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US foreign military sales already a record 50 billion dollars, up 70% from 2011

Saturday, June 16th 2012 - 05:54 UTC
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Andrew Shapiro, ‘demand for US defence products and services is stronger than ever’ Andrew Shapiro, ‘demand for US defence products and services is stronger than ever’

US Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro said that 2012 is already a record-breaking year for US foreign military sales, which are government-to-government sales.

Speaking in Washington this week about how the US State Department's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is engaging with allies and partners to expand the defence trade, the US official cited some key data in the 655 Report released last week, which is an annual report of defence articles and services that were authorized for export.

The report focuses on direct commercial sales, and it showed that there was a more than 10 billion dollars increase in Fiscal Year 2011 in items authorized for transfer. In 2011, the Directorate for Defence Trade Controls, which is part of the Political-Military Bureau, processed more than 83,000 licenses, the most ever.

Shapiro said Washington had already surpassed 50 billion dollars in sales in Fiscal Year 2012. This represents at least a 20 billion increase over Fiscal Year 2011, with more than a quarter of the fiscal year left.

Fiscal Year 2011 was a record-setting year at just over 30 billion. This fiscal year will be at least 70% greater than Fiscal Year 2011. These sales support tens of thousands of American jobs, which are welcome news for the economy, according to Shapiro.

He noted that the United States has seen “tremendous growth and sales with developing countries and emerging powers such as Brazil and India, and this speaks volumes about our diplomatic efforts.”

Despite the global economic strain, demand for US defence products and services is stronger than ever, Shapiro added.

He said the State Department was going to continue to press and advocate for US arms sales, adding that additional sales are expected in FY13 from countries like India. ”We've made tremendous progress in the relationship (with India) over the last decade. We went from nearly zero sales to about 8 billion dollars in arms sales to India,”

Top Comments

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  • Condorito

    Brazil getting ready to flex some muscle.
    How big is the “Blue Amazon”?
    Does it stretch all the way to the coast of Africa?

    Jun 16th, 2012 - 01:58 pm 0
  • AmericanLight

    While Argentina will defend its lands ( and try to claim other lands that doesn't belong to them as their ie Antarctica ) utilizing boleadoras and slingshots....maybe they will unleash their terrifying special forces piqueteros/villeros....

    Jun 17th, 2012 - 12:49 am 0
  • JohnN

    Ironic that a photo on website of Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is of UN African peace-keepers marching with AK-47s - not exactly boosting business for US arms exporters?

    More importantly, the notion of profiting from arm sales to US “allies and partners” seems rather sketchy, given that so many of those “allies and partners” have been implicated in human rights abuses, where US arms might be involved. However, issue of Russian weapons in Syria - in the face of UN arms embargos - does suggest that if the US isn't into the weapons trade, others are ready to expand that have less regard for any international sanctions on illegal weapons trade - often paid for by blood diamonds in the case of recently-incarcerated Charles Taylor and his Russian weapons dealer/transporter Viktor Bout (aka Merchant of Death).

    Nevertheless, Russia is #2 arms exporter to the world and they have their own huge problems with their weapons going to purchasers with poor human rights records - not to mention the record of Russia itself within its own territory such as the Caucasus.

    Bureau of Political-Military Affairs:

    Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, 2012 Yearbook Summary:

    Liberians Welcome Charles Taylor's Gun Runner, Victor Bout 25 Years Sentence:

    Jun 17th, 2012 - 02:39 am 0
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