A world going backwards

June 8, 2009

Arms, arms, arms…

Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (£914bn) – up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri…In contrast with civilian aerospace and airlines, the defence industry remains healthy.

“The global financial crisis has yet to have an impact on major arms companies’ revenues, profits and order backlogs,” Sipri said.

…In total, the 100 leading defence manufacturers sold arms worth $347bn during 2007, the most recent year for which reliable data are available…Almost all the companies were American or European. Some 61% of the total was accounted for by 44 US companies, with 32 West European companies accounting for a further 31%. Other companies were Russian, Japanese, Israeli and Indian.

…”The idea of the ‘war on terror’ has encouraged many countries to see their problems through a highly militarised lens, using this to justify high military spending,” said Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the military expenditure project at Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

How fortunate for American and European arms companies.

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