Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

USA #1.....Oh, Not so Good

A map showing the fiscal year 2017 total U.S. weapon sales by region.


Defense News reports:

The State Department has set a new one-year record for clearing weapon sales, with $75.9 billion cleared by the department and announced by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency in fiscal year 2017.

That total covers all announced cleared weapons packages from October 1, 2016, through September 12, 2017, leaving two more weeks for that number to increase before the end of the fiscal year.

The previous record for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, or DSCA, sales announcements was $68.6 billion, set in fiscal year 2012 following the approval of a series of massive weapons packages for Saudi Arabia. In comparison, in fiscal year 2016, DSCA cleared $33.6 billion in potential weapon sales.

A State Department official declined to address setting the record directly, instead noting that “strengthening the defense capabilities of U.S. allies and their ability to partner with our forces is a smarter approach to protecting the United States, is a force multiplier for the U.S. warfighter, and ultimately, benefits U.S. industry by driving new innovation and creating high-quality American jobs.”

As in 2012, the vast majority of dollars approved came from a few huge notifications. The sale of F-15s to Qatar ($21.1 billion), F/A-18E/F fighters to Kuwait ($10.1 billion), the Canada F/A-18 agreement ($5.2 billion) Patriot PAC-3 weapons to Romania ($3.9 billion), CH-47 Chinooks to Saudi Arabia ($3.51 billion) and Apache AH-64E for the UAE ($3.5 billion) all helped push the total to record highs.

My question:  When weapons are America's #1 industrial export product, what is the global marketing strategy for that product line?

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