America: World’s Leading Merchant of Death
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The Center for International Policy’s (CIP) Security Assistance Monitor (SAM) follows US foreign security aid and arms sales.
CIP “promotes cooperation, transparency, and accountability in US global relations.”
In a report titled “Trump Administration Makes Over $80 Billion in Major Arms Deals in First Year: Major Changes in Types of Weapons and Recipient Countries Compared to Obama
Puts US Manufacturing Jobs and Human Rights at Risk,” it documented the following:
Trump administration 2017 arms sales totaled $82.2 billion – compared to $76.5 billion in 2016, less than record $102 billion total in 2010.
Top recipient countries last year include Saudi Arabia,
Poland, Japan, Canada, Romania, Bahrain, Australia, Britain, UAE, Greece and Singapore.
Other significant foreign buyers included Iraq, New Zealand, Taiwan, Kuwait, Qatar, Israel, India and Kenya.
When Trump urges NATO countries to increase defense spending, he’s promoting arms sales for US producers – unrelated to protecting against threats. No foreign ones exist.
Missiles and bombs comprised the administration’s leading arms exports – compared to warplanes and helicopters under Obama.
About $659 million in weapons sales went to Saudi Arabia and UAE, largely for aggression in Yemen.
Around 25 countries made major arms purchases from America. The Trump administration proposed 16 major arms deals, involving their manufacture abroad – not a way to create “jobs, jobs, jobs” in America, as he claimed.
Sales are made without concern for human rights, America the world’s leading violator. Its key allies are notorious rogue states.
In January, the Trump administration approved a new arms transfer policy directive, streamlining approval of sales, eliminating what the National Security Council calls “unreasonable constraints on the ability of our companies to compete.”
According to an unnamed administration official, the Trump administration wants its “commercial and military attaches, unfettered to be salesmen for this stuff, to be promoters.”
The Commerce Department will be more involved in arms sales, reducing congressional ability to stop problematic deals.
The Trump administration wants unrestrained ability to sell arms to nations it wishes for any purposes, including for aggression against nations like Yemen and Syria, as well as repressing their own people.
Geopolitical considerations and profits matter more than human rights and adherence to rule of law principles.
US interests matter more than harm from US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other rogue states.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”