Ukraine War Is Shaking Up Global Arms Industry
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of LA Progressive (A popular Los Angeles Newspaper)
Posted: April 27th, 2023
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that six countries—the U.S., Russia, France, China, Germany, and Italy—were responsible for 80 percent of global weapons exports from 2018 to 2022. The U.S. alone counted for 40 percent, while Russia was a distant second at 16 percent. Maintaining and growing their market share is a prerogative for countries that export weapons. Turkey has sold many drones to Ukraine, while Iran has sold its own arsenal to Russia. Both Turkey and Iran are aiming to pitch their products as low-cost alternatives to Western manufacturers. Turkey, however, is still in talks to buy Russia's S-400 missile defense system. Its provision of weapons to Ukraine, while it continues to negotiate weapons deals with Russia, demonstrates the complicated nature of the global arms industry. The war in Ukraine continues to underline how integral the arms industry is to geopolitics. China, for example, has not provided weapons to either Ukraine or Russia, but its largest civilian drone maker, DJI, is one of the most important suppliers for their militaries. The U.S. has been criticized in recent years for its weapons exports to Saudi Arabia, which is under fire for human rights abuses and for its conflict in Yemen. And though claims of Western weapons being smuggled out of Ukraine have often been dismissed, there is concern that many of the weapons sent to the Ukrainian military have or will end up on the black market.
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