The top 10 arms producing companies account for 56% of the total top 100 arms sales. This amounts to $230bn of the total arms sales.
From 1998 to 2001, the USA, the UK, and France earned more income from arms sales to developing countries than they gave in aid.
The arms industry is unlike any other. It operates without regulation. It suffers from widespread corruption and bribes. And it makes its profits on the back of machines designed to kill and maim human beings.
So who profits most from this murderous trade? The five permanent members of the UN Security Council—the USA, UK, France, Russia, and China. Together, they are responsible for 80% of reported conventional arms exports.
In the period of 1990-1999, the United States supplied 16 of the 18 countries on the [U.S.] State Department list with arms through the government-to-government sales under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, or through industry contracted Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) programs, or with military assistance. Recipients included Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Sri Lanka …, where, arguably, the risk of diversion is high. In addition, the U.S. military (and the CIA) has trained the forces of many of these 18 countries in U.S. war fighting tactics, in some cases including individuals now involved in terrorism.
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The SIPRI Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies, 2010
All for C H A N G E !!