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Riz Khan
Rising US weapons exports
Is the US simply catering to global demand and supply or profiteering from conflict?
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2010 09:00 GMT

The US has not only the world's most powerful armed forces, but also the biggest global weapons industry.

As its exports in traditional areas such as consumer goods, hi-tech items and automobiles dwindle, its sale of sophisticated weaponry to the rest of the world is growing.

Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan American group, says the US's share of all weapons sold during the height of the global recession in 2008 rose to more than two-thirds even though the world's ordnance market contracted.

The US also signed 70 per cent of all weapons sales agreements with developing nations.

Between 2001 and 2008, the US sold India weaponry worth nearly $31bn, while Pakistan shelled out nearly $12bn to upgrade its military hardware.

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Both countries are nuclear-armed rivals who have fought three wars and came close to a fourth in 2008.

On Tuesday's Riz Khan we ask: Is the US weapons industry fuelling global instability and sparking another arms race?

Joining the conversation will be William D. Hartung of the US-based New America Foundation which monitors weapons proliferation and the politics and economics of military spending.

We will also have with us Joel Johnson of the Teal Group Corporation, an American aerospace and defense consulting company which forecasts the production of, and the markets for, a variety of aerospace and defense equipment.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Tuesday, March 23, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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