Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
a series of Golds for the US:

First in Oil Consumption
First in Carbon Dioxide Emissions
First in External Debt
First in Military Expenditures
First in Weapons Sales

"In this gold-medal tally of firsts, there can be no question that things that go bang in the night are our proudest products. No one makes more of them or sells them more effectively than we do."

Who's number 2 (and are they trying harder?)

Nevertheless, Russia retained its position as the second leading arms dealer behind the United States for the third consecutive year, concluding new sales valued at $5.8 billion. Moscow's rank, however, is largely attributed to deals with two countries, India and China, both of which have concluded major co-production agreements with Russia in recent years to make advanced fighter aircraft and, in India's case, tanks. The Kremlin is also working to secure major new sales with Iran and would pursue deals with Iraq if UN arms sanctions were lifted, according to the report.

As they have for the past couple of years, leading European arms suppliers trailed the United States and Russia in negotiating new deals last year. France tallied $2.9 billion in agreements, while Germany had $1 billion in sales and the United Kingdom's sum equaled $400 million. China made agreements to sell $600 million in arms.

On the other end of the trade, Israel ranked as the leading developing world arms buyer with $2.5 billion in agreements for 2001. Other top buyers were China with $2.1 billion in purchases and Egypt with $2 billion.

Over the entire eight-year period, the United Arab Emirates, which signed a contract for 80 US F-16 fighters two years ago, topped all buyers with $16 billion in weapons deals. Its neighbor and fellow US arms buyer, Saudi Arabia, had the second highest total at $14.1 billion. Yet, Saudi Arabia was unrivaled for actual imports, receiving $65 billion in arms between 1994 and 2001. (Amounts in this paragraph are in current dollars.)


The arms trade functions as quite a money laundry:  a lot of e.g. US "aid to Israel" comes right back home to US weapons manufacturers.  Aid to Bomb Builders is more like it.  When I think seriously for a moment about the colossal amounts of ingenuity and resources being invested in more and more  "efficient" ways to kill or incapacitate large numbers of people, it is mind boggling... maladaptive hypertrophy in real time.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Mon May 21st, 2007 at 07:30:11 PM EST
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