We Arm the World

The United States once again leads the world in exporting weapons

By Frida Berrigan

Iraqi soldiers celebrate after receiving new rifles from the U.S. forces in Baghdad, Iraq. U.S. forces have given the Iraqi army 800 pieces of M-16 and M-4 rifles as a part of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

A $7 billion missile-defense system for the United Arab Emirates. An estimated $15 billion potential sale of Lockheed Martin’s brand-new fighter plane to Israel. Billions of dollars in weaponry for Taiwan and Turkey. These and other recent deals helped make the United States the world’s leading arms-exporting nation.

In 2007, U.S. foreign military sales agreements totaled more than $32 billion — nearly triple the amount during President Bush’s first full year in office.

The Pentagon routinely justifies weapons sales as “promoting regional stability,” but many of these arms end up in the world’s war zones. In 2006 and 2007, the five biggest recipients of U.S. weapons were Pakistan ($3.5 billion), Iraq ($2.2 billion), Israel ($2.2 billion), Afghanistan ($1.9 billion) and Colombia ($580 million) — all countries where conflict rages....

Source: In These Times

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