Between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018, the Pentagon sold over $54 billion from military sales to foreign governments alone. The Defense Department's comptroller, David Norquist, provided this data to reporters on October 3. This constituted a 62% increase in foreign sales from the previous year.
THAAD misssile system, Public Domain/wikia
Norquist explained how much this "matters", but not in the way those who are anti-war would see it:
I don't know if it's a record, but if it is, and it's close to that, that matters. It matters, not only because it helps our industrial base, ... it helps our economy. Those are folks buying equipment that's interoperable, and those are allies that we're now working with on a close and more regular basis.
What matters to Norquist is forging tighter relationships with allies. Making a shitload of money just happens to be a bonus, I suppose, to fueling wars in the Middle East, such as the Saudi Arabian genocidal war on Yemen. All the selling of military equipment and weaponry signals a steady stream of conflict in the world. Tensions have risen with China, the top economic rival with the U.S., and also with Russia as sanctions have increased.
The U.S. has had the largest defense budget ever, at $700 billion. That's $94 billion more than the previous year, which is a %15 increase. This is the largest increase in military spending since 2002 when the U.S. declared war on Afghanistan, which saw a 26% increase totaling $437 billion from $345 billion. That means the U.S. spends two times more on military and defense now than in 2001.
And next year the budget is expected to reach a total of $716 billion. The two nearest competitors are China and Russia who spend less than the U.S. on defense and the military. Tensions with Russia and China will likely help fuel sales of weaponry, as opposed to decreasing them.
Not everyone buys from the U.S. Russia also makes a killing by selling weaponry to nations, such as India. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi just recently signed a $5 billion deal with Russia to buy the S-4000 missile system. Despite having sanctions on Russia, the U.S. won't impose any on India. Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan spoke on the issue:
The dilemma with India is forever [that] the Indians bought equipment from Russia. So you have to buy spare parts, you have to maintain it, and it's not like you cut that off.
The Russian-made S-400 missile system apparently has a longer range than the U.S.-made THAAD missile system. And it costs less. Turkey, a NATO ally, also wants to buy some missiles and is looking at getting the S-400 system as well.
It seems it's understood that nations (who aren't being targeted by the U.S. or are in close competition) gotta buy weapons and shit. As long as you're buying weapons and not in conflict with the U.S., then it's all good I guess... Go figure. Competing war machines help fuel the industry, and they all win by selling it abroad. Whatever they don't sell is "paid" for (stolen) through the taxes of the citizenry. What a great system we have.
- US greenlights more than $54 billion in military equipment to foreign governments
- Pentagon to receive $700 billion this year in biggest budget ever for military
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