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US Military Industrial Complex Grants Zelensky an Audience, Foreshadowing Escalation of War With Russia

Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
Published: September 12, 2022
Zelensky will serve as the Keynote Speaker of the U.S. Military Industrial Complex's largest industry conference.
Javelin anti-tank missiles serve as a backdrop for Joe Biden's speech to employees at Lockheed Martin on May 3, 2022 in Troy, Alabama. Ukraine’s Zelensky will serve as the Keynote Speaker of America’s largest and most critical defense contractor conference, foreshadowing a potential coming escalation of the war with Russia. (Image: Julie Bennett/Getty Images)

Commentary

The U.S. military industrial complex is set to grant Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a personal audience as the Keynote Speaker to an upcoming crucial industry conference.

The move may set the stage for a forthcoming escalation of a key geopolitical inflection point that has fallen off most people’s radar: the ongoing war between the Russian Federation and NATO-backed Ukraine.

Zelensky is set to headline the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) 2022 Future Force Capabilities Conference and Exhibition held in Austin during the week of Sept. 19.

MORE ON THE UKRAINE WAR

The NDIA issued a Press Release heralding the invite of Zelensky to the event on Sept. 9, adding that he will attend via teleconference and be accompanied by Minister of Defense H.E. Oleksii Reznikov.

The Release stated that Zelensky “is expected to discuss Ukrainian defense needs and the critical primacy of the United States in advanced technology and hardware for the fight.”

The NDIA framed the President’s appearance as “a rare moment for the Eastern European leader, as he directly addresses American military leaders and the defense industrial base.”

The Association explained that the Future Force conference is extremely significant, describing it as, “America’s top defense technology event, attended by the U.S. defense industrial base and government leaders.”

The NDIA describes itself as a 501(c)(3) non-profit founded “to educate its constituencies on all aspects of national security.”

And while the Association emphasizes in its About Page that it is “not a lobby firm,” it nonetheless states that its various “Divisions” serve to “facilitate government and industry interchanges.” 

Additionally, the Divisions “maintain close contact with representatives of appropriate government agencies and, through their constructive counsel, have become institutions in American defense-industry relationships.”

The NDIA has 27 Divisions, ranging across a litany of defense-combat oriented fields, such as Cyber-Augmented Operations and Human Systems.

According to a Sept. 9 Reuters article, the NDIA’s membership reads like a who’s who of the defense contractor industry, with giants such as Raytheon, Boeing, General Dynamics, and Lockheed Martin among the ranks.

Zelensky’s audience to the industry comes just months after CEOs from eight defense industry giants held a roundtable with the Department of Defense “on Ukraine security assistance” in April.

The timing of the NDIA’s event is certainly fortuitous, as over the weekend, western media declared several key victories for Ukraine had been won in the war after the Russian Ministry of Defense announced it would pullback forces from the Kharkiv region, which is home to Ukraine’s second largest city, ABC reported on Sept. 10. 

Newsweek reported on Sept. 5 that the UK Ministry of Defense had stated that Russia was highly unlikely to meet its Sept. 15 deadline of liberating the highly contested Donbas region, which has been the revised focus of its Special Operation for months.

However, the article is somewhat misleading in that the MoD cites “Ukrainian authorities” who “have claimed that Russian forces are now under orders to complete this mission by 15 September 2022.”

Newsweek paraphrased “sources familiar with the plans” as stating that “the goal of the September 15 deadline is for the Kremlin to conduct referendums on whether captured Ukrainian territories should join Russia.”

It adds, however, that “the Kremlin has not publicly commented on a deadline.”