أكبر داعم للأسلحة في العالم
أنجلوس تايمز - 21/5/2007
لا أحد يعير الأمر انتباهاً
كبيراً, و لكن تصديرنا الكبير
للأسلحة هو الأعلى خطراً في
-- the world's arms pusher
one is paying much attention to it, but our top export
is the deadliest.
DON'T CALL US the sole superpower for nothing. Paul
Wolfowitz might be looking for a new job right now, but
the term he used to describe the pervasiveness of U.S.
power back when he was a mere deputy secretary of
Defense — hyperpower — still fits the bill. Consider
some of the areas in which the United States is still
First in weapons sales:
Since 2001, U.S. global military sales have totaled $10
billion to $13 billion. That's a lot of weapons, but in
fiscal 2006, the Pentagon broke its own recent record,
inking arms sales agreements worth $21 billion.
First in sales of
surface-to-air missiles: From 2001 to 2005, the U.S.
delivered 2,099 surface-to-air missiles like the Sparrow
and AMRAAM to nations in the developing world, 20% more
than Russia, the next largest supplier.
First in sales of military
ships: During that same period, the U.S. sent 10
"major surface combatants," such as aircraft
carriers and destroyers, to developing nations.
Collectively, the four major European weapons producers
First in military training:
A thoughtful empire knows that it's not enough to send
weapons; you have to teach people how to use them. The
Pentagon plans on training the militaries of 138 nations
in 2008 at a cost of nearly $90 million. No other nation
assured, governments around the world, often at each
others' throats, will want U.S. weapons long after their
people have turned up their noses at a range of once
dominant American consumer goods. The "trade"
publication Defense News, for instance, recently
reported that Turkey and the U.S. signed a $1.78-billion
deal for Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes. As it
happens, these planes are already ubiquitous — Israel
flies them; so does the United Arab Emirates, Poland,
South Korea, Venezuela, Oman and Portugal, among others.
Buying our weaponry is one of the few ways you can
actually join the American imperial project!
order to remain on top in the competitive jet field,
Lockheed Martin, for example, does far more than just
sell airplanes. TAI — Turkey's aerospace corporation
— will receive a boost with this sale because Lockheed
Martin is handing over responsibility for portions of
production, assembly and testing to Turkish workers.
Turkish air force already has 215 F-16 fighter planes
and plans to buy 100 of Lockheed Martin's new F-35 Joint
Strike Fighter as well, in a deal estimated at $10.7
billion over the next 15 years. That's $10.7 billion on
fighter planes for a country that ranks 94th on the
United Nations' human development index, below Lebanon,
Colombia and Grenada and far below all the European
nations that Ankara is courting as it seeks to join the
European Union. Now that's a real American sales job for
THE strange thing, though: This genuine, gold-medal
manufacturing-and-sales job on weapons simply never gets
the attention it deserves. As a result, most Americans
have no idea how proud they should be of our weapons
manufacturers and the Pentagon — essentially our
global sales force. They make sure our weapons travel
the planet and regularly demonstrate their value in
small wars from Latin America to Central Asia.
tons of data on the weapons trade, but who knows about
any of it? I help produce one of a dozen or so sober
annual (or semiannual) reports quantifying the business
of war-making, so I know that these reports get
desultory, obligatory media attention. Only once in a
blue moon do they get the sort of full-court-press
treatment that befits our No. 1 product line.
when there is coverage, the inside-the-fold, fact-heavy,
wonky news stories on the arms trade, however useful,
can't possibly convey the feel of a business that has
always preferred the shadows to the sun. The connection
between the factory that makes a weapons system and the
community where that weapon "does its duty" is
invariably missing in action, as are the relationships
among the companies making the weapons and the generals
(on-duty and retired) and politicians making the deals,
or raking in their own cuts of the profits for
themselves and/or their constituencies. In other words,
our most successful (and most deadly) export remains our
most invisible one.
the only way to break through this paralysis of analysis
would be to stop talking about weapons sales as a trade
and the export of precision-guided missiles as if they
were so many widgets. Maybe we need to start thinking
about them in another language entirely — the language
all, what does a drug dealer do? He creates a need and
then fills it. He encourages an appetite or (even more
lucratively) an addiction and then feeds it.
dealers do the same thing. They suggest to foreign
officials that their military just might need a slight
upgrade. After all, they'll point out, haven't you
noticed that your neighbor just upgraded in jets,
submarines and tanks? And didn't you guys fight a war a
few years back? Doesn't that make you feel insecure? And
why feel insecure for another moment when, for just a
few billion bucks, we'll get you suited up with the
latest model military, even better than what we sold
them — or you the last time around.
do officials in Turkey, which already has 215 fighter
planes, need 100 extras in an even higher-tech version?
They don't, but Lockheed Martin, working with the
Pentagon, made them think they did.
don't need stronger arms control laws, we need a global
sobriety coach and some kind of 12-step program for the
dealer-nation as well.
BERRIGAN is a senior research associate at the World
Policy Institute's Arms Trade Resource Center. A longer
version of this article appears on tomdispatch.com.
لهذه المقالات لا يعني أنها
تعبر عن وجهة نظر المركز كلياً
من حق الزائر الكريم أن ينقل وأن ينشر كل ما يعجبه من موقعنا . معزواً إلينا ، أو غير معزو .ـ