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U.S. arms policy and practice too often fuel war rather than deterring it. Roughly two-thirds of current conflicts involve one or more parties armed by the United States.
On Thursday, the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft (Qi) published a report indicating that U.S. arms sales increased during the Presidency of Joe Biden, despite the fact that the Democratic politician promised that this would not happen when he was a candidate.
U.S. sales have increased even to those countries that Washington considers to have "repressive regimes," the Qi investigators said, specifying that most of the sales involve Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, and General Dynamics. These companies have been involved in 58 percent of all major deals made since President Biden took office in 2019.
"The concentrated lobbying power of these companies — including a 'revolving door' from the Pentagon's arms sales agency and the leveraging of weapons export-related jobs into political influence — has been brought to bear in efforts to expand U.S. weapons exports to as many foreign clients as possible, often by helping to exaggerate threats, the Qi report points out
U.S. arms sales abroad fell from US$111 billion in the last year of the Donald Trump administration to US$36 billion in the first year of the Biden administration. After this temporary result, however, the trend reversed and business resumed its usual pace.
In October, annual arms deals rose to US$65 billion due to increased sales to Asia and Europe, where the Ukrainian conflict is raging.
"Current U.S. arms policy and practice too often fuel war rather than deterring it. Roughly two-thirds of current conflicts — 34 out of 46 — involve one or more parties armed by the U.S. In some cases U.S. arms sales to combatants in these wars are modest, while in others they play a major role in fueling and sustaining the conflict," the Qi researchers explained.
"Of the U.S.-supplied nations at war, 15 received US$50 million or more worth of U.S. arms between 2017 and 2021. This contradicts the longstanding argument that U.S. arms routinely promote stability and deter conflict."
In Sept., the top recipients of U.S. arms were Indonesia, Greece, and Germany, each of them with purchase orders of over US$10 billion. Lockheed Martin had most of the big deals.