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Author Topic: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?  (Read 11026 times)

Lotus Eater

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ericthered

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2007, 02:18:07 PM »
Money and power. That's why. There is no other answer. People might try to come up with one but it will always be money and power. Guns provide both.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

"It's all oojah cum spiffy". Bertie Wooster.
"The stars are God's daisy chain" Madeleine Bassett.

Vegemite

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2007, 02:38:01 PM »
Yep, we never learn...and in fifteen / twenty years the present Ethiopian government will be the new enemy of the 'West', their leader will be a wanted 'terrorist' and the 'West' will form a new axis of right to combat the new axis of evil.
But it'll keep businesses happy and politicians in power, and it'll maintain the status quo.

I hope I don't sound too cynical bibibibibi
"I said, "Do you speak-a my language?"
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich"

ericthered

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2007, 03:14:53 PM »
You forgot the millions of people who will suffer from a warfare economy, the waste of life and the undeniable fact that the more bombs that rain down on innocent people the more prospective enemies are made. Nope, we don't learn. Or, those who do learn are not the ones who are in power and can make lots of money. Too cynical...not at all...
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." Oscar Wilde.

"It's all oojah cum spiffy". Bertie Wooster.
"The stars are God's daisy chain" Madeleine Bassett.

Lono Tiki

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2007, 03:33:40 PM »
Generally speaking, the United States only sells lower-end equipment to other nations, even allies. The Brits are kinda ticked off that they're not going to get the top version of the Joint Strike Fighter even though they contributed a chunk of funding.

The stuff we sell to other nations funds our ability to keep a technological edge.
A hui hou...

moon over parma

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2007, 03:46:14 PM »


over



That's the brutal math of truth. amamamamam
Oh, dry up. <from Raoul>

Lotus Eater

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2007, 05:10:12 PM »
unstable areas .....



US is top purveyor on weapons sales list
Shipments grow to unstable areas

By Bryan Bender, Globe Staff  |  November 13, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The United States last year provided nearly half of the weapons sold to militaries in the developing world, as major arms sales to the most unstable regions -- many already engaged in conflict -- grew to the highest level in eight years, new US government figures show.

According to the annual assessment, the United States supplied $8.1 billion worth of weapons to developing countries in 2005 -- 45.8 percent of the total and far more than second-ranked Russia with 15 percent and Britain with a little more than 13 percent.

Arms control specialists said the figures underscore how the largely unchecked arms trade to the developing world has become a major staple of the American weapons industry, even though introducing many of the weapons risks fueling conflicts rather than aiding long-term US interests.

The report was compiled by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

"We are at a point in history where many of these sales are not essential for the self-defense of these countries and the arms being sold continue to fuel conflicts and tensions in unstable areas," said Daryl G. Kimball , executive director of the nonpartisan Arms Control Association in Washington. "It doesn't make much sense over the long term."

The United States, for instance, also signed an estimated $6.2 billion worth of new deals last year to sell attack helicopters, missiles, and other armaments to developing nations such as the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, India, Israel, Egypt, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Developing nations are designated as all those except in North America, Western Europe, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand.

In addition to weapons already delivered, new contracts for future weapons deliveries topped $44 billion last year -- the highest overall since 1998, according to the report. Nearly 70 percent of them were designated for developing nations.

Many of the US sales are justified by American officials as critical to the war on terrorism or other foreign policy goals such as checking an emerging China. One such example is the recent decision to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.

The United States has long relied on arms sales to prop up allies or enhance collective defense arrangements.

"For decades, during the height of the Cold War, providing conventional weapons to friendly states was an instrument of foreign policy utilized by the United States and its allies," according to the report, titled "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations."

"This was equally true for the Soviet Union and its allies," the report said.

Yet there is growing evidence that the sales are increasingly more about dollars and cents for the US military-industrial complex and other major military economies. The trend began after the end of the Cold War, when American, European, Russian, and other defense industries were forced to consolidate and competition for foreign sales heated up.

"Where before the principal motivation for arms sales by foreign suppliers might have been to support a foreign policy objective, today that motivation may be based as much on economic considerations as those of foreign policy or national security policy," said the congressional report, which detailed both arms deliveries, or weapons actually delivered to customers, and arms agreements, or contracts signed for future deliveries.

Washington's desire to maintain the status quo was on display at a meeting at the United Nations on Oct. 26, when a UN panel voted to study whether a new treaty might be possible to regulate the sale of conventional arms. The United States was the only country out of 166 to vote no, though China and Russia were among a handful of countries to abstain.

With that lone dissent, the UN's Disarmament and International Security Committee approved a British proposal to draw up uniform standards that might block arms sales considered destabilizing, including those that might fuel ongoing conflicts, violate embargoes, undermine democratic institutions, or contribute to human rights abuses. A UN task force is set to make its recommendations to the General Assembly next year.

But powerful interests in the global arms industry have long stood in the way of controlling the arms flow to the developing world.

After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, for example, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council -- the United States, Russia, France, Britain, and China -- pledged to limit the sale of arms to the volatile Middle East, attributing the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to the region having been awash in high-tech arsenals.

More than a decade later, those pledges have gone unfulfilled. The United States is not the only culprit.

For the first time in eight years, Russia outpaced the United States last year in the value of new arms transfer agreements reached with developing nations, according to the Congressional Research Service report, authored by Richard F. Grimmett .

Moscow inked major deals to sell missiles, warships, and other hardware to such potential trouble spots as Iran and China, according to the report, which is considered the most authoritative breakdown of the global arms trade. China also agreed to provide weapons to trouble spots such as Iran and North Korea, while major Western European suppliers, such as Britain and France, also concluded large orders with developing countries.

But it is the United States that by far remains the top purveyor of high-tech arms to areas where analysts believe the likelihood of armed conflict remains highest. A study last year by the progressive World Policy Institute found that the United States transferred weaponry to 18 of the 25 countries involved in an ongoing war.

"From Angola, Chad, and Ethiopia, to Colombia, Pakistan, and the Philippines, transfers through the two largest US arms sales programs [Foreign Military sales and Commercial Sales] to these conflict nations totaled nearly $1 billion in 2003," the report found.

Meanwhile, more than half of the countries buying US arms -- 13 of the 25 -- were defined as undemocratic by the State Department's annual Human Rights Report, including top recipients Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Uzbekistan.

The agreement last year to sell F-16s to Pakistan underscores the larger trend, according to Wade Bouse , research director at the Arms Control Association.

"F-16s with advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles are not for fighting Al Qaeda," Bouse said. "They are for fighting India."

And India, which has fought three wars with Pakistan, is considering a US offer to sell the country F-16s. "We are creating our own market by selling to both sides of regional conflicts," Bouse said.

With more such lucrative deals in the offing, there is little sign that the United States -- or other major suppliers -- wants a treaty to control the sales.

"The US would be significantly affected if there was an arms treaty that took into account human rights abuses and conflict areas," added William Hartung , director of the Arms Trade Resource Center at the World Policy Institute in New York. "The US government still wants to be able to do covert and semi-covert arms transfers. And a certain amount of it is simply keeping factories running in certain congressional districts."

Lono Tiki

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2007, 05:24:50 PM »
The United Arab Emirates is a loyal ally and vital to any and all American efforts (for better or worse) in the Middle East. Kuwait is an ally with a recent invasion history and Israel is an ally under constant threat of invasion and obliteration. These three should be supported.

I'd like to see further sales in Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan tied to solving some of their problems (women's rights for the Saudis and the rivalry between the South Asian powers).
A hui hou...

The Clan

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2007, 06:39:31 PM »
Good old U. S of A blblblblbl dddddddddd bibibibibi  llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll

Not a fan.
GO BIG - OR GO HOME!!

moon over parma

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2007, 08:14:44 PM »
Good old U. S of A blblblblbl dddddddddd bibibibibi  llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll

Not a fan.

Don't hate: appreciate.

I appreciate I'll be leaving it within a year!
« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 07:54:18 AM by moon over parma »
Oh, dry up. <from Raoul>

Lono Tiki

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2007, 03:26:38 AM »
I gotta tell ya, I'm cool with people not liking the States... heck, there's parts that I don't like.

But putting two middle fingers up at the flag of (presumably) more than a few members here just strikes me as rude... and well outside the bounds of disagreement.
A hui hou...

Stil

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2007, 03:31:18 AM »
It's a little different if it's your own flag though innit Tiki?

moon over parma

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2007, 03:59:50 AM »
I gotta tell ya, I'm cool with people not liking the States... heck, there's parts that I don't like.

But putting two middle fingers up at the flag of (presumably) more than a few members here just strikes me as rude... and well outside the bounds of disagreement.

I agree. It's pretty insulting - and I am an American who isn't even fond of America. It is insulting, though.

Jingoism is obscene. Inversely, nation-bashing with malice is obscene. I don't trust flag wavers or flag burners. It's an individual's right to do both, but they disturb the shit out of me.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2007, 04:01:45 AM by moon over parma »
Oh, dry up. <from Raoul>

Lono Tiki

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2007, 04:02:22 AM »
Perhaps a bit, but still seems over the top to me. After all, flag burning is an accepted way to voice displeasure. But it's not generally very good at opening up discussion and discourse, which is part of what a forum is for. It's the same for giving the finger to the flag.

But, whatever. I hate to come off sounding so uptight and such my first few days here, but I feel how I feel and so do others. I believe this forum has the ability to allow me to ignore posters that I feel are vulgar and rude... and if not, it's easy enough to create a GreaseMonkey script to do so.
A hui hou...

Lotus Eater

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Re: Why do western nations continue to arm other nations?
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2007, 04:11:11 AM »
I said "WE" - Britian, Russia and other western countries all sell arms to developing areas.  The U.S.A. sells most because they have the largest armaments industry, and I highlighted the section about flashpoint areas because the U.S.A. continues to arm those areas at a higher rate. 

My whole point is that we supply arms, training etc to groups within nations, then wonder why the hell in a few years time we have more flashpoints.

Clearly money talks way louder than the desire for peace, commonsense and intelligence.

I wasn't intending to point any specific fingers at any nations.