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Arms Bearing Fauna

March 9, 2011

FROM THE ANNALS of “But what does [popular unrest in the Arab world] mean for America?”:

The U.S. dominance in the global arms market is due in part to the reputation of American military manufacturers. It’s one area where U.S. companies consistently beat their competitors.

Defense contractors, however, now have to worry about reduced demand for their products, if the United States pulls back on arms transfers to the Middle East or if Middle Eastern governments choose to spend less money on U.S. weaponry and more on social programs, in order to calm their restive populations.

“There’s a lot of bubbling under the surface [and] a lot of demands from citizens in the region,” says David Hamod, president of the National U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce, reached by telephone in Oman. Hamod is looking for signs that governments in the region may be considering a change in their budgetary priorities.

“Our companies are interested in knowing what’s happening on the ground, and they will be looking for a full report on my return to the States,” Hamod says. “But to the best of my knowledge, there hasn’t been a long-term impact yet on the defense needs of countries in the region.” [NPR]

Subtle. NPR seems to be doing its part in beating the drum for military intervention in Libya. Always in serious, reasonable and level tones, of course. (I can’t give evidence of a trend. This is just the sense I get from having listened to the news on there a couple of times recently.) This article plays nicely on fears for the unemployment rate and the state of American manufacturing, while reminding US that we’re still good at something.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 9, 2011 7:32 PM

    Why spend less money on U.S. weaponry and more on social programs, in order to calm your restive populations, when you can spend less on social programs and more on U.S. weaponry in order to pacify them?

    Thanks so much for the Bertrand Russell, by the way. I mean to get to it — as well as your power post — sometime soon.

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