Global sales of weapons and military services have risen for the first time in five years, helped in part by an increase in sales by British companies.
Weapons – many of which are fuelling deadly conflicts in the Middle East – are now being bought and sold at the highest level since 2010, with sales up more than a third (38 per cent) since 2002.
Military kit worth $374.8bn (£280bn) was sold in 2016 by the industry’s top 100 companies, an annual review by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) found.
The findings came as UK firm BAE Systems signed a $6.7bn deal with Qatar to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets.
British arms sales rose 2 per cent last year and now amount to almost 10 per cent of global sales, researchers found.
Germany’s arms sales jumped 6.6 per cent while South Korean companies notched up 20 per cent more sales than a year earlier. …
Sales by Lockheed Martin – the world’s largest arms producer – rose by 10.7 per cent in 2016, the report found, linked to the sale of F-35 combat aircraft. Continue reading
Valuable resource from Centre Delàs:
Interactive map « European weapons and refugees »
The purpose of this interactive map is to highlight the link between European arms export and flows of refugees and internally displaced persons, in order to determine whether there is any direct or indirect responsibility of EU Member States for situations of insecurity and violence that drive millions of people to flee their homes every year.
A second objective of this tool is to stress their (ir)responsibility in European arms export authorization or realization as well as their inadequate compliance of the existing legislation, established by the Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of December 8, 2008, which sets up 22 weapons categories including ammunition, light weapons, aircraft and warships, military transport vehicles and all types of military technology for military purposes. On the basis of the criteria set out in the Common Position, the relationship between the European legislation on arms export and situations of insecurity leading to movements of refugees and displaced persons can be established.
The report, released by children’s charity War Child, claims that corporations, including BAE systems and Raytheon, have made an estimated $775m in profit on $8bn worth of revenue by selling arms to Saudi Arabia between March 2015 and the end of 2016.
Yet corporation tax receipts since the war in Yemen began stands at just $40m, something the NGO describes as “pitiful”.
Israel has continued to sell arms to Myanmar, despite international condemnation of the country’s crackdown on its Rohingya Muslim minority. …
The armaments sold to Myanmar include over 100 tanks, weapons and boats that have been used to police the country’s border and perpetrate numerous acts of violence against the Rohingya, such that the UN suspects the army is committing ethnic cleansing. Continue reading
India is Israel’s top destination for arms exports, buying 41 per cent of export between 2012 and 2016, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, an independent global conflict and arms-research institute.
Israel is India’s third-largest source of arms, with a 7.2 per cent share of imports between 2012 and 2016, next to the US (14 per cent) and Russia (68 per cent). Continue reading
After authorising the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles (each costing around $1.5 million) at a Syrian airbase with no apparent consequential strategic purpose and diminishing none of the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability, the maker of the Tomahawk missiles, Raytheon’s stock rose sharply, adding more than $1 billion to its market capitalisation. Other missile and weapons manufacturers, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics, also saw their stock rose considerably – collectively gaining nearly $5 billion in market value. This on its own may not matter much, after all, which president of the USA has not dropped expensive bombs on some ‘remote’ nations of the world. But this time may be different.
Trump used anti-establishment and anti-corporate language during his election campaign to distinguish himself from all other candidates – he opposed neoconservative foreign policy, financial and corporate interests, notably Goldman Sachs. Now, after his inauguration, you can hardly see much difference between his foreign policy plans and policies proposed by neoconservatives. His cabinet looks like a ‘who’s who’ of Goldman Sachs alumni. He ratcheted up the military tension in the South China Sea, ordered a failed major special force operation in Yemen, and now seems to be pushing the USA to the edge of nuclear war with North Korea. The more he uses militaristic confrontational rhetoric and actions, the more ‘presidential’ he looks in the eyes of the mainstream media. He seems ‘unstoppable’.
But is he, really?
US was responsible for 82% of all $188 billion in global weapons exports (by value, in 2014 dollars).
Top weapons exporters by value:
EU states: $15B
State Dept WMEAT, Table III
Comparing two five-year periods between 2007-11 and 2012-16, the volume of Chinese exports of major arms increased by 74 per cent. Its share of the global total of exports rose from 3.8 to 6.2 per cent, making it the third-largest supplier in the world, following the United States and Russia.
Unlike the US, which accounts for one-third of exports and supplies at least 100 countries, China delivered major arms to 44 countries, mostly in Asia and Africa. More than 60 per cent of China’s exports went to Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar and another 22 per cent went to Africa.
China has also been expanding its market. In 2015, it exported type 90 multi-barrel rocket launchers to Peru, the first time Chinese weapons were used to equip Peru’s armed forces. A report released by the Pentagon last April estimated that China’s arms sales from 2010 to 2014 totalled about US$15 billion. Continue reading
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday that more weapons were delivered between 2012 and 2016 than any other five-year period since 1990. Saudi Arabia, which leads a military intervention in Yementhat has cost hundreds of civilian lives, was the world’s second largest importer after India, increasing its intake by 212%, mainly from the US and the UK.
Asia was the main recipient region in the world as India dwarfed regional rivals, China and Pakistan, by accounting for 13% of the global imports. While India received most of its arms from Russia, the Saudis relied heavily on US arms. US and Russia together supplied more than half of all exports. China, France and Germany were also among the top five exporters. Continue reading
SIPRI is proud to announce that is has expanded and improved its online database for Mapping Arms Trade Treaty (ATT)-relevant cooperation and assistance activities to include activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The database now contains information on over 350 activities involving partner states from Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean since 2012. Continue reading
Sales of the world’s 100 largest arms-producing and military services companies totalled $370.7 billion in 2015. Compared with 2014, this is a slight decline of 0.6 per cent. While this continues the downward trend in arms sales that began in 2011, it signals a significant slowdown in the pace of decline. However, despite the decrease, Top 100 arms sales for 2015 are 37 per cent higher than those for 2002, when SIPRI began reporting corporate arms sales.
Companies headquartered in the United States and Western Europe have
dominated the list of Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies
since 2002. And, true to form, this was the case for 2015: with sales reaching $305.4 billion, companies based in the USA and Western Europe accounted for 82.4 per cent of the Top 100 arms sales. Continue reading
The British government and the UK arms industry have a “politically intimate and hugely compromising relationship” that sees government officials working “hand in glove” with companies promoting weapons exports, according to campaigners who have tracked thousands of meetings between officials and arms trade representatives.
Officials from the government’s dedicated arms export department, the Defence and Security Organisation (DSO), attended more than 1,000 meetings since the 2010 election – more than a third of all meetings recorded by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), which has published data on contact between the government and the arms industry.
In addition to providing Saudi Arabia with intelligence and flying refueling missions for its air force, the United States has enabled the bombing campaign by supplying $20 billion in weapons over the past 18 months. In total, President Obama has sold more than $115 billion in weapons to the Saudi kingdom – more than any other president.
27 U.S. Senators Rebel Against Arming Saudi Arabia
Total 2015 defense revenues for the Top 100 companies came in at $356.7 billion, down more than 7 percent from the 2014 Top 100 total of $385.8 billion. The top 25 companies accounted for 73 percent of total defense revenues in the year, and the Top 10 firms accounted for 54 percent of total defense revenues in the year, an improvement from the last two cycles, which saw that percentage drop a point each in 2013 and 2014.
Geographically, 41 of the Top 100 firms are based in the US, which accounted for 60 percent of total defense revenue, up from 54 percent in 2014 – a sign that even as other nations expand their defense industries, American companies remain dominant on the global stage. Europe has 27 companies featured, which increases if Russia’s six major defense companies are included, while the Asia-Pacific region has 17 companies. In contrast, Africa and South America were represented by a single firm each. …
Since 2010 Britain has also sold arms to 39 of the 51 countries ranked “not free” on the Freedom House “Freedom in the world” report, and 22 of the 30 countries on the UK Government’s own human rights watch list.
Retired Army Gen. Richard Cody, a vice president at L-3 Communications, the seventh largest U.S. defense contractor, explained to shareholders in December that the industry was faced with a historic opportunity. Following the end of the Cold War, Cody said, peace had “pretty much broken out all over the world,” with Russia in decline and NATO nations celebrating. “The Wall came down,” he said, and “all defense budgets went south.”
Now, Cody argued, Russia “is resurgent” around the world, putting pressure on U.S. allies. “Nations that belong to NATO are supposed to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “We know that uptick is coming and so we postured ourselves for it.”
Thousands of assault rifles such as AK-47s, mortar shells, rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons and heavy machine guns are being routed through a new arms pipeline from the Balkans to the Arabian peninsula and countries bordering Syria.
The suspicion is that much of the weaponry is being sent into Syria, fuelling the five-year civil war, according to a team of reporters from the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
Arms export data, UN reports, plane tracking, and weapons contracts examined during a year-long investigation reveal how the munitions were sent east from Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Montenegro, Slovakia, Serbia and Romania.
But Cerberus is also very big in guns. It is run by people for whom everything is just business, from firesales to firearms, from Irish property deals to selling weapons of war to anyone who wants them. The connection between Belfastand Orlando reminds us of a truth that is easily forgotten – behind every mass shooting by a deranged psychopath in the US is a very profitable industry owned by Ivy League graduates with clean hands and manicured nails, respectable people who fund politicians in Congress and host charity galas inManhattan. If they had a slogan it would be the old Roman adage, pecunia non olet – money has no smell.
But from 2012 to 2013, the global small arms trade jumped to a total of USD 6 billion worth of small arms, an increase of 17 per cent/ $1 billion in only one year, according to the report titled “Trade Update 2016: Transfers and Transparency”
The United States was, by far, both the largest exporter and importer. It exported $1.1 billion, while only two other countries – Italy and Germany – surpassed the $500 million mark in exports.
Transfers of small arms to the U.S. accounted for 42 per cent of all imports.
Sixteen exporters surpassed $100 million in 2013, the largest number since the survey began in 2001.
And although this is the most comprehensive data set on small arms transfers, these numbers are most likely much higher, since 40% of information on imports and exports were concealed by states, said Senior Researcher for the Small Arms Survey, Nicolas Florquin. Continue reading