The U.S. is the largest arms seller and dealer in the world. We urge our government to prohibit all arms sales to foreign nations and likewise prohibit grants to impoverished and undemocratic nations unless the money is targeted on domestic, non-military needs. In addition, grants to other nations may not be used to release their own funds for military purposes.
The U.S. must not be a conduit for defense contractors to market their products abroad and must shift our export market from arms to peaceful technology, industrial and agricultural products, and education.
For the first time since 2002, the top five spots in the ranking are held exclusively by arms companies based in the United States: Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Dynamics. These five companies alone accounted for $148 billion and 35 per cent of total Top 100 arms sales in 2018. Total arms sales of US companies in the ranking amounted to $246 billion, equivalent to 59 per cent of all arms sales by the Top 100.
While many of us think of humanitarian aid when we think of foreign aid, since 2001, US foreign aid has been increasingly driven by national security interests. In 2012 all of the top five foreign aid recipients were located in Middle East, reflecting the US tendency to distribute aid based on military and security concerns. Foreign aid to Iraq and Afghanistan reflected the US military involvement there, led by security assistance and redevelopment. Generous aid to Israel, Egypt and Pakistan similarly reflects US security concerns.