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  • United States companies lead sales of the Global Arms Industry.

    United States companies lead sales of the Global Arms Industry. | Photo: Reuters

Published 9 March 2019

U.S. companies account for 57 percent of total Top 100 arms sales around the world, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports.

Many analysts question the motives behind the United State's alleged "humanitarian efforts" in Venezuela and its determination to keep all options-  including a military invasion- "on the table." However, the U.S.'s leading position in the "top 100" global arms industry, as reported by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in a December study, may have something to do with it.

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According to the study, among the SIPRI Top 100, "sales of arms and military services by the world’s largest U.S. arms-producing and military service companies totaled US$398.2 billion in 2017." This global industry grew by 2.5 percent as compared to 2016. The study defines 'Arms sales’ as "the sale of military goods and services to military customers domestically and abroad."

U.S. companies "accounted for 57 percent of total Top 100 arms sales" and 42 of these make the "Top 100" companies in the global arms industries. Of those, "five U.S. companies were listed in the top 10 in 2017," the report said.

Aude Fleurant, SIPRI director of the Arms and Military Expenditure Program, said, "U.S. companies directly benefit from the U.S. Department of Defense’s ongoing demand for weapons," which could explain the necessity for a new war effort from the United States, after backing out of the Middle East.

Lockheed Martin, the world's leading largest arms producer in 2017, is a U.S. company which reported "arms sales of $44.9 billion" during that fiscal year.

"The gap between Lockheed Martin and Boeing—the two largest arms producers in the world—increased from $11 billion in 2016 to $18 billion in 2017," Fleurant said in the report.

According to the SIPRI,  if combined, "the arms sales of U.S. companies grew by 2.0 percent in 2017 to $226.6 billion, which accounted for 57 percent of total Top 100 arms sales."

The second largest arms producer is Russia and, together, "the combined arms sales of Russian companies accounted for 9.5 percent of the Top 100 total," the study said.

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"The arms sales of the 10 Russian companies listed in the Top 100...(is) $37.7 billion dollars," in 2017, which is significantly less than the US$44.9 billion sold by only one U.S. company, Lockheed Martin, that year.

The Venezuelan government continues to reject the U.S.-led "economic, financial, political, and electrical" war being perpetrated against the South American nation, President Nicolas Maduro said in a speech during Saturday's pro-chavismo rally.

“The technology used in the attack on our electrical system (that started on Thursday night) is held only by the US, no other country in the world has the resource," said President Maduro during the speech.

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