Daily Archives: September 29, 2007

Big Profits in Weapons Sales

In recent testimony before Congress, General David Petraeus testified that the United States is planning to sell billions of dollars worth of weapons to Iraq, which has become one of the United States’ larger foreign military sales (FMS) customers.

Iraq has reportedly committed 1.6 billion dollars to FMS already, and may possibly commit 1.8 billion dollars more before the end of this year.

That’s good news and big profits for arms manufacturers in the United States and Britain, but as noted by Mark Benjamin from Salon, “good business doesn’t necessarily equal good foreign policy.”

A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report (PDF) found that the United States, under General Petraeus’s watch, has not been able to keep track of 110,000 AK-47 assault rifles, 80,000 Glock pistols, 135,000 pieces of body armor and 115,000 Kevlar helmets issued to Iraqi security forces. Some of the U.S. weapons sold to the Iraqi government were found in Turkey where they were linked to violent crimes.

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