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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Global Arms Trade: U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015

WASHINGTON — The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a new congressional study
Developing nations continued to be the largest buyers of arms in 2015, with Qatar signing deals for more than $17 billion in weapons last year, followed by Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12 billion in arms, and Saudi Arabia, with over $8 billion in weapons purchases.
Although global tensions and terrorist threats have shown few signs of diminishing, the total size of the global arms trade dropped to around $80 billion in 2015 from the 2014 total of $89 billion, the study found. Developing nations bought $65 billion in weapons in 2015, substantially lower than the previous year’s total of $79 billion.
The United States and France increased their overseas weapons sales in 2015, as purchases of American weapons grew by around $4 billion and France’s deals increased by well over $9 billion.
The report, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2008-2015,” was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and delivered to legislators last week. The annual review is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form. The report adjusts for inflation, so the sales totals are comparable year to year.
Constraints on the expansion of foreign weapons sales are “due, in part, to the weakened state of the global economy,” wrote Catherine A. Theohary, a national security policy specialist at the Congressional Research Service and author of the study.
“Concerns over their domestic budget problems have led many purchasing nations to defer or limit the purchase of new major weapon systems,” she added. “Some nations have chosen to limit their purchasing to upgrades of existing systems and to training and support services.”
Russia, another dominant power in the global arms market, saw a modest decline in orders for its weapons, dropping to $11.1 billion in sales from the $11.2 billion total in 2014. Latin American nations, in particular Venezuela, have become a focus of marketing for Russian arms, the study found.
China reached $6 billion in weapons sales, up from its 2014 total of over $3 billion.
Among arms manufacturers that also are NATO allies, Germany has found success in marketing naval systems to the developing world, while Britain has done the same with warplanes, according to the report.
The most significant overseas weapons sales for the United States last year included new agreements with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar and South Korea.
Over all, the largest buyers of weapons in the developing world in 2015 were Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. After the United States, France, Russia and China, the study found that the major global arms suppliers were Sweden, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Britain and Israel.

U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market 

According to new data on the international arms industry released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), the world's top 100 arms companies sold $370.7 billion worth of military equipment in 2015. Despite a 2.9 percent decrease on 2014, companies in the United States continue to dominate the trade, with 2015 sales amounting to $209.7 billion.
Arms sales by Western European countries increased 6.6 percent to $95.7 billion while Russian firms sold $30.1 billion of military merchandise. Lockheed Martin is the largest arms producer in the world, according to Sipri, with its military sales amounting to $36.4 billion last year. Boeing came second with $28 billion while BAE Systems from the UK rounded off the top-three with $25.5 billion. China was excluded from the research due to a lack of comparable and sufficiently accurate data.

U.S. Companies Dominate The Global Arms Trade  DEC 6, 2016 Niall McCarthy

9 miliardi in meno rispetto all’anno prima: il mercato delle armi convenzionali ha comunque fruttato nel 2015 un colossale giro d’affari di 80 miliardi di dollari. Al primo posto tra i venditori si confermano gli Stati Uniti, mentre tra gli acquirenti a guidare la classifica è il Katar. Lo documenta uno studio condotto dal Centro ricerche del Congresso di WashingtonRoberta Gisotti ha intervistato Laura Zeppa, ricercatrice e consulente per i Rapporti istituzionali dell’Archivio Disarmo.

La metà le hanno vendute al resto del mondo gli Stati Uniti, registrando pure aumento di 4 miliardi. Al secondo posto distanziata, è la Francia, con 15 miliardi e un incremento di ben 9 miliardi. Al terzo e quarto posto la Russia con 11,1 miliardi, in leggero calo di 100 milioni, e la Cina ferma a 6 miliardi. Tra gli acquirenti in cima alla lista il Qatar che ne ha acquistate per 17 miliardi, seguita da Egitto con 12 miliardi, Arabia Saudita con 8 miliardi. Altri buoni compratori: Corea del Sud, Pakistan, Israele, Emirati Arabi Uniti, Iraq.
Dunque l’industria degli armamenti gode di ottima salute, nonostante il lieve calo, che sarebbe dovuto però alla crisi globale. Ma a che punto siamo con le  politiche di disarmo? 
Laura Zeppa: Il settore purtroppo non conosce crisi: ci sono delle tendenze al ribasso determinate da una crisi economica generale, però questo settore rimane fiorente. Naturalmente, c’è un tentativo di controllo, da parte di tantissimi enti, organizzazioni non governative, associazioni e anche degli stessi Stati che sono sensibili a tale tematica; però poi prevale sempre la politica dell’incrementare, questo settore, spesse volte sotto forma di ricerca perché si dice, facendo ricerca militare poi ci saranno anche degli sviluppi nella ricerca civile. In realtà si prosegue perché le industrie militari ci sono, sono fiorenti e forse non si prospettano altri mercati e quindi le attenzioni economiche e politiche si rivolgono ad incrementare questo settore, che – ripeto - è fiorente.
L’Unione Europea, in particolare, che cosa ha fatto e che cosa sta facendo?
Sta prendendo fortemente in considerazione la possibilità di inserire nei propri bilanci una notevole parte dei propri fondi proprio per lo sviluppo della ricerca nel settore militare. Una recente Risoluzione del Parlamento Europeo del 22 novembre scorso – omnicomprensiva di diverse tematiche riguardanti la Difesa europea – mostra proprio come, forse anche alla luce delle recente elezioni americane, l’Unione Europea stia prendendo seriamente in considerazione di divenire sempre più un soggetto indipendente o almeno meno dipendente da quelle che sono le risorse degli Stati Uniti. E forse questa intenzione da parte dell’Unione Europea di impiegare parte delle proprie risorse nella ricerca militare – cosa che finora non era mai successa – si sta proprio inserendo in questo tentativo di far fronte ad una eventuale venuta meno di una partecipazione da parte degli Stati Uniti.
Dott.ssa Zeppa, gli affari e gli interessi che sono dietro al commercio delle armi hanno sempre ragione su ogni altra istanza per pacificare questo nostro pianeta…
L’interesse monetario, economico e il potere che si crea e che scaturisce da questo mercato – in questo momento – sembra predominare su tutti quanti gli altri interessi. Però, in realtà, non è la soluzione per far fronte a questo momento di grande crisi e di grande sensazione di insicurezza. Anzi è un alimentare in più dell’insicurezza, di cui normalmente questo commercio di armi è il primo beneficiario: si sta autoalimentando con la stessa paura che esso genera.

Armi: vendite per 80 miliardi di dollari, la metà dagli Usa nel resto del mondo 27/12/2016

The constant expansion in size and sophistication of the arms trade feeds corruption in the system. The nature of the arms trade has been changing and so is the profile of arms dealers.
India was overwhelmed by corruption in Bofors deal during Rajiv Gandhi’s heyday leading to the government’s haphazard attempts to blacklist companies caught paying bribes. But the defence agents even today are easily allowed past doors of South-North blocks with Blue Label and expensive gifts in tow.
According to top government sources, they have streamlined the access control, restricting the movements of agents in the sensitive areas including technical cells but classified documents found at arms dealer Sanjay Bhandari’s offices in April suggests the shadowy operators have found other ways to invade the system. India remains the world’s largest arms importer, accounting for 14 per cent of the global imports during 2011-15 and it buys weapons worth $8 billion annually.


“Much has changed since the days of Quattrocchi and Nandas. Now the different sets of agents are involved at all 18 stages of the procurement like for example Bhandari, who was providing advance information about the tender and technical parameters in lieu of hefty sums,” sources added.



The lucrative percentage is fixed from providing information to swinging the deal in favour of a particular foreign company. Insiders told The Sunday Standard that at least 0.5 per cent of tender value is spent on the first stage of tendering process and providing prior information on technical parameters. The insiders claimed foreign companies themselves keep at least 1-2 per cent of deals to ensure that technical parameters are in sync with their product. Further they said agents charge up to 0.5-1 per cent to ensure that the company passes through technical bids.



“The most crucial is the trial stage where agents with influence and deep network command up to 3-4 per cent to clear it,” the insiders claimed.



In the last 11 defence scams that have exploded in India since 1981, not a single arms dealer, defence official or a middleman has been convicted. Arrests have been made in only two cases: VVIP chopper and Scorpene submarine deals. In the former, ex-air chief SP Tyagi and two others were sent to jail recently, and in the latter, Abhishek Verma was jailed for violating the Official Secrets Act. 

Verma was imprisoned in Tihar frequently while his associate, Ravi Shankaran—the nephew of former Navy chief Admiral Arun Prakash—lives in London with ease. 




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