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Is this consistent with our national security interests? Does this make us safer throughout the world?

U.S. Remains Leader in Global Arms Sales, Report Says
By THOM SHANKER

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 "” The United States maintained its dominance in the international arms market last year, especially in sales to developing nations, according to a new Congressional report.

The United States was the leader in total worldwide sales in 2002, with about $13.3 billion, or 45.5 percent of global conventional weapons deals, a rise from $12.1 billion in 2001. Of that, $8.6 billion was to developing nations, or about 48.6 percent of conventional arms deals concluded with developing nations last year, according to the report.

Russia was second in sales to the developing world last year, with $5 billion, followed by France with $1 billion.

While the report focuses on sales and deliveries of conventional weapons from the industrialized world to poorer nations, it also offers a glimpse into such issues as missile proliferation by North Korea and foreign weapons transfers to Iraq.

The new report, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1995-2002," was sent to the House and Senate this week by the Congressional Research Service, an arm of the Library of Congress. The annual study, written by Richard F. Grimmett, a specialist in national defense at the research service, is considered the most authoritative resource available to the public on worldwide weapons sales.

From 1999 to 2002, there were no deliveries of surface-to-surface missiles to the Middle East from arms makers in the United States, Russia, China or Europe, the report said.

But the study says 60 surface-to-surface missiles were delivered to the Middle East by nations in the category "All Others," which includes such suppliers as Israel, South Africa and North Korea.

United States officials, both military and civilian, said today that North Korea was the source of the surface-to-surface missile deliveries listed in the report, and of 10 anti-ship missiles delivered to the Middle East in that period.

President Bush has increased public pressure on North Korea and Iran over their nuclear programs, and the administration is organizing a number of joint military exercises to train for the interdiction of possible shipments. The goal of these exercises is to make it more difficult to transmit components of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons "” and the missiles to deliver them.

But difficulties in halting North Korea's missile trade were evident in December, when a North Korean cargo vessel that was not flying a flag was halted off the Horn of Africa by two Spanish warships.

A search revealed 15 Scud missiles hidden beneath the cargo. But the vessel was eventually allowed to sail on with the missiles to its destination in Yemen after officials conceded that neither North Korea nor Yemen had violated any treaties.

In addition to the shipment to Yemen, North Korea is suspected of selling missile technology to Iran and others, Pentagon officials said.

The study says that none of the major arms makers delivered weapons to Iraq from 1999 to 2002 "” or at least not in amounts of more than $50 million, the lowest sales amount included in the study.

But a category of nations labeled "All Other European," which includes formerly Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe, delivered about $100 million worth of weapons to Iraq from 1999 to 2002, although the report does not specify the source of the deliveries.

Ukraine is believed by American officials to have sold an advanced Kolchuga radar system to Iraq, Pentagon officials said.

Arms deals with developing nations in 2002 totaled $17.7 billion, more than the $16.2 billion for 2001 but the second-lowest total for the years 1995 to 2002. (The report measures sales and deliveries in dollar totals adjusted for inflation, called "constant 2002 dollars.")

"Many developing nations have curtailed their expenditures on weaponry primarily due to their limited financial resources," Mr. Grimmett wrote in the report. "To meet their military requirements, in current circumstances, a number of developing nations have placed a greater emphasis on upgrading existing weapons systems while deferring purchases of new and costlier ones."

Total arms transfer agreements reached nearly $29.2 billion in 2002, a decrease from 2001 and the second year in a row that total arms sales dropped, according to the study.



Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

© MBM

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Yes, but not because american weapons are valued and desired by the world community. American technology is considered the best, and nations take their own defense quite seriously. Theres NEVER been another number one.

Many nations got chummy with Hitler too, before he went mad. Didn't make him any 'better' or 'glorious' for it however. No different here.

It could be said to be 'ironic', but are you saying you think it was 'wrong' to help the nation of Afghanistan win their freedom from the Soviets? Isn't THAT the more ironic of the two events? The double crossing and stabbing in the back?

Also saved a whole lot of muslims in bosnia and yugoslavia as well, and what did that get the US? Public Infidel Number One status. Some irony there as well. And of course theres the Kuwaitees, although I don't think they've turned on the US yet that I know of. But if they do, you have 'irony' once again.

The US supports Afghan freedom fighters, along with the cause of the arab straglers like osama, and brings them victory over certain Soviet subjugation and destruction, and they turn around and stab the US in the back a short time later.

To me, that is the ironic part.

Another irony might be the US is doing it again! The liberation of 25 million arabs in Iraq is certainly more liberation than any arab nation has ever done anywhere, or did for the Iraqis all those years, not to mention the amount of dollars given out. Come to think of it, the UN watched idly as saddam ruled as well. Yeah, what a great organization to have around, always there when you need them right.

The Arab world didn't do a damn thing for their Iraqi brothers, all that time! Truly Pitiful.

Watch Iraq become a world superpower by colonizing Africa, and blow up the world with their 'legal' nukes one day. Now, THAT would be irony.

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 26, 2003 at 07:35 PM.]
quote:
Originally posted by Mountain:

It could be said to be 'ironic', but are you saying you think it was 'wrong' to help the nation of Afghanistan win their freedom from the Soviets?


I think it foolish to execute foreign policy without perspective. It's like driving a car looking only down at the road immediately in front of you.

P.S. Do you think the United States really cared one iota about the Afghan (or Iraqi or Iranian or Chilean or El Salvadoran or Vietnamese or whomever) people?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
No, I don't. Doesn't change a thing however.

Are you saying resisting the soviets was without 'perspective'? How so?

You are aware of osamas 'bit' part in the afghan war, correct? He was virtually unknown by us forces, and shunned by the afghani fighters, who considered the arabs in general as clumsy fighters and more trouble than they were worth.

Theres no way that anyone could have dreamed osama, who was not much of a fighter/leader, but a money man, a financier, would one day grow up and want to take over the world. I mean, come now, perspective is one thing, but crystal balls and tarot cards are what you are talking about now mbm.

[This message was edited by Mountain on September 26, 2003 at 08:41 PM.]


[This message was edited by Mountain on September 26, 2003 at 08:47 PM.]
quote:
Originally posted by MBM:

Is this consistent with our national security interests? Does this make us safer throughout the world?




The answer is no. I does not make us any safer, and certainly does not make the rest of the world any safer.


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Sorpresas te da la vida...,
¡Ay, Dios!"

   Rubén Blades---Pedro Navaja   


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