Ukraine and Yemen wars highlight US’s role as biggest arms dealer in the world

Mike Ludgwig, Truthout

Analysts say the defense industry has spent billions of dollars lobbying Congress while quietly making much more in profit by manufacturing weapons that fuel deadly conflicts in Ukraine, Yemen and across the world under federal arms sales agreements that have little effective congressional oversight.

There is a dangerous “feedback loop” between major weapons manufacturers in the United States that make billions in profits from arms sales, the countries that arm themselves with these weapons, and the U.S. government, which uses arms sales as “tools” to gain economic and diplomatic leverage, according to Dan Auble, a researcher at money-in-politics tracker OpenSecrets.

Anti-tank RPGs painted in military camo colors and laid in a rack for sale

“Unfortunately, it’s ultimately the human beings on the ground who suffer as a result of the prolonged wars that are fed from these arms sales abroad,” Auble told reporters on Thursday.

The U.S. is the top arms dealer in the world, followed by Russia, France and the United Kingdom, with the U.S. responsible for 39 percent of arms exports globally, according to the Stockholm International Peace Institute.

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