NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

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NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

(U.S. Air Force Photo by/ Senior Airman Justin Fuchs)

Written by Brian Colughley; Originally appeared strategic-culture.org

Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer. It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 World Report that “at $66.3 billion, Russia’s military spending in 2017 was 20 per cent lower than in 2016.”

Even Radio Free Europe, the US government’s anti-Russia broadcaster, records that Russia has reduced its defence spending.

NATO Is a Goldmine for US Weapons’ Industries

There is demonstrably no threat whatever to any NATO country by Russia, but this is considered irrelevant in the context of US arms’ sales, which are flourishing and being encouraged to increase and multiply.

On July 12, the second and final day of the recent US-NATO meeting, Reuters reported Trump as saying that “the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything.”  He went on “to list the top US arms makers, Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp by name.”

On July 11 the Nasdaq Stock Exchange listed the stock price of Lockheed Martin at $305.68.  The day after Trump’s speech, it increased to $318.37.

On July 11 the Nasdaq Stock Exchange listed the stock price of Boeing at $340.50.  The day after Trump’s speech, it increased to $350.79.

On July 11 the New York Stock Exchange listed the stock price of Northrop Grumman (it doesn’t appear on Nasdaq) at $311.71.  The day after Trump’s speech, it increased to $321.73.

General Dynamics, another major US weapons producer, might not be too pleased, however, because its stock price rose only slightly, from $191.51 to $192.74.  Nor might Raytheon, the maker of the Patriot missile system which Washington is selling all over the world, because its stock went up by a modest five dollars, from $194.03 to $199.75.  Perhaps they will be named by Trump the next time he makes a speech telling his country’s bemused allies to buy US weapons.

Trump also declared that “We have many wealthy countries with us today [July 12 at the NATO Conference] but we have some that aren’t so wealthy and they did ask me if they could buy the military equipment, and could I help them out, and we will help them out a little bit,” which made it clear that poorer countries that want to buy American weapons will probably not have to put cash down for their purchases. So it wasn’t altogether surprising that the stock prices of the three arms manufacturers named by Trump all rose by over ten dollars.

To further boost this bonanza, the State Department did its best to make US arms sales even easier by enabling weapons manufacturers to avoid the well-constructed checks and balances that had been in place to ensure that at least a few legal, moral and economic constraints would be observed when various disreputable regimes queued up to buy American weapons.

But these regulations no longer apply, because on July 13 the State Department announced new measures to “fast-track government approval of proposals from defense and aerospace companies” which action was warmly welcomed by the President of the US Chamber of Commerce Defence and Aerospace Export Council, Keith Webster, who is “looking forward to continued collaboration with the White House on initiatives that further expand international opportunities for the defense and aerospace industries.”

There was yet more boosting by Lt-General Charles Hooper, Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, who declared at the Farnborough International Air Show on July 18 that “Defense exports are good for our national security, they’re good for our foreign policy. And they’re good for our economic security.”  He then proposed that his agency cut the transportation fee charged to foreign military sales clients, which would be a major stimulant for sales of “the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns” so valued by Mr Trump. Obviously a devoted follower of his President, the General followed the Trump line with dedication by reminding the media that “as the administration and our leadership has said, economic security is national security.”  This man just might go places in Trump World.

But he won’t go as far as the arms manufacturers, whose future growth and profits are assured under Trump and the Washington Deep State, which is defined as “military, intelligence and government officials who try to secretly manipulate government policy.”  US weapons producers have realised, as said so presciently two thousand years ago by the Roman statesman, Cicero, that “the sinews of war are infinite money,” and their contentment will continue to grow in synchrony with their financial dividends.

Voice of America joined the chorus of reportage on July 12 and observed that “with Thursday’s renewed pledge by NATO countries to meet defense spending goals, some of the biggest beneficiaries could be US weapons manufacturers, which annually already export billions of dollars worth of arms across the globe.”

Within European NATO, the biggest spenders on US arms, thus far, are Poland, Romania, Britain and Greece, and the amounts involved are colossal.  Poland, whose economy is booming, has signed an agreement to buy Patriot missile systems for $4.75 billion, adding to the purchase of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles for $200 million, Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, costing $250 million, and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems for the same amount. Delivery of its 48 F-16 multi-role strike aircraft ($4.7 billion) began in 2006, and Warsaw has proved a loyal customer ever since.  Who knows what exotic new piece of US hardware will be ordered as a result of Mr Trump’s encouragement?

Romania, a country with only 750 kilometres of motorway (tiny Belgium has 1,700 km), has been seeking World Bank assistance for its road projects but is unlikely to benefit because it is so gravely corrupt. This has not stopped it purchasing US artillery rocket systems for $1.25 billion and Patriot missiles for a colossal $3.9 billion, following-on from construction in May 2016 of a US Aegis missile station, at Washington’s expense.  It forms part of the US-NATO encirclement of Russia, and its missiles are to be operational this year.

The message for European NATO is that the US is pulling out all stops to sell weapons, and that although, for example, “about 84% of the UK’s total arms imports come from the United States”, there is room for improvement.  Slovakia is buying $150 millions’ worth of helicopters and paying a satisfying $2.91 billion for F-16 fighters, but other NATO countries appear to have been less disposed to purchase more of “the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns” that Mr Trump has on offer.

The mine of NATO gold is there for exploitation, and following Trump’s enthusiastic encouragement of his arms’ manufacturers it seems that extraction will be effective. The US Military-Industrial Complex stands to gain handsomely from its President’s campaign to boost the quantities of weapons in the world.

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  • New Israel is Muslim

    Russia is not buying the SU-57, low amount of buy of the T-14, so much so that the manufacturer is loosing money.

    Russia iIs spending on the most important aspect, air/missile defense. And spending on R&D to stay ahead of jewamerica.

    • FlorianGeyer

      You are as always being disingenuous here. Playing in both camps is a typical zio troll tactic.

      The T14 rollout has always been scheduled as a gradual process as well as the SU 57 which is still in de facto development .

      Mass production of unreliable weapons is the method of US procurement, hence the F35 debacle.

      • Brad Isherwood

        https://www.rt.com/news/434635-armata-high-cost-army/

        Russia knew going in the Su 57 was only low RCS. ..as all Stealth aircraft are really just low RCS, as WW 2 Era radar can detect them.
        Sling weapons or fuel tanks on the frame and what low RCS was working is cancelled.
        Stealth compartment weapons Bay limit aircrafts tactical load out.

        Why spend Millions on something that is comparable to lesser Gen airframe with upgrades?

        Russia’s Navy got sidelined by failed upgrade programs.
        Kalibr and several of the New classes give Russia a very capable Navy,
        US will no doubt harass nations who intend to buy Russian Built Kalibr armed warships.

        Russia could focus on production line /volume upgrade programs to extant foreign sales Su and Mig.
        Radar,computer,weapons, …engine/vector engine nozzles.

        I’d back down on my Putin bashing if He’d arrange for SyAAF get older Russian Su 30 SM with upgrade.
        Also….why not give Syria older Su 27 s and let them have license to upgrade them by Syrian techs…
        Syria’s technicians worked on Su 24m2 upgrades

        • John Whitehot

          “I’d back down on my Putin bashing if He’d arrange for SyAAF get older Russian Su 30 SM with upgrade.”

          I didn’t know Putin is the president of Syria.

          I also never heard him ordering allied countries to buy weapons like Trump has done.

          Perhaps because in Russia, the government has authority over the military industrial complex, not the other way around like in the US.

        • FlorianGeyer

          President Putin is a ‘chess player’ Master. I am sure he would like to arm Syria with all sorts of defensive weapons to deter the US Coalition BUT he realises that the US Coalition has the will and the ability to crush even a well defended Syria if the political hurdles could be crossed.

          That being the (debatable) case it has surely been a wise decision by Russia (and the Assad Government) thus far , not to give the US and Israel ANY excuse to declare war on Syria.

          There is also the issue of Turkey, that would have been less likely to move away from the diktats of NATO and to engage with Russia in the Astana Process if Syria was being armed with more potent weapons.

          • Concrete Mike

            Well said sir, Syria has been very wise to not take the israeli bait. Syria knows israel are cowards anyways, let them be dicks. Syrians have more important work to do.

          • Jens Holm

            There is no bait to take according to Israel. You say it according to ancient konstructuvisme of yours for making more internal crap. Thats why You keep Your population stupid too.

            And what about Your own carrot as You see it Yourself. You probatly only can change direction in towns with big streets or in the desert.

            So far theý have not suicided 500.000 of their own and expelled 11 mio. from their homes. I am a coward like them. If I can avoid it, i will never die as a spendable objekt or sheep as Syrians do with Assad a toastmaster.Big smile.

            Jews probatly wrote the Holy Choran to keep You down and before that made Muhammed Economics.

    • New Israel is Muslim

      Russia Will Not Mass-Produce 5th Generation Stealth Fighter Jet

      Mass-production of the Su-57 is not needed now, according to Russia’s deputy defense minister.

      Russia has no plans for mass-producing the PAK/FA Sukhoi Su-57
      fighter jet, the country’s first indigenously designed and built
      fifth-generation stealth fighter aircraft, Russian Deputy Defense
      Minister, Yuri Borisov, said during an appearance on Russian television
      on July 2.

      In the interview, the deputy defense minister spoke about the aircraft’s recent deployment to Syria,
      but also noted that serial production of the Su-57 does not make sense
      at this stage and would only occur once the Russian Air Force’s older
      fourth-generation fighter jets lag behind their Western equivalents.

      “The plane has proven to be very good, including in Syria, where it
      confirmed its performance and combat capabilities,” Borisov said. “You
      know that today the Su-57 is considered to be one of the best aircrafts
      produced in the world. Consequently, it does not make sense to speed up
      work on mass-producing the fifth-generation aircraft.”

      https://thediplomat.com/2018/07/russia-will-not-mass-produce-5th-generation-stealth-fighter-jet/

  • Sinbad2

    What’s the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?

    Republicans want to bomb China.
    Democrats want to bomb Russia.

  • Jens Holm

    Its completly forgotten, that almost all countries in Nato has said vertical NO Trumpet.

    Its also forgotten those arms are replacing others as well as several of them will come not now but fx in 2028, where the old suff we have now, will be 10 years older.

    Its also forgotten that we export weapon and important part to others to USA as well as to other countries.

    As nato member, we dont by things from Trump one of the most unreliable partners in the years of Nato.

    We buy what we think is the best. True its a brutto-netto trade like If We buy some of Yours, you have to buy some of ours. And they doo. We also are Co producers.

    Finally You cant compare as the figure says. The price level in Russia i several times lower. If You fx compare BNP for Spain and Russia they are kind of the same, but Russia is bigger then Spain in most matters after all. Are they not ???

  • Davki

    Yepp, right… only that Trump cannot and does not ‘order’ anyone to do this or that (nice spin, though).
    The US weapons industry is huge, like that of European nations. However, none of these nations depends as much on weapons’ sales as does Russia. Their sales have skyrocketed too… and they’re desperate to get into new markets (see sales to Turkey, Saudi-Arabia – yes, they’re *that* desperate). Under Chancellor Merkel, Germany started to sell successively more weapons. Conservative governments have always been friends with the merchants of death.

  • Don’t forget the countless Hollywood war movies.