U.S. scores record for war-mongering

politics | Aug 27, 2012 | By Martin Barillas


Warmongering continues to be profitable across the world, despite the fluctuating economies of Asia, Europe and North America. For example, in 2011 the arms manufacturers of the United States sold more weapons and weapons systems to foreign buyers than in any previous year. The sale of weapons in 2011 was a record $66.3 billion. The year 2010 was a record for U.S. arms sales at $31 billion.
 American exports of arms cornered 78% of the global market in 2011, making it the world’s leading vendor of arms. It was seconded by Russia at quite some distance: according to the Congressional Research Service, Russia sold $4.8 billion in arms in 2011. In 2011, the global arms market reached $85.3 billion, with the U.S. controlling more than three quarters. The CRS report was prepared by Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr and is considered the most detailed collection of unclassified arms sales data available to the public.
It was to the oil-laden sands of the Mideast that these weapons were sold to Persian Gulf allies. Saudi Arabia, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates purchased the majority of the weapons exports Made in USA.  Missiles and guidance systems, and jet aircraft, were among the most expensive purchases made by the oil sheikhs. 
The Saudi sheikhs inked the biggest contract, having purchased 84 new F-15 fighter-bombers and updated 70 it their country’s current compliment of jets. The Oil Kingdom also bought three different helicopter systems, including 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks, and 36 Little Birds, bringing the total to $33.4 billion. The arms deal also included ammunition and logistics support.
According to the CRS study, weapons sales made by the U.S. in 2011 was an “extraordinary increase”,  and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of American exports. The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totaled nearly $31 billion. the F-16 system is manufactured by General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, while the F-15 is produced by Boeing.
Sales to Saudi Arabia last year also included dozens of Apache and Black Hawk helicopters, all contributing to a total Saudi weapons deal from the United States of $33.4 billion, according to the study.
The United Arab Emirates bought a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which is an antimissile system provided with radars that is valued at $3.49 billion. The UAE also bought 16 Chinook helicopters for $939 million. As for Oman, it purchased 18 F-16 fighters for $1.4 billion.
The U.S. has been focused on providing a regional missile defense system capable of protecting cities, oil refineries and pipelines, and military installations from an attack by Iran. This included the deployment of radars to bolster the range of early warning coverage across the vital Persian Gulf. In addition, command, control and communications systems were included to exchange information between the allies for the new missile interceptors sold. 
Foreign sales by the U.S. included a $4.1 billion deal with India for 10 C-17 transport planes, while Taiwan has agreed to purchase Patriot antimissile batteries valued at $2 billion, thus piquing the communist government in Beijing.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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