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Weapons Makers


Making bombs and fighter jets is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, buoyed by the Bush administration's "war on terrorism." World military spending accelerated sharply in 2002-increasing by 6% in real terms to $794 billion in current prices. It accounted for 2.5% of world Gross Domestic Product and was $128 per capita, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. For example companies like Boeing, Northrop Grumann and General Electric have made billions from manufacturing "smart bombs," amphibious assault ships and nuclear weapons.


US: Obama's Budget Calls for Billions in New Spending for Drones
by Jason LeopoldTruthout
February 2nd, 2010
Shares of major US defense contractors including Boeing, General Dynamics, and Northrop Grumman rose upon the unveiling of President Barack Obama's fiscal year 2011 spending plan for the Pentagon, part of the president's overall $3.8 trillion budget proposal. More than $2 billion will be used to purchase unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, blamed for a significant rise in civilian casualties in the "war on terror."

US: F.B.I. Charges Arms Sellers With Foreign Bribes
by Diana B. HenriquesNew York Times
January 20th, 2010
On Tuesday, 22 top-level arms industry executives, including a senior sales executive at Smith & Wesson, were arrested in what Justice Department officials called the first undercover sting ever aimed at violations of the federal ban on corporate bribes paid to get foreign business. The individuals are being prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

IRAQ: The Pentagon Garrisons the Gulf: As Washington Talks Iraq Withdrawal, the Pentagon Builds Up Bases in the Region
by Nick TurseTomDispatch.com
November 22nd, 2009
Despite recent large-scale insurgent suicide bombings that have killed scores of civilians and the fact that well over 100,000 U.S. troops are still deployed in that country, coverage of the U.S. war in Iraq has been largely replaced in the mainstream press by the (previously) "forgotten war" in Afghanistan. Getting out of Iraq, however, doesn't mean getting out of the Middle East.

US: Despite Slump, U.S. Role as Top Arms Supplier Grows
by Thom ShankerNew York Times
September 6th, 2009
Despite a recession that knocked down global arms sales last year, the United States expanded its role as the world’s leading weapons supplier, increasing its share to more than two-thirds of all foreign armaments deals, according to a new Congressional study.

CorpWatch Bribery Report Helps Spark Dutch Inquiry
by Anton Foek
August 20th, 2009

PAKISTAN: Attack in Pakistani Garrison City Raises Anxiety About Safety of Nuclear Labs and Staff
by Salman MasoodNew York Times
July 4th, 2009
A suicide attack Thursday in Rawalpindi was the first that singled out workers of Pakistan’s prized nuclear labs. Military analysts said they were from the Kahuta Research Laboratories, where weapons-grade uranium is produced. The lab was once run by Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s nuclear program and one of the most successful nuclear proliferators in history.

US: Contracting Boom Could Fizzle Out
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
April 7th, 2009
The surge in the U.S. military contracting workforce would ebb under Defense Secretary Gates's budget proposal as the Pentagon moves to replace private workers with full-time civil servants. The move could affect companies such as CACI and SAIC. "We are right-sizing the defense acquisition workforce so we can improve our contract oversight and get a better deal for the taxpayers," said the Pentagon's director of defense procurement and acquisition policy.

US: Gates Proposes Major Changes to Military Programs, Weapons Buys
by August ColeWall Street Journal
April 6th, 2009
Defense Secretary Robert Gates unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the Pentagon's top weapons priorities. The shake-up, a combination of defense contract cutbacks and policy changes, will stoke a smoldering debate in Congress, with cuts proposed for Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-22 Raptor and replacement of the president's fleet of Marine One helicopters.

US: Pentagon Weighs Cuts and Revisions of Weapons
by Christopher DrewNew York Times
April 3rd, 2009
U.S. defense executives and consultants are worried about the sweeping changes in military programs that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to announce on Monday. Weapons systems like missile defense are likely to endure deep cuts.

MEXICO: U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
by James C. McKinley, Jr.New York Times
February 25th, 2009
Phoenix-based gun dealer George Iknadosian of X-Calibur Guns will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would go to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

US: The Looming Crisis at the Pentagon
by Chalmers JohnsonTomDispatch.com
February 2nd, 2009
Like much of the rest of the world, Americans know that the U.S. automotive industry is in the grips of what may be a fatal decline. A similar crisis exists when it comes to the military-industrial complex. That crisis has its roots in the corrupt and deceitful practices that have long characterized the high command of the Armed Forces, civilian executives of the armaments industries, and Congressional opportunists and pay-to-play criminals.

Norway finds Canada's largest publicly-traded company, Barrick Gold, unethical
by Sakura Saundersprotestbarrick.net
February 2nd, 2009
Norway's Ministry of Finance announced Friday that it would exclude mining giant Barrick Gold and U.S. weapons producer Textron Inc from the country's pension fund for ethical reasons. This is an especially significant judgment for Canada, as Barrick Gold is currently Canada's largest publicly traded company.

US: Deputy SecDef could earn $500K lobbying Pentagon
by Lara JakesWashington Post
January 27th, 2009
William J. Lynn, the man nominated to be the Pentagon's second-in-command could make a half-million dollars next month with vested stock he earned as a lobbyist for military contractor Raytheon. This is despite an Obama administration order against "revolving door" lobbyists who become public officials.

UK: Britain's failure to tackle corruption damned amid new claims against BAE
by David LeighThe Guardian (UK)
October 18th, 2008
• Arms giant accused of fraud over Saudi deals • International monitors put UK ministers in dock

ISRAEL: U.S.-Israel jet deal sought: Pentagon backs sale of next-generation F-35s fighters to ally
by Stephen ManningChicago Tribune
October 2nd, 2008
The Defense Department said this week that it wants to sell as many as 75 fighter jets to Israel in a $15.2 billion deal for the aircraft expected to be the mainstay of air power in the United States and several other nations for decades.

ISRAEL: U.S. approves $330 million in arms deals for Israel
by Andrea Shalal-EsaReuters
September 9th, 2008
The U.S. government on Tuesday said it had approved up to $330 million in three separate arms deals for Israel, and sources tracking a much bigger deal for 25 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets said that agreement could be approved later this month.

UK-Zimbabwe: BAE linked to Zimbabwean arms dealer
by Christopher Thompson and Michael Peel Financial Times/UK
July 31st, 2008
According to documents seen by the Financial Times, BAE Systems has been linked to Zimbabwean arms trader John Bredenkamp. BAE reportedly paid at least £20m to Bredenkamp via offshore entities in the British Virgin Islands between 2003 and 2005. The payments raise fresh questions about bribery in BAE's dealings.

US: Arms Dealer Had Troubled History
by ERIC SCHMITTThe New York Times
June 25th, 2008
When the Army last year awarded a contract worth up to nearly $300 million to a tiny Miami Beach munitions dealer to supply ammunition to Afghanistan’s army and police forces, it was in spite of a very checkered past.

US: Cover-Up Is Cited on Illegal Arms
by ERIC SCHMITTThe New York Times
June 24th, 2008
A military attaché has told Congressional investigators that the American ambassador to Albania endorsed a plan by that country’s defense minister to remove evidence of illegal Chinese origins on ammunition being shipped from Albania to Afghanistan by a Miami Beach arms-dealing company.

US: Washington Blocks Exports of Munitions Firm Suspected of Fraud
by C. J. CHIVERSNew York Times
April 4th, 2008
The U.S. State Department on Thursday suspended the international export activities of AEY Inc., a Miami Beach arms-dealing company led by a 22-year-old man whose munitions procurements for the Pentagon are under criminal investigation.

AFGHANISTAN: Supplier Under Scrutiny on Aging Arms for Afghans
by C. J. CHIVERSThe New York Times
March 27th, 2008
With the award last January of a federal contract worth as much as nearly $300 million, the company, AEY Inc., which operates out of an unmarked office in Miami Beach, became the main supplier of munitions to Afghanistan’s army and police forces. Since then, the company has provided ammunition that is more than 40 years old and in decomposing packaging, according to an examination of the munitions by The New York Times and interviews with American and Afghan officials.

US: Energy Dept. Audit Finds Overcharges On Contracts Alleged 'Padding' By KBR Affiliate
by Dana HedgpethWashington Post
October 30th, 2007
Energy Dept. Audit Finds Overcharges On Contracts Alleged 'Padding' By KBR Affiliate

UK: Peer was paid to introduce lobbyist to minister
by David Leigh and Rob EvansThe Guardian
October 26th, 2007
A Labour peer has admitted taking money to introduce an arms company lobbyist to the government minister in charge of weapons purchases.

US: Clinton Bucks The Trend and Rakes in Cash From The US Weapons Industry
by Leonard DoyleThe Independent (UK)
October 19th, 2007
The US arms industry is backing Hillary Clinton for President and has all but abandoned its traditional allies in the Republican party.

US: U.S. probes Blackwater weapons shipments
by Joseph NeffNews & Observer (North Carolina)
September 22nd, 2007
The U.S. government is investigating whether private military contractor Blackwater USA, blamed for the deaths of 11 Iraqis in Baghdad on Sunday, has been shipping unlicensed automatic weapons and military goods to Iraq.

INDIA: Building a Modern Arsenal in India
by Heather Timmons and Somini SenguptaThe New York Times
August 31st, 2007
India is developing a military appetite to match its growing economic power. With a ballooning arms budget, India will soon become one of the largest military markets in the world, making it an important new target for American arms manufacturers.

UK: British firm under scrutiny for export of Bosnian guns to Iraq
by Jamie Doward and Johnny McDevittThe Observer (UK)
August 13th, 2007
MPs and Amnesty International demand to know if a Nottingham-based company has breached the United Nations arms embargo

US: As Iraq Costs Soar, Contractors Earn Record Profits
by Eli CliftonInter Press Service News Agency
August 2nd, 2007
In a report to lawmakers earlier this week, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that the war in Iraq could cost U.S. taxpayers over a trillion dollars when the long-term costs of caring for soldiers wounded in action, military and economic aid for the Iraqi government, and ongoing costs associated with the 190,000 troops stationed in Iraq are totaled up.

WORLD: US probes Saudi-linked UK arms firm
by David Robertson and Tom BaldwinThe Times (London)
June 28th, 2007
The British and US governments are on a diplomatic collision course after the US Department of Justice launched a formal investigation into allegations of corruption at defence company BAE Systems. The US investigation will scrutinise BAE's dealings with Saudi Arabia to expose an account allegedly held by the Bank of England that is used to facilitate Saudi payments for arms.

US: Bandar Bribery Case Crosses the Atlantic
by Emad Mekay Inter Press Service News Agency
June 27th, 2007
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating allegations of bribery by the British defence contractor BAE Systems to Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, a high-ranking member of the Saudi royal family with wide contacts and relations here.

UK: Rowntree dumps its Reed shares
by Katherine GriffithsTelegraph
February 13th, 2007
Two investors in Reed Elsevier have sold their shares as a protest that the publishing giant runs arms fairs which have included the sale of torture equipment.

IRAQ: US money is 'squandered' in Iraq
BBC News
January 31st, 2007
Millions of dollars in US rebuilding funds have been wasted in Iraq, US auditors say in a report which warns corruption in the country is rife.

US: Lockheed Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
by Richard CummingsPlayboy.com
January 16th, 2007
If you think the Iraq war hasn't worked out very well for anyone, think again. Defense contractors such as Lockheed are thriving. And no wonder: Here's the story how Lockheed's interests- as opposed to those of the American citizenry- set the course of U.S. policy after 9/11.

SAUDI ARABIA: Arms deal probe stopped over Saudi threat to cease terror help
Agence France Presse
December 18th, 2006
A British investigation into a controversial arms deal with Saudi Arabia was stopped because Riyadh threatened to withdraw all co-operation on security and intelligence, a newspaper has reported.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi 'slush fund' investigation discontinued
by Elsa McLaren and Andrew EllsonTimes Online U.K.
December 14th, 2006
A two-year corruption investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) into a £60 million "slush fund" that was allegedly set up for members of Saudi Arabia's royal family was discontinued today.

INDIA: "Bribery scandal could harm defense ties with India"
by Ran DagoniGlobes (Israel)
October 24th, 2006
Allegations made by the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation that Israeli defense firms bribed Indian officials so that they would prefer Israeli products could chill defense ties between the two countries, warns US magazine “Defense Week.”

EU: EU firms getting round China arms embargo
by Andrew RettmanEU Observer
October 3rd, 2006
European firms such as AugustaWestland and Eurocopter are supplying components for Chinese combat helicopters via networks of global subsidiaries and re-exporters despite the EU's 17-year old China arms embargo, NGOs have warned.

CANADA: Our side of defence
by Jorge BarreraThe Ottawa Times
August 20th, 2006
Ottawa may have the reputation of a government town, but it's also home to Canada's military-industrial complex.

US: Army May End Lockheed Spy Plane Contract
Associated Press
January 12th, 2006
The Army is expected to cancel a Lockheed Martin Corp. contract to build a new spy plane, according to industry and Pentagon officials, despite efforts by the defense contractor to solve problems that include lightening the plane's weight.

UK: Britain in $70 Billion Jet Deal With Saudi Arabia
Agence France Presse
December 21st, 2005
Britain is to supply Saudi Arabia with Typhoon jets in a massive deal reported to be worth up to 70 billion dollars, that primarily benefits British company BAE Systems, the Ministry of Defence said.

US: Raytheon wins US$1.3 billion army contract for new radar system
Associated Press
November 15th, 2005
Raytheon Co. said Tuesday it won a $1.3-billion-US army contract to develop and test a new radar system designed to protect troops from cruise missile attacks.

Iraq: Army Contract Again Disputed
by T. Christian MillerLos Angeles Times
May 26th, 2004
The U.S. Army has, for the second time, awarded a contract to supply the Iraqi security forces to a consortium of companies with little arms experience and whose participants include a friend of controversial Iraqi official Ahmad Chalabi.

US: Boeing reports $623 million profit, surge in defense revenue
by Dave CarpenterAssociated Press
April 28th, 2004
Boeing Co. rode an 18 percent surge in revenue from its defense contracting unit to a far-better-than-expected $623 million profit in the first quarter and raised its earnings estimates for 2004 and 2005.

US: Jets, IT Drive Lockheed Gains
by Renae MerleWashington Post
April 28th, 2004
Lockheed Martin Corp. reported a 16 percent jump in first-quarter profit yesterday as demand for fighter aircraft and information technology continued to boost sales.

US: Probe of Boeing, Documents Expanded
by Renae MerleWashington Post
April 28th, 2004
A criminal investigation into whether Boeing Co. used stolen Lockheed Martin Corp. documents to win an Air Force contract has grown to include an examination of NASA contract competitions, sources close to the inquiry said yesterday.

US: Boeing Turns to New CEO and the Pentagon
by Julie CreswellFortune
April 19th, 2004
The aerospace giant saw its blue-chip reputation and cherished status as an innovator flipped upside down last year. Two of its top executives became entangled in an ethics investigation by the Pentagon, while other employees faced criminal charges involving industrial espionage. The government penalized Boeing by canceling rocket launches valued at about $ 1 billion and is holding up a $ 17 billion aerial tanker contract. Furthermore, Boeing infuriated investors with a billion-dollar surprise charge last summer. And underlying this sorry litany was a simpler, larger problem: In 2003, for the first time, Boeing sold fewer planes than the other global aviation superpower, Europe's Airbus Industrie.

UK: BAE Chairman 'Close' to Accused Executive
by David Leigh and Rob EvansGuardian (London)
April 7th, 2004
Sir Dick Evans, the chairman of BAE Systems, had close personal links with the arms firm executive accused of providing free holidays and gifts for a Ministry of Defence official, it was alleged last night. Tony Winship, a former BAE employee, is the executive at the centre of allegations revealed in yesterday's Guardian that a BAE slush fund paid for a series of unauthorised luxury hotel stays for a civil servant in the MoD's arms sales unit.

US: Diminished Oversight Leads to Overpricing
by David PhinneyFederal Times
April 5th, 2004
Ken Pedeleose’s eyes popped in awe as he plowed through a bill for airplane parts in 1999: $2,522 for a 4½-inch metal sleeve, $744 for a washer, $714 for a rivet, and $5,217 for a 1-inch metal bracket.

Japan: Arms Export Ban To Be Revisited
by Mariko SanchantaFinancial Times
April 1st, 2004
Japan's decision to dispatch troops from its self-defence force to southern Iraq has marked a watershed inthe country's postwar history and jarred the pacifist roots of its constitution. But while Japan may now be shipping its soldiers to Samawah, it still struggles to export Japanese-made weapons. A four-decade ban on the sale of weapons abroad has left the country's defence industry largely impotent on the world stage.

Iraq: Trade Fair Postponed Over Security Fears
by Joshua Chaffin and Salamander DavoudiFinancial Times
April 1st, 2004
The deteriorating security situation in Iraq has prompted the postponement of a US-led trade fair aimed at accelerating reconstruction in the country amid heightening concerns about the safety of foreign civilians working there. Organisers of Destination Baghdad Expo, that was due to begin on Monday, postponed the event following the gruesome killings on Wednesday of four western contract workers in the city of Falluja.

Poland: Company Tied to Secret Services May Win Iraqi Tender
Polish News Bulletin
March 11th, 2004

Iraq: Marketplace Deaths Caused by Raytheon Missile
by Cahal MilmoIndependent (London)
April 2nd, 2003
An American missile, identified from the remains of its serial number, was pinpointed yesterday as the cause of the explosion at a Baghdad market on Friday night that killed at least 62 Iraqis. The codes on the foot-long shrapnel shard, seen by the Independent correspondent Robert Fisk at the scene of the bombing in the Shu'ale district, came from a weapon manufactured in Texas by Raytheon, the world's biggest producer of "smart" armaments.

US: Unjust Rewards
by Ken SilversteinMother Jones
May 1st, 2002
The government continues to award federal business worth billions to companies that repeatedly break the law. A Mother Jones investigation reveals which major contractors are the worst offenders.

Palestine: Death in Bethlehem, Made in America
by Robert FiskThe Independent (U.K.)
April 15th, 2001
Lockheed Martin of Florida and the Federal Laboratories of Pennsylvania have made quite a contribution to life in the municipality of Bethlehem. Or, in the case of Lockheed, death. Pieces of the US manufacturer's Hellfire air-to-ground missile lie in the local civil defence headquarters in Bethlehem less than two months after it exploded in 18-year-old Osama Khorabi's living room, killing him instantly.

US: A Blank Check from Washington for Colombia's Dirty War
by Mark WeisbrotAlterNet
April 1st, 2000
One of the problems with deleting our government's worst crimes from America's historical hard drive is that they tend to recur. How many people even know the hideous story of how we supported and financed the slaughter of tens of thousands – innocent civilians, teachers, health care and church workers – in Central America in the 1980s?

Brazil: Amazon Contractor Raytheon has CIA Ties
by Pratap ChatterjeeInter Press Service
December 3rd, 1995
A contract to monitor the Amazon rainforest in Brazil will include a shadowy company once described as ''virtually indistinguishable'' from the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The 1.4-billion-dollar contract for satellite monitoring of drug trafficking and deforestation in the 3.2-million-square-kilometre forests in the Brazilian Amazon was awarded last summer to Raytheon, a 12-billion-dollar, Massachusetts-based company, Raytheon, that makes Patriot and Sidewinder missiles.

Brazil: Police Wiretap Jeopardizes Raytheon Radar Project
by Katherine Ellison The Miami Herald
November 25th, 1995
It was meant to be a shining model of the new era of inter-American trade: a $1.4 billion U.S. contract -- the largest ever awarded in Brazil -- in which the Massachusetts- based Raytheon Corp. would build a vast radar project in the Amazon jungle.