US and UK: Merchants of Death and Destruction
by Stephen Lendman
US and UK weapons makers thrive on sales to Saudi Arabia, a rogue state sponsor of regional terrorism, waging naked aggression on Yemen, a US-orchestrated war.
Washington is Riyadh’s leading arms supplier. In 2010, the Obama administration approved up to $60 billion in multi-year sales, the largest US weapons deal ever.
Naval and missile defense upgrades may be worth tens of billions more. In 2011, Riyadh said it plans on around $90 billion worth of US arms purchases in coming years.
It’s the world’s largest arms buyer, accounting for an estimated one in seven dollars spent in 2015. In 2014, Riyadh and the UAE imported more weapons and munitions than all Western European countries combined.
According to its 2015 Global Defense Trade Report, IHS Jane’s 360 said Saudi Arabia overtook India in 2014 as America’s largest annual arms buyer, senior defense analyst Ben Moores, saying:
“Growth in Saudi Arabia has been dramatic and, based on previous orders, these numbers are not going to slow down.”
Year-over-year Saudi US arms purchases increased by 54% from 2013 to 2014 – a further estimated 52% last year.
The Middle East is by far the largest regional market for weapons – oil rich states buying huge amounts. Over $3 billion Washington gives Israel annually almost entirely goes for arms and related technology purchases.
Jane’s estimates $110 billion in regional sales over the next decade. How plummeting oil prices affects buying plans remains to be seen.
Endless wars rage without letup, the Middle East the world’s leading conflict zone. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and other Gulf States actively support terrorism.
Moores said global arms trade exceeded $64 billion in 2014, driven by “unparalleled demand from the emerging economies for military aircraft and an escalation of regional tensions in the Middle East and Asia Pacific.”
He foresees increasing purchases ahead, Britain cashing in hugely, selling over a billion pounds worth of arms and munitions to Riyadh in the July through September 2015 period – aiding its terror war on Yemen and regional destabilization efforts.
Amnesty International’s Allan Hogarth blasted Cameron’s government, saying “(t)hese figures are deeply worrying, showing that the UK continued to dispatch huge amounts of weaponry to Saudi Arabia despite overwhelming evidence that the Saudi war machine was laying waste to Yemeni homes, schools and hospitals.”
Thousands of Yemeni civilians are being massacred by “indiscriminate Saudi airstrikes” – Britain and America complicit in choosing targets, war crimes committed daily, an entire nation turned into “a living nightmare,” its people victims of genocide.
America’s imperial agenda bears full responsibility. Britain and other arms suppliers share blame – merchants of death and destruction, profiting from human misery.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.