Vive Le Canada

US #1 in world weapons sales: War means major moolah for arms companies
Date: Wednesday, November 22 2006
Topic:


US #1 in world weapons sales: War means major moolah for arms companies
By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor

Nov 21, 2006, 00:27

In a rather calmly chilling story from The Boston Globe Bryan Bender tells us, “The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show.” Isn’t that special?

Bender adds, “According to the annual assessment, the United States supplied $8.1 billion worth of weapons to developing countries in 2005 -- 45.8 percent of the total and far more than second-ranked Russia with 15 percent and Britain with a little more than 13 percent.” Gulp.

Just in case you thought it was patriotism, self-defense, defending national ideals that guided US weapons suppliers, now you will know, especially if you read the whole article, it’s really about fattening the military-industrial complex’s bottom line. It is, it was, and always will be.

And by the way, the report came from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. Check the pie chart after the article’s fifth paragraph for the breakdown of international sales.

Bryan Bender also quotes Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the nonpartisan Arms Control Association in Washington, who says “We are at a point in history where many of these sales are not essential for the self-defense of these countries and the arms being sold continue to fuel conflicts and tensions in unstable areas. It doesn’t make much sense over the long term.”

No, it certainly doesn’t make sense. But is sense what it’s about? No. It’s money. That’s what it’s all about. It’s about perpetuating chaos. It’s about draining our national budget of $500 million plus a year for defense, not to mention another $350 billion for Afghanistan and Iraq. Or to “’enhance collective defense arrangements,” gangs of us clubbing each other.

But that’s an old story, and not just relegated to the US. As Bender points out “For decades during the height of the Cold War, providing conventional weapons to friendly states was an instrument of foreign policy utilized by the United States and its allies.” Today, our allies include Pakistan, to whom we’ve recently decided to send F-16 fighter jets. These are the folks that developed their own atomic bomb then gave the plans to rogue nations Libya and North Korea.

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/printer_1456.shtml

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