A global pandemic ravages the global arms industry booming-global issues

  • Thalif DeenUnited Nations)
  • International news agency

But one of the few industries that will survive and thrive in 2020 is the multi-billion-dollar global weapons industry led by the United States.

A new report issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on December 6 stated that the sales of weapons and military services by the 100 largest companies in the industry totaled a staggering US$531 billion in 2020—compared to before. The actual increase was 1.3%. year.


The arms sales of the top 100 arms companies in 2020 are 17% higher than in 2015-this is the first time SIPRI has included data on Chinese companies. This marked the sixth consecutive year of growth in the top 100 arms sales.

Although the global economy contracted 3.1% in the first year of the pandemic, arms sales have increased.


According to SIPRI data, the United States has once again become the country with the largest number of global top 100 companies.

The total arms sales of these 41 U.S. companies reached 285 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 1.9% over 2019, and accounted for 54% of the total arms sales of the top 100.

Since 2018, the top five companies are all located in the United States.


“The (U.S.) industrial giants are largely protected by the government’s continued demand for military products and services,” said Alexandra Marksteiner, SIPRI researcher for military expenditures and weapons production programs.

“In most parts of the world, military spending has increased, and some governments have even accelerated payments to the arms industry to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.”

Nonetheless, SIPRI stated that doing business in the military market does not guarantee immunity from the pandemic.


For example, French weapons manufacturer Thales attributed the 5.8% drop in weapons sales to the interruption caused by the 2020 spring blockade. Some companies also report supply chain disruptions and delivery delays.

At the same time, even if the more deadly Omicron virus threatens another blockade, the Associated Press (AP) reported on December 3 that France and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached a multi-billion-euro deal, The United Arab Emirates (UAE) sells fighter jets and combat helicopters “to increase the military’s cooperation with its main allies in the Persian Gulf in their common concerns about Iran.”

The UAE has agreed to purchase 80 upgraded Rafale fighters. The French Ministry of Defense stated that the transaction is worth up to 16 billion euros (18 billion U.S. dollars), making it the largest arms export contract in the history of France. It also announced an agreement with the UAE to sell 12 combat helicopters manufactured by Airbus.

The Associated Press stated that after the $66 billion contract broke, the arms deal was a boost for the French defense industry. Australia buys 12 French submarines Eventually flowed to the United States, but these transactions were criticized by human rights organizations, who feared that the UAE would participate in Yemen’s years of war.

The UAE contract was signed during the first leg of a two-day visit to the Persian Gulf by French President Emmanuel Macron. According to the Associated Press, France and the Gulf countries have long been worried about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and influence in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Dr. Natalie Goldring, a visiting professor of practice at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, told IPS that SIPRI data once again show that the military-industrial complex is seriously out of touch with the needs of the real world. Although the global economy will be affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, global arms sales are still increasing. “This disconnect between economic reality and the global arms trade is deeply disturbing. Every dollar spent on arms sales cannot be used to respond to the new coronavirus pandemic and meet basic human needs, such as food, clothing, and housing. “Unfortunately, these statistics are not surprising. What we see is business as usual. “Dr. Goldrinn said he is also the UN Conventional Arms and Arms Trade Representative for the acronym Institute for Disarmament and Diplomacy. “Although these data are for 2020, there is little evidence that the Biden administration is changing these patterns.” . For example, during the campaign, the candidate Biden stated that his government will take Saudi Arabia’s consistent pattern of human rights violations seriously.

But in fact, Dr. Goldrinn said that the Biden administration continues to ignore these abuses and proposes to transfer weapons, which will allow Saudi Arabia to continue its systemic abuse model. The Biden administration has also labeled the proposed arms sales as defensive weapons, even if these weapons have both defensive and offensive capabilities. “The United States and other weapons suppliers have the opportunity to learn from the Covid pandemic, reassess priorities, and reallocate resources based on human needs. We cannot afford the usual business,” she declared.

According to the SIPRI report, the US arms industry is experiencing a wave of mergers and acquisitions. In order to expand the product portfolio and gain a competitive advantage when bidding for contracts, many large US arms companies choose to merge or acquire promising companies.

“This trend is particularly evident in the aerospace field,” Mark Steiner said. “Northrop Grumman and KBR are among several companies that have acquired high-value companies specializing in space technology in recent years.”

Norman Solomon, executive director of the Institute of Public Accuracy, told IPS that weapon dealers’ insatiable appetite for inflated profits continues to lead to economic killings, while actually killing many people around the world-directly with guns and bombs. Indirectly by absorbing the urgently needed resources for human survival.

He said that because of the fatal shortage of everything from medicines, drinking water and minimal food supplies to housing and health education, many people in the world are in great pain. When the powerful government is keen to serve the institutionalized greed of the weapons industry, a large number of people are suffering and dying, Solomon said, he is also the director, RootsAction.org

He added: “The United States continues to lead the way in making huge profits through the technical tools of mass killings. This is a shameful and persistent crime against humanity.”

The synergy between government power and corporate military industry is a global poison, and it embodies a downward spiral. In any given year, this will be a huge betrayal of the most insignificant human dignity. He believes that this year brought the emergence of the Covid pandemic to the world, and this record is simply a systematic mass murder. “The fact that the United States is the source of more than half of the world’s total arms sales is a deep indictment of the role of the US government on this planet. In any case, any government in a country that engages in large-scale arms exports is a partner in this activity. The United States and other countries that export weapons on a large scale should be strongly and ruthlessly condemned,” he declared.

At the same time, the total arms sales of the five Chinese companies in the top 100 in 2020 are estimated at 66.8 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of 1.5% over 2019. In 2020, Chinese companies accounted for 13% of the top 100 arms sales, ranking behind American companies and ahead of British companies, which accounted for the third largest share.

SIPRI senior researcher Dr. Tian Nan said: “In recent years, Chinese arms companies have benefited from the country’s military modernization plan and focused on military-civilian integration.” “They have become some of the most advanced military technology manufacturers in the world.” For example, China North Industries Corporation jointly developed the Beidou military-civilian navigation satellite system and deepened its participation in emerging technologies.

Followed by European arms companies, French companies, German and Russian companies-they all entered the top 100.

Talib Dean Served as the Director of Foreign Military Marketing of the Defense Marketing Services Department; Senior Defense Analyst at Forecast International; Middle East/Africa Military Editor of Jane’s Information Group; and former United Nations reporter for Jane’s Defense Weekly in London.


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© Inter Press Service (2021) — All rights reservedOriginal source: International News Service

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