As the cartoon above says, War is Big Business. This major issue is discussed, if at all, in passing by the mainstream media. Newspapers in India’s capital city had to borrow a news story from The Washington Post that “major US arms suppliers are wooing Indian defence agents and officials.”

Emily Wax of The Washington Post continues: Almost every weekend, there are cocktails and closed-door presentations in the suites of New Delhi’s five-star hotels, hosted by retired admirals and generals from the US armed forces who now work for defence firms, such as Raytheon and Northrop Grumman.

“At the US embassy in New Delhi, defence contractors such as Northrop Grumman are sponsoring little league baseball teams, the companies’ names stitched onto the uniforms.

” ‘America’s relationship to India is maturing and expanding. India is an important global player now,’ said William S. Cohen, a defense secretary during the Clinton administration who is a member of the U.S.-India Business Council’s board of directors.

“India plans to spend an estimated $100 billion on defense over the next decade to modernize its Soviet-era arsenal. The country that spawned the (Mahatma) Gandhian principles of nonviolence now has a shopping list that includes 126 fighter jets, 155mm howitzers, long-range maritime reconnaissance aircraft, vast cargo planes used in long-distance conflicts, high-tech helicopters and deep-water submarines.

“Boeing is vying with Lockheed — along with French, Russian and Swedish companies and a European consortium — for a fighter jet deal worth about $10 billion. India is holding flight tests for the fighter jets. Lockheed and Boeing have conducted demonstration flights for Indian celebrities and defense experts.”

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The Huffington Post carries this article “Recession Is Dangerously Good for the Arms Business”. The author states: “The New York Times reported that the problem is growing. According to a study by the Congressional Research Service, ‘Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations,’ the United States market-share in the international arms trade — already the world’s largest of course — is growing considerably.

“Our military-industrial complex therefore stands to benefit not only from wars we ourselves wage, but also those of our client states. This is nothing new; U.S. industry has long profited from the conflicts of others. But, in today’s desperate economic times, such practices can proudly display themselves as ‘recession-proof’ devices of recovery.

“And it certainly seems safer to depend on other people’s wars than on our own.”

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As the cartoon above implies, who wants peace in the world? Certainly not the greedy politicians and the arms industry. The more wars are fought the more money to be made by this unholy alliance. So the political leaders would keep on indulging in double-speak, continue to sacrifice their young soldiers in different theaters of war, aggravate the sufferings of common people, and endanger world peace.

SWARAAJ CHAUHAN, International Columnist
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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Leonidas

    I don’t think if the US suddenly stopped selling arms that the demand would dry up, I just think that the clients would purchase them elsewhere. Its a really tough issue, although most people do not want to see global conflicts, still there is a certain feeling that people have a right to defend themselves and their nations. The world shows no sign of renouncing violence to achieve political, social, religious and economic objectives. Until it does so, we will continue to be vexed with the balancing of the right to protect with the danger of escalating conflicts. Its a very delicate balance and one that is not always done properly. The Cold War being perhaps the greatest example of this being out of control.

    • rudi

      I don’t think if the US suddenly stopped selling arms that the demand would dry up,No, but the supply would dry up. The US military spending(and weapons) is tops and 50% of world spending.

  • Father_Time

    Well Mr. Chauhan, you can express your concerns with you elected representatives. While you wait for their reply, have a hotdog and watch a ball game.