US had arms exports worth $192.3 billion over the past year

Lockheed Martin’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant, slated to be sold to Saudi Arabia.

Yes, you read that correctly. $192.3 billion. In arms sales. In one year.

And that is just ‘foreign sales.’

This is nothing short of insanity.

Surely the politicians, business titans and shareholders know that the ‘customers’ of today could be the enemies of the future. 

And that future wars will be fought with US arms against US arms, no matter who is pulling the trigger.

Is there any doubt that the US is heading for an economy built completely on arms sales?  

Is there any doubt that they intend to use these arms, no matter the cost? 

There is no mystery here. The US announced that future wars will be fought against the ‘near-peer’ nations of China and Russian. And Iran, perhaps, but the US does not want to think of them as being ‘near-peer.’ They want to paint them as being somehow… backward. They are not.

Are they arming other nations to help fight that war? 

Say what you will about these clowns. They might be stupid, or even suicidal, but they sure do know how to turn a profit. 

And the ‘Democrats?’ Oddly silent. An entire bloodless mid-term election was fought without mention of the next ‘inevitable’ war. Tells you all you need to know. Most of them are shareholders, after all. 

James Porteous

08 Novemeber 2018 | Paul McLeary | Breaking Defense

PENTAGON: The United States signed off on arms exports worth $192.3 billion over the past year, a full 13 percent increase from the previous year — even as the Trump administration keeps pushing hard to sell more weapons, more quickly, to more allies overseas.

The massive increase was announced by the State Department on Thursday afternoon as a way to promote the release of more detail about its Conventional Arms Transfer policy, which has loosened restrictions on selling everything from guns to drones, while pushing US diplomats and officials to make selling more arms a larger part of their mission.

New details include the emphasis on the global competition for arms as more countries develop increasingly modern defense production capabilities and seek to sell them outside their borders, especially to rising economies in Asia — especially India — and to Middle Eastern governments with deep pockets and big appetites for military equipment.

Some of the key new provisions, according to a State Department fact sheet, include

  • developing financing options for countries who might have trouble with the cost of US weaponry,
  • streamlining the International Traffic in Arms Regulations rules to slash regulatory requirements for US industry,
  • revising the United States Munitions List, which defines and regulates what weapons systems can be sold overseas, and
  • updating the Commerce Control List to account for recent technological developments.

The $192 billion total is split between government-to-government Foreign Military Sales and Direct Commercial Sales between a company and a government. During fiscal 2018, as we reported previously, FMS sales rose 33 percent to $55.6 billion, up from $41.9 billion in fiscal 2017.

Some of the biggest ticket items on that list include: $6.5 billion for Littoral Combat Ships for Saudi Arabia; $5.1 billion for F/A-18 aircraft for Kuwait; and $4.6 billion for Patriot Air and Missile Defense Systems for Poland. All of those deals were originally made under the Obama administration, but crossed the finish line in 2018.

Direct Commercial Sales totaled $136.6 billion for the year, a 6.6 percent increase from $128.1 billion in 2017.

Eric Fanning, president of defense industry trade organization AIA, applauded the changes, calling them “significant and important steps toward bringing more transparency, efficiency and predictability to the defense trade system” that “support U.S. foreign policy, meet the security needs of our partners and allies, and enhance America’s economic security.”

All About The Allies

The push for sell more weapons to allies comes as Pentagon officials continue to trumpet the value of working more closely with allies to guard the land, patrol the seas, and watch the skies both in Europe and East Asia, where the geopolitical fault lines run deepest.

In Asia, the United States and China “will meet each other more and more on the high seas,” chief of naval operations Adm. John Richardson warned last month after a Chinese warship came within 50 yards of ramming the USS Decatur in the South China SeaJust this week, a Russian fighter came dangerously close to a Navy land-based P-8 Poseidon patrol lane.

Navy photo






That message was put more bluntly by Rear Adm. Doug Perry, director of Joint and Fleet Operations at the Fleet Forces Command, who told the annual Naval Submarine League conference in Washington today that “when a ship deploys, they can expect to have an encounter with Russians or Chinese,” either physically or “in the electromagnetic spectrum.”

Original Link: Arms Sales Way Up – But Trump Wants More


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