The Guardian • Issue #2066

Weapons corporations are making a killing

Soldier in camouflage with gun.

Photo: (CC0).

Weapons corporations are making a killing exporting terror around the world. While the USA’s top five weapons contractors make profits topping $200 billion, they’re never going to stop.

US weapons makers dominate the global arms industry, which is why there is no intention of using diplomacy to stop the war in Ukraine, where Boeing is supplying ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles, Avenger air defence systems, Harpoon and Hellfire missiles, and ground-launched small diameter bombs.

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are doubling production of Javelin anti-tank missiles, having already sent 8500 to Ukraine. These companies are just two of the four US-based corporations among the world’s top five military contractors.

In 2022, Raytheon made $67.07 billion profit; Boeing, $66.61 billion profit; Lockheed Martin $65.98 billion profit; Northrup Grumman $36.60 billion profit; General Dynamics $39.41 billion profit; and BAE (a UK company, also in the US) $26.29 billion profit.

In the first half of 2023, the revenue of the top 25 Western defence contractors increased by 11 per cent to $212 billion. Little wonder we can see no end to US instigated wars! Now they are planning for the next one with China, leading Australia along the same path of madness.

Currently, on the back of arms deliveries to Ukraine and rearmament in Europe, total arms sales for these companies for 2023 are expected to amount to $448 billion – a $47 billion increase on last year.

By 2026, the amount could rise by more than 20 per cent to $554 billion.

The arms industry is profiting from human suffering; the climate breakdown and emissions caused by their weapons is appalling. The US military is the highest carbon emitter in the world. Their weapons have a massive carbon footprint – both during manufacture and deployment. They are burning our planet.

Tanks, missiles, jets, bombs, grenades and chemical agents rip out forests, destroy ecosystems, pollute waterways and maim wildlife. The toxic waste that warfare leaves behind contaminates soil and water for decades. They are causing starvation and famine.

There are no eco-friendly weapons. They lay waste everywhere, and they become waste.

The only war we need to fight now is one to save the planet.

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