The exact percentage for the United States, 2011 leader in global arms sales, is 77.7%.
The runner-up global arms seller is Russia with a comparatively meager 5.6%.
In 2010 our weapons sales were valued at $21.4 billion.
In 2011 our weapons sales are valued at $66.3.
In one year, the weapons sales by the US have TRIPLED!!!!
The above statistics are from an article by Bill Van Auken of wsws. The statistics were released last week having been compiled by the Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Van Auken writes:
The massive rise in US arms sales is driven by the accelerating turn toward aggressive war as a means of achieving the strategic global objectives of US imperialism, combined with the insatiable drive for profit and power by America’s bloated military-industrial complex.
So to whom are all these deadly armaments being sold one might wonder.
The “lion’s share” reports Van Auken is directed to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Together, their sales are valued at $38.2 billion. So out of the $66.3 billion amount, a whopping $38.2 worth are sold to these two citizen-oppressing, anti-human rights countries.
Van Auken writes:
The Saudi monarchy’s purchase of 84 advanced F-15 fighter planes together with dozens of military helicopters and other weapons yielded super profits for Boeing and United Technologies. The regime in the UAE obtained a $3.5 billion sophisticated missile defense system, providing rich returns for Lockheed Martin.
The purchases by the monarchical regimes in the Arab world stem, on the one hand, from their reaction to the popular upheavals that were dubbed the “Arab Spring” and, on the other, from the buildup by the US and its allies for another war, this time against Iran.
The House of Saud, which runs Saudi Arabia as a family fiefdom, saw in the events in Tunisia, Egypt and particularly Bahrain, where its troops were used to suppress mass protests, a mortal threat to its absolutist rule. An essential part of its response is the dramatic expansion of its military apparatus.
Van Auken explains that years ago the US justified such arms sales as enabling its allies against a threat from Moscow, which then eclipsed US sales and aimed its sales to unstable Third World nations. A CRS statement:
“Whereas the principal motivation for arms sales by key foreign suppliers in earlier years might have been to support a foreign policy objective, today that motivation may be based as much, if not more, on economic considerations as those of foreign or national security policy.”
Profits over people once again. What hellish bloodbaths US manufactured armaments have already enabled and will enable henceforth!
I’m suddenly thinking of that quote by Abraham Maslow, American philosopher/psychologist. “If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” "Good faith diplomacy" to deal with conflict by ANY country (ESPECIALLY the US, the mass supplier as well as user of armaments) seems to have left the planet. Plenty of these proverbial hammers, SUPER-hammers, are now out there in the hands of so many dangerous players.
The other major sales were directed where you ask?
$2 billion worth of “antimissile batteries” to Taiwan. Van Auken sees this as “a provocative move aimed against China”.
Another troubling transaction, $6.9 billion worth of arms to India, “ratcheting up tensions with its regional antagonist, Pakistan” declares Van Auken.
Van Auken calls out the grotesque hypocrisy of the US and its allies such as Israel with their manipulative faux-hysteria about the faux-threats of countries targeted for imperialism-lusting regime change. The justification for war with Iraq ten years ago was justified as pre-emptively eliminating the threat posed by Iraq’s imaginary “weapons of mass destruction.” Now Van Auken sees the ramped up current armaments sales as, in particular, seeding conditions for imminent and illegitimate hegemonic war against Iran, using Iran’s admittedly non-existent wmds but ridiculously ramped up “potential” for making nuclear warheads as an excuse for war by countries with already existing arsenals of nuclear warheads. The hypocrisy is colossal on this one and yet US media propaganda cravenly backs it 100%. Most American citizens incredibly, bobble-headedly buy into it.
Iran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes. Such a reality would be inconvenient for the US and its allies, since they want regime change in Iran and other non-puppet countries to exploit their resources. Van Auken:
The preparations for war against Iran are directed at tightening US hegemony over the energy-rich regions of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea, which the landmass of Iran spans. In that sense, the aggression being prepared against Iran and its people under Obama is in pursuit of the same aims that underlay the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq launched under Bush.
So, the US and its allies engineer crippling sanctions against Iran, harming the citizens of Iran especially risking the lives of the very young, the ill and the aged, deploy serious air and sea forces to monitor the Persian Gulf, and constantly threaten Iran with imminent attack. Van Auken declares:
The amount of weaponry Washington sold to the Saudi and UAE regimes alone last year amounted to nearly six times Iran’s entire military budget.
Van Auken calls out the craven realpolitik agenda of the US:
The US geo-strategic objective in sponsoring these weapons sales is to create potently armed regional proxies for a war for regime-change in Iran. This process is already playing out in Syria, where Washington’s major arms customers—Saudi Arabia and the UAE—are openly sponsoring the so-called rebels seeking the overthrow of Iran’s principal Arab ally, the government of Bashar al-Assad. This sponsorship has extended to the creation of a $100 million fund to pay the salaries of the militias challenging the Syrian government, as well as the provision of weapons, which is being coordinated by the CIA in Turkey and undoubtedly on the ground in Syria itself.
So when the Obama administration declares it is not "technically" stoking the bloodbath in Syria right now (though CIA operatives are busily doing all they can at the Turkish border to help the anti-Assad coalition including significant foreign terrorists, including Al Qaeda) think about all that weaponry WE supplied to enable all that bloodshed for "regime change" for craven corporate-agendas.
We want chaotic bloodbaths in those Middle Eastern regions and elsewhere because American foreign policy is full out "ends justifies the means" for profitmaking. No statesmanship, just deadly, winner take all, ruthless gamesmanship. Ultimate profits over people, over troops, over innocent foreign citizens. Think of the literally millions of innocent Middle Easterners, killed, wounded and/or displaced.
So much of the US citizenry is ignorant of the amorality perpetrated by our country. The Democratic Party with the profound and massive help of the corporate media has successfully neutered its former left anti-war wing.
Another overlooked consideration. Tax dollars subsidize the manufacture of armaments in this country. Van Auken:
The arms industry is massively subsidized by the American taxpayer. While the political establishment and media insist “there is no money” when it comes to jobs, decent wages, education and vital public services, endless billions are lavished on America’s merchants of death.
Our tax dollars are enabling the evil violence perpetrated by our own country and its allies, allies that include seriously oppressive, anti-human rights regimes and even coalitions of renegade avowed terrorists.
I ask my fellow Americans when they make their upcoming election choice to consider what they are endorsing, in terms of BOTH the Democratic and the Republican corporate wars-perpetrating parties. And in particular, the Dems might want to re-evaluate that "lesser evil" label.
[cross-posted at correntewire and sacramento for democracy]