The Obama Administration: More Weapons Sales Than Any Other Administration Since World War II

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When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media, usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.

It’s not that no one writes about aspects of the arms trade. There are occasional pieces that, for example, take note of the impact of US weapons transfers, including cluster bombs, to Saudi Arabia, or of the disastrous dispensation of weaponry to US allies in Syria, or of foreign sales of the costly, controversial F-35 combat aircraft. And once in a while, if a foreign leader meets with the president, US arms sales to his or her country might generate an article or two. But the sheer size of the American arms trade, the politics that drive it, the companies that profit from it, and its devastating global impacts are rarely discussed, much less analyzed in any depth.

So here’s a question that’s puzzled me for years (and I’m something of an arms wonk): Why do other major US exports—from Hollywood movies to Midwestern grain shipments to Boeing airliners—garner regular coverage while trends in weapons exports remain in relative obscurity? Are we ashamed of standing essentially alone as the world’s number one arms dealer, or is our Weapons “R” Us role such a commonplace that we take it for granted, like death or taxes?

Read More: www.thenation.com/article/the-obama-administration-has-sold-more-weapons-than-any-other-administration-since-world-war-ii/

Obama’s True Legacy

Obama’s true legacy to the world is much different from what the mainstream Western media would focus on.

The Obama Administration Has Brokered More Weapons Sales Than Any Other Administration Since World War II | The Nation

When American firms dominate a global market worth more than $70 billion a year, you’d expect to hear about it. Not so with the global arms trade. It’s good for one or two stories a year in the mainstream media,usually when the annual statistics on the state of the business come out.

Obama’s covert drone war in numbers: ten times more strikes than Bush – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

 There were ten times more air strikes in the covert war on terror during President Barack Obama’s presidency than under his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Obama embraced the US drone programme, overseeing more strikes in his first year than Bush carried out during his entire presidency. A total of 563 strikes, largely by drones, targeted Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen during Obama’s two terms, compared to 57 strikes under Bush. Between 384 and 807 civilians were killed in those countries, according to reports logged by the Bureau.

 

Obama drone casualty numbers a fraction of those recorded by the Bureau – The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

The US government today claimed it has killed between 64 and 116 “non-combatants” in 473 counter-terrorism strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya between January 2009 and the end of 2015.

This is a fraction of the 380 to 801 civilian casualty range recorded by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism from reports by local and international journalists, NGO investigators, leaked government documents, court papers and the result of field investigations.

While the number of civilian casualties recorded by the Bureau is six times higher than the US Government’s figure, the assessments of the minimum total number of people killed were strikingly similar. The White House put this figure at 2,436, whilst the Bureau has recorded 2,753.

Since becoming president in 2009, Barack Obama has significantly extended the use of drones in the War on Terror. Operating outside declared battlefields, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, this air war has been largely fought in Pakistan and Yemen.

Civilian Deaths from US Air and Drone Strikes 2009-2015
Civilian Deaths from US Air and Drone Strikes 2009-2015

 

Obama & The Merchants of Death

On this edition of The Geopolitical Report, we look at Barack Obama’s legacy as a record breaking arms dealer. Obama has enabled Saudi Arabia to wage an illegal war in Yemen and has gifted the merchants of death with billions of dollars in new contracts with Taiwan and Vietnam. We also cover the Nye Commission and its investigation into the munitions industry after the First World War. Finally, we look at how the new Trump administration has promised to radically expand the US military and make the merchants of death billions more in profit from war and death.