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Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Staff Editorial: U.S. superior in selling armaments

For a country so adamant on fighting terror across the globe, more notably in Middle Eastern and Asian countries, why are countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia top buyers in U.S. arms sales?

In a recently published report by Congressional Research Service, the U.S. was the top arms seller to the developing world in 2006 – just as it was in 2005 and years before. The U.S. accounted for 36 percent of sales; a total of $28.8 billion, down from $31.8 billion the year before.

Russia came in second with 28 percent of sales. Here’s another ironic twist: Russia has been a major supplier of weapons to Iran in past years, including a $700 million deal for surface-to-air missiles in 2005 that in according to CRS’ research.

Control Arms, a campaign focusing on the lack of control on the arms trade, said in 2005, the U.S. earned more income from arms sales to developing countries then they gave in aid.

Instead of sending guns, tanks and other various armaments to developing (and "terroristic") countries, the U.S. may want to think of the many humanitarian crises developing countries face today. Or perhaps our country’s double standard is justified since our economy desperately needs money to stabilize our budget deficit. The war in Iraq alone (not including Afghanistan) has helped us accrue a debt of trillions.

According to a New York Times article published Monday, Pakistan was a major recipient of American arms sales last year, including the $1.4 billion purchase of 36 new F-16C/D fighter aircraft and $640 million in missiles and bombs. The deal included a package for $890 million in upgrades for Pakistan’s older versions of the F-16.

This is the same Pakistan that is a supposed al-Qaeda haven, and the same country that has seen a sharp increase in Islamic extremism. It does not make any sense as to why they would sell them all these fancy death tools, but money talks and our congress doesn’t.

The arms industry is notorious for their colorful military exhibitions that occur in conference halls in London, Abu Dhabi, etc. Thousands of military delegates and arms consumers from more than 50 countries join the world’s leading weapons manufacturers to view, discuss and purchase the latest military trends and equipment and technologies.

It is at these exhibitions that U.S. weapons manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin demonstrate their new and upgraded missiles and arms. And the truth is, without the existence of war, the arms industry would neither flourish nor exist. The ethical disregard to humanity is apparent as our country continues to be the super hero in selling arms, which makes weapons seem as benign as dollar signs.

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