, informally, an advisor to Theresa. Probably much like Denis did to Margaret Thatcher.”

The Mays are openly supportive to each other with PM May often referring to Philip as her rock. Of course, whilst working for Capital Group, Philip May has opened the powerful couple up to suggestions of conflicted interests. 

The Syrian air strikes are a perfect example of how companies can profit from acts of war. It is clear that Philip May has an influence on the final decisions which the UK Prime Minister takes, so is it appropriate for him to work for a company which has now profited from UK military action? 

The Capital Group

The US financial services company, Capital Group, was officially set up in 1931 by Jonathan Bell Lovelace. However, in Charles D. Ellis’s book, What It Takes: Seven Secrets of Success from the World's Greatest Professional Firms, Ellis asserts that Capital Group began in 1929 as a “small investment sideline for a tactium 34-year-old finance whiz who had just moved to distant California when few Easterners had ever been there or even thought of going to the Far West.” 

The west coast of America was the perfect developing economy for a savvy, young investor like Lovelace. 

Ellis goes on to write, “Jonathan Bell Lovelace had accumulated a small fortune as an investor and partner in a stock brokerage firm in Detroit that specialized in serving the newly rich leaders of the booming auto-mobile industry. (Adept at mental arithmetic, Lovelace had served in World War 1 in the artillery unit that was the first to figure out how to shoot down a German plane.) As an objective investment analyst, he recognised that the “New Era” stock market had risen to excessive prices, so he sold all his stocks and got out of the securities business. In California, he continued to invest and started a small firm, Lovelace, Dennis & Renfrew, serving as an expert financial adviser to such local companies as Walt Disney, Lockheed, and Capitol Records.” 

Since then, the Capital Groups portfolio has expanded to include shares in Credit Suisse, Volkswagen, Deutsche Bank, Legal & General, Ryan Air, Scottish and Southern Energy, as well as many more.

Lockheed Martin's JASSM

It is almost 90 years on from their conception, and Capital Groups ties with the American global aerospace, defence, security, and advanced technologies company, now called Lockheed Martin, are as strong as ever. Currently, Capital Group owns around 10.39 percent of Lockheed Martin. So, while UK Prime Minister Theresa May supports Trump and Macron's military action in Syria, she is also helping her husband’s investment firm to make a killing. 

The Syria air strikes that took place on 14th April, 2018 saw the debut of a new type of cruise missile developed by the Lockheed Martin Corporation. 

The JASSM was produced at a Lockheed Martin plant in Troy, Alabama, and has a low radar cross-section that makes it difficult to detect. The air-launched cruise missile is designed to penetrate as far as 200 miles into enemy territory. The extended version, which destroyed the Barzah Research and Development Center located in the greater Damascus area, can fly more than 500 miles.

The Pentagon suggested after the raids that 17 of the 19 JASSM’s, fired from B-1B bombers outside Syrian air space, were effective.

The original vision of the JASSM development project was an 11 year program to produce 2,400 missiles at a cost of around $2.1 billion. Eventually the project was extended due to the missile system failing the majority of its tests. 

In October, 2010, in a report to congressional committees by the United States Government Accountability Office entitled "Defence Acquisition: DOD Needs to Reassess Joint Cruise Missile Costs before Starting New Production Phase," it was reported that the projects overall costs had ballooned to $7.1 billion with a 28 year program to produce 4,900 missiles, though the missiles' capabilities had also increased from the pre-2008 baselines.

Donald Trump’s tweets in the days leading up to the military attack were well publicized as always. In one of the tweets, the US President stated, "Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!'." This was a direct reference to the JASSM’s smart capabilities. Technological advancements in the past decade has led to Lockheed Martin’s investment eventually paying off.

Philip May: A Walking Conflict of Interest

Theresa and Philip May outside 10 Downing Street

With each JASSM costing over a million dollars, Lockheed Martin will make a tidy profit. Their investors, including Capital Group, will make a fortune, in part due to of one of their employees partners launching legally questionable air strikes, without the permission of the UK Parliament.

This cannot be allowed. It is clear that the interests of Philip May’s employer are served well by the military actions of Philip May’s wife. Philip May has become a perfect example of the blatant corruption in our society which permeates the very top of our democratic power structures. It is not acceptable for Philip May to stay in his position at Capital Group while Theresa May wields the ability to take the United Kingdom to war.

It isn’t only Lockheed Martin who benefits from the spoils of a middle east crisis. Capital Group has investments in other businesses that get a boost from the future conflicts. The Group own 5.12 percent of Boeing, 9.85 percent of oil giants Royal Dutch Shell, as well as shares in some of the most powerful internet giants such as Amazon, Google, and Netflix. The Capital Group already has an enormous amount of influence. Keeping Philip May is just greedy.

If you feel strongly that Philip May should step down from his position at Capital Group, then please get in touch with Theresa May's Downing Street office. Stop our leaders making a profit from war.

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How Philip May's Company Benefits From the Syria Strikes: Lockheed Martin, the JASSM, and the Capital Group
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