The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

A German Company Hires a U.S. General

Feb 20, 2012

The German conglomerate Siemens announced it has hired retired General Stanley McChrystal to be the head of its newly created division: Siemens Government Technologies. His job will be to convince the U.S. government to use Siemens’ services in emergency medical technology, energy and infrastructure.

McChrystal was a highly placed member of the U.S. military apparatus, ending his career as commander-in-chief of the Western occupation troops in Afghanistan, and playing an important part in the wars led by the U.S. over the last 20 years.

He is hardly the first general to become an advisor for firms with the military as their clients. But he stood out by covering up the activities of soldiers who abused prisoners at Abu Graib, by being pardoned by the Senate for these acts and by successfully intervening with Obama to send more soldiers to Afghanistan.

In 2010, McChrystal went too far. He let himself be quoted criticizing Pentagon leaders and mocking the Secretary of Defense. He had to resign.

But still this old brass hat is well able to win orders from the U.S. military for his new employer Siemens.