Monday, September 7, 2009

We're Number One! -- In Weapon Sales

According to the New York Times, despite the recession the U.S. dominated the international arms market last year, with two-thirds of all sales.

larger arms deals concluded by the United States with developing nations last year included a $6.5 billion air defense system for the United Arab Emirates, a $2.1 billion jet fighter deal with Morocco and a $2 billion attack helicopter agreement with Taiwan. Other large weapons agreements were reached between the United States and India, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, South Korea and Brazil.
Apparently we lead not only in overall sales, but also in sales to the developing world. As much as I like seeing America's defense industry prosper, given the volume of sales, I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that a significant number of our arms deals were probably inadvisable. Just as we have a tendency to hand out foreign aid to pretty much anyone, we also sell weapons to many countries that we should think twice about supplying with U.S. equipment. But unlike foreign aid, at least we are getting paid.

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