Monday, June 13, 2011

US to sell $46 billion worth of arms in '11

The United States has expanded sale of equipment and military services in 2011

Source: Press TV

The United States has planned to boost the sales of equipment and military services to USD 46.1 billion this year, nearly a twofold increase from the 2010 figures.

More than 13,000 contracts worth of USD 327 billion have already been signed with 165 countries, Defense Security Cooperation Agency Director Vice Admiral William Landay said on Saturday, AFP reported.

"From 2005 to 2010, we have delivered through the Foreign Military Sales process USD 96 billion worth of equipment, goods and services to partner countries," Admiral Landay added.

This is while the US military equipment sales tripled from USD 10 billion in the early 2000s to USD 30 billion after 2005.

The hike in the US exports is attributed to the war in Afghanistan that has increased the demands for purchased progress rather than material, Adm. Landay said.

The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 with the official objective of curbing militancy and bringing peace and stability to the region. However, after nine years, the region remains unstable and militancy has expanded towards Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the countries involved in the NATO-led air campaign on Libya have approached the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) for more ammunition.

Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom have participated in aerial operations on embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Experts say the main motive behind the Western attack on Libya is the vast oil reserves of the North African country.

On Sunday The Washington Post reported a USD 112 million increase in military sales to Bahrain between 2009 and 2010. In total, the US government has approved USD 200 million in military sales to the Persian Gulf kingdom during this period.

The US sells arms to Bahrain while scores of people have been killed and many more arrested and tortured in prisons in the Saudi-backed crackdown on protests in Bahrain -- a longtime ally of the US and home to a huge military base of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

Bahraini forces have abducted many people, including opposition activists, journalists, teachers, students, doctors, and nurses, and have also destroyed dozens of mosques.

Human rights groups and the families of protesters arrested during the crackdown say that most detainees have been physically and mentally abused, while the whereabouts of many of them still remain unknown.

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