[dehai-news] (NewAmerica) U.S. Weapons at War 2008

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From: Biniam Tekle (biniamt@dehai.org)
Date: Wed Dec 10 2008 - 15:49:38 EST

US military sales to Ethiopia: $12 million between 2006-2007

U.S. Weapons at War 2008
Beyond the Bush Legacy
By William D. Hartung, Frida Berrigan, New America Foundation

New America Foundation | December 2008
Learn More About:
William D. Hartung, Frida Berrigan

Related Programs:
American Strategy Program, Arms and Security Initiative

Foreign Policy, National Security

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Related Programs:
American Strategy Program, Arms and Security Initiative
The United States, which entered into over $23 billion in Foreign Military
Sales (FMS) agreements in fiscal year (FY) 2007 and $32 billion in FY 2008
(see table 1), is the world's largest arms supplier. U.S. exports range from
combat aircraft to Pakistan, Morocco, Greece, Romania, and Chile to small
arms and light weapons to the Philippines, Egypt, and Georgia. In 2006 and
2007, the United States sold weapons to over 174 states and territories, a
significant increase from the beginning of the Bush administration when the
number of U.S. arms clients stood at 123.[1] While many of these sales were
relatively small deals licensed commercially by the State Department, a
number of important new states were added or restored to the U.S. client
list, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, East Timor,
Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan.

Click here for an executive summary
of this paper, or see below for
country-specific reports. An appendix
on human rights and democracy
records is also available.
Arms transfers are undertaken for a variety of rationales. On the strategic
side of the ledger, weapons exports and military training can be utilized to
increase interoperability (the ability to fight together in a coalition)
among U.S. and allied forces; to reward partners in the fight against
terrorism, including countries fighting alongside U.S. forces in Afghanistan
and Iraq; to gain access to foreign military bases; and to strengthen allies
against internal and/or external threats. Politically, arms and training can
be used as leverage for everything from gaining preferential access to oil
and other strategic resources to persuading other countries to vote with the
United States in international and regional bodies like the United Nations
and the Organization of American States. In the domestic economic sphere,
the arms trade is a source of income and jobs for key localities, a way to
lower the costs of weapons purchased by the U.S. military, and a means of
maintaining a larger U.S. defense industrial base than would be possible
without these foreign sales. Whether arms transfers are the best tools for
achieving these objectives is a matter of debate, but there is no question
that the United States utilizes them in hopes of achieving these goals.

Table 1
U.S. Foreign Military Sales Agreements, FY 2002 through FY 2008 (dollars in

FY 2002 FY 2003 FY 2004 FY 2005 FY 2006 FY 2007 FY 2008
$12.0 $12.6 $13.2 $9.6 $18.1 $19.1 $32.0

Sources: U.S.Department of Defense, Defense Security Assistance Agency,
Historical Facts Book, as of September 30, 2007; and Eric Lipton, "With Push
from White House, Arms Sales Jump," New York Times, September 14, 2008.

There is less concern in policymaking circles about the negative impacts of
arms sales, from fueling conflict to enabling major human rights abuses. In
the case of the United States, this is true despite the fact that U.S. law
calls for curbs on sales to countries engaged in a "gross and consistent"
pattern of human rights abuses or to countries using U.S. weapons for
aggressive purposes.[2]More often than not, these reasonable requirements
are set aside in favor of the short-term strategic, political, and economic
objectives set out above. This tendency has been even stronger since the
9/11 attacks, with limits on arms sales and security assistance to certain
client nations being lifted in the name of winning support for the U.S.
campaign against terrorism.

The purpose of this report is to look at the risks entailed by U.S. arms
sales, with a focus on sales to the developing world, since this is where
the vast majority of conflicts are to be found. There is much to criticize
in the behavior of all of the major suppliers of arms, but as the world's
number one arms exporting nation (see table 2, below), the United States and
U.S. arms sales policy deserve special scrutiny.[3]

Table 2
Arms Transfer Agreements with the World by Supplier, 2000-07 (current
dollars in millions)

Nation 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 TOTAL 2000-07
United States 17,483 11,487 13,067 14,548 12,674 12,939 16,905
24,860 123,963
Russia 6,700 5,600 5,700 4,500 5,400 7,200 8,700 10,400 54,200
United Kingdom 600 600 700 600 6,400 2,800 3,100 9,800 24,600
France 4,600 4,200 500 2,500 2,200 8,000 500 1,800 24,300
Germany 1,200 1,200 1,000 1,500 1,700 1,700 1,900 1,500 11,700
China 600 1,200 400 500 700 2,500 800 3,800 10,500
Italy 200 1,100 400 600 600 1,400 900 900 6,100
All Other European 4,100 2,700 4,400 2,100 6,500 5,800 5,200 4,400
All Other 2,500 2,600 2,100 1,700 2,600 2,200 2,300 2,500 18,500
TOTAL 37,983 30,687 28,267 28,548 38,774 44,539 40,305 59,960

Source: Congressional Research Service, Conventional Arms Transfers to
Developing Nations, 2000-2007, October 23, 2008.
Note: The Congressional Research Service figures differ from the Pentagon
numbers cited in Table 1 for a variety of reasons; most notably the CRS
figures are by calendar year rather than the U.S. fiscal year (October 1
through September 30) used by the Pentagon.

The Biggest Recipients of U.S. Weapons and Training
If we take an expansive view of the developing world, as defined by the
Congressional Research Service and other U.S. government agencies, the top
recipients of U.S. arms fall into two categories: 1) major oil-producing
states or rapidly growing nations that can afford to pay for expensive
systems like fighter planes and tanks, and 2) nations that receive U.S.
weaponry on subsidized terms because of their perceived value as strategic
partners. Of the top ten U.S. arms recipients in the developing world (see
table 3) five- Pakistan, Israel, Iraq, Egypt and Colombia-rely on U.S.
government subsidies for all or part of the funds needed to purchase U.S.
weapons. The remaining four countries on the top ten list-Saudi Arabia,
Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Singapore-pay for U.S. weaponry
out of their own pockets.

Table 3
Top 25 U.S. Arms Recipients in the Developing World, FY 2006 and FY 2007

Country by Rank Amount of Weapons Received
Combined Total for FY 2006 and FY 2007 (dollars in millions)
1. Pakistan $3,662.4
2. Saudi Arabia $2,511.3
3. Israel $2,070.1
4. Iraq $1,416.7
5. Korea $1,246.8
6. United Arab Emirates (UAE) $983.5
7. Kuwait $878.7
8. Egypt $845.0
9. Colombia $575.1
10. Singapore $492.7
11. Jordan $473.6
12. Bahrain $307.5
13. Thailand $164.0
14. Philippines $156.1
15. Brazil $95.4
16. India $92.3
17. Malaysia $68.7
18. Oman $57.1
19. Chile $53.8
20. Morocco $52.3
21. Argentina $44.0
22. Lebanon $41.9
23. Indonesia $37.3
24. Yemen $18.1
25. Tunisia $16.6

Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Security Cooperation Agency,
Historical Facts Book, as of September 30,2007, published in 2008.
Note: Figures in this table cover only agreements under the Pentagon's
Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, the largest U.S.government arms
transfer program.

U.S. Assistance Channels
In addition to the growing number of countries receiving U.S. weapons and
military assistance since September 11, 2001, there has also been a
proliferation of aid channels. Before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the vast
bulk of U.S. assistance went through programs like the Foreign Military
Financing (FMF) program or the International Military Education and Training
(IMET) program, both of which are authorized by the Department of State and
implemented by the Pentagon. In addition to vastly increasing the amount of
military assistance available to potential U.S. arms clients, the new
post-9/11 programs have shifted the balance in the provision of foreign and
security assistance from the State Department toward the Pentagon. Table 4
gives an overview of the funding provided by major U.S. security assistance
programs, highlighting programs initiated after 9/11.

Table 4
Major U.S. Security Assistance Programs as of 2008

"Traditional" Programs Funding 2002-08 (dollars in billions)
Foreign Military Financing (FMF) $33.8
International Military Education and Training (IMET) $ 0 .6
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) $ 4.1
Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI) $ 4.7
Economic Support Fund (ESF) $25.9
Traditional Programs Total $69.1 billion
Programs Initiated Since 2001
Train and Equip Funds (T&E) for Iraq and Afghanistan $28.8
Global Train and Equip (T&E) Funds, Section 1206 $ 0.5
Coalition Support Funds (for allies in Iraq and Afghanistan) $ 6.6
Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) $ 3.7
Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program (CTFP) $ 0.1
Nontraditional Programs Total $ 39.7 billion

Sources: U.S. Department of State, Congressional Presentation for Foreign
Operations, FY 2003 through FY 2009 editions; and, for nontraditional
programs, Cindy Williams and Gordon Adams, Strengthening Statecraft and
Security: Reforming U.S. Planning and Resource Allocation, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology Security Studies Program Occasional Paper, June

In monetary terms, the creation of a series of new aid programs authorized
and implemented by the Pentagon has resulted in a massive increase in the
resources available for arming and training foreign military forces-nearly
$40 billion in funding for programs that did not exist before 9/11. In
addition to this new funding, the traditional security assistance programs
cited in table 4-Foreign Military Financing, the Economic Support Fund
(ESF), the Andean Counterdrug Initiative (ACI), and the International
Narcotics and Law Enforcement program (INCLE)-grew by over a third from
FY2002 to FY2008, with funding increasing from $7.4 billion to $11.2

As for the balance of supervisory and budgetary power between the State
Department and the Pentagon, the Department of Defense went from a position
of having little or no authorizing power before 2001 to controlling 35
percent of all security assistance issued between 2002 and 2008. Whether
Defense or State funds a particular program is more than just a bureaucratic
distinction. Some human rights conditions on aid cover only State Department
programs, so that programs funded by the military can continue even when
programs funded by the State Department have been cut off. This obviously
sends mixed signals to the foreign governments that Washington is trying to
influence. This distinction is further exacerbated by the fact that the
House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee-which oversee State Department-funded programs-have more
experience in providing oversight for security assistance programs and are
more likely to raise questions about the impact of a given program on human
rights or regional stability. By contrast, the House Armed Services
Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Defense,
which govern Pentagon-funded security assistance programs, are less likely
to pursue these questions in depth.[4]

There are also issues of management capabilities between the State
Department and the Pentagon. For example, the Commander's Emergency Response
Program (CERP), a flexible program that gives U.S. commanders in the field
money to spend on everything from compensating families for damage done to
their homes during searches by U.S. forces to improving local sewer systems,
has been effective in addressing particular needs of key communities on a
timely basis. This in turn has engendered goodwill toward U.S. military
personnel. But there have been serious questions raised about the
sustainability of CERP over the longer term as larger development projects
have begun to be funded through the program. The benefits of these
"one-shot" investments are often negated by an inability or unwillingness to
monitor their progress, with the result that in some cases additional CERP
funds have been needed to re-do projects. The Pentagon was never meant to be
a development agency, and funding anything other than small-scale local
efforts through CERP risks wasting scarce resources.[5]

Finally, there tends to be much more transparency in programs funded by the
State Department than in Pentagon programs that serve similar functions.
Pentagon programs are often presented as lump sums in budgetary documents
without details as to how the monies are to be disbursed. For example, it
was only after the Center for Public Integrity, a nongovernmental
organization, filed Freedom of Information Act requests for breakdowns on
the recipients of the Pentagon's Coalition Support Fund (CSF) program that
this information was made public.[6]

The future direction of both aid levels and the division of control between
State and Defense over security assistance will be determined to some degree
by the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. But certain programs, like the
Pentagon's Section 1206 initiative - one of the new military aid programs
introduced since 9/11 -- are growing independently of the course of spending
on Iraq or Afghanistan. And programs like CERP that were designed
specifically for use in Iraq and Afghanistan are being "globalized" by the
creation of parallel programs such as the Combatant Commander's Initiative
Fund (CCIF). This suggests that the battle for control and monitoring of
security assistance funding will continue beyond the end of these conflicts.

The vast bulk (over 83 percent) of the security assistance distributed by
the Bush administration for FY2002 through FY2008 went to just five
countries, all in the Middle East or South Asia (see table 5).

Table 5
Top Five Recipients of U.S.Security Assistance, FY2002 to FY2009 (dollars in

Country FY 2002-06 FY 2007 FY 2008a FY 2009b Total
Afghanistan $11,520.2 $9,085.6 $4,502.6 $4,656.2 $29,764.6
Iraq $14,400.4 $7,469.1 $3,801.9 $ 2,300.0 $27,980.5
Israel $14,219.7 $2,460.2 $2,380.6 $2,550.0 $21,610.5
Egypt $9,994.4 $1,757.7 $1,705.9 $1,505.4 $14,963.4
Pakistan $7,600.8 $616.6 $738.5 $798.4 $9,754.4
Total $57,735.5 $21,389.2 $13,129.5 $11,810 $104,073.4

Sources: U.S.Department of State, Congressional Budget Justification for
Foreign Operations, FY 2004 through FY 2009 editions; International
Consortium of Investigative Journalists, Collateral Damage: Human Rights and
U.S. Military Aid Since 9/11,Center for Public Integrity, May 2007; and U.S.
Department of Defense, "Global War on Terror" supplemental budget requests,
FY 2003 through FY 2009 editions.
aFY 2008 figures are estimates.
bFY 2009 figures are as proposed in the administration's budget.

U.S. Weapons at War
U.S. arms and military training played a role in 20 of the world's 27 major
wars in 2006/07 (see table 6). The dollar value of U.S. weapons transfers
and weapons orders destined for zones of conflict during that two-year
period was $11.2 billion. The biggest recipients were Pakistan ($3.7
billion), Turkey ($3.0 billion), Israel ($2.1 billion), Iraq ($1.4 billion),
and Colombia ($575 million). Nations receiving less than $5 million in
transfers included Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria,
Uganda, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Haiti. But since the figures in table 6
include only transfers under the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales program,
these relatively modest numbers do not represent the full scope of security
assistance provided to these nations (for example, see our profile of

Table 6
U.S. Arms Sales to Nations at War,2006/07 (in current dollars)

Nation Foreign Military Sales
FY 2006 Foreign Military Sales
FY 2007 Total
Algeria -- -- --
Burundi -- -- --
Chad $1,816,000 $100,000 $1,916,000
Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) -- -- --
Democratic Republic of the Congo $1,255,00 $1,464,000 $2,719,000
Ethiopia $8,852,000 $3,200,000 $12,052,000
Kenya $1,600,000 $3,853,000 $5,453,000
Nigeria $253,000 $724,000 $977,000
Somalia -- -- --
Sudan -- -- --
Uganda $3,017,000 -- $3,017,000
Afghanistan $1,727,000 -- $1,727,000
Burma (Myanmar) -- -- --
India -- $92,334,000 $92,334,000
Nepal $100,000 $200,000 $300,000
Pakistan $3,475,245,000 $187,156,000 $3,662,401,000
Philippines $30,578,000 $125,502,000 $156,080,000
Sri Lanka $1,400,000 $310,000 $1,710,000
Thailand $75,576,000 $88,439,000 $164,015,000
Russia-Chechnya -- -- --
Turkey $967,776,000 $2,033,629,000 $3,001,405,000
The Americas
Colombia $139,463,000 $435,617,000 $575,080,000
Haiti $200,000 $835,000 $1,035,000
Middle East
Iraq -- $1,416,752,000 $1,416,752,000
Israel $1,004,631,000 $1,065,541,000 $2,070,172,000
Lebanon $1,684,000 $40,154,000 $41,838,000
Yemen $4,143,000 $14,056,000 $18,199,000

Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Security Assistance Agency,
Historical Facts Book, as of September 30, 2007 and Project Ploughshares,
Armed Conflicts in 2007, at

Thirteen of the top 25 U.S. arms recipients in the developing world in
2006/07 were either undemocratic governments or regimes guilty of major
ongoing human rights abuses (see appendix). This is a one-third reduction in
the number (18) of top U.S. recipients that fit these categories when we
last surveyed these trends in 2005, but the number of such recipients
contrasts sharply with the Bush administration's pro-democracy rhetoric. The
majority of the undemocratic and/or human-rights-abusing governments armed
by the United States are in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman,
United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Bahrain) and South Asia (Afghanistan and
Pakistan). Although the administration's motivations for arming these
nations-protecting oil flows, supporting antiterrorism efforts, or promoting
coalition partnerships in theaters of war-are not without merit, the
rationales for making these sales and their effectiveness in achieving U.S.
policy goals need to be reconsidered. For example, does arming the Saudi
regime make it easier or harder for Riyadh to move toward a more open, more
stable political system that will keep that nation's oil on the world market
uninterrupted by internal or external conflict? Will U.S. weapons supplied
to Iraqi and Afghan forces end up in the right hands or disappear into local
black markets where they could just as easily end up in the possession of
anti-U.S. rebels, insurgents, and terrorists? Has the U.S. decision to arm
and support Ethiopia in its recent war against Somalia helped to stabilize
or destabilize the Horn of Africa?[7] These and other questions will be
addressed as appropriate in the country profiles that follow.

Country Profiles: U.S. Arms Recipients, 2006/07
The 13 countries profiled here have been chosen because they represent
important aspects of U.S. arms transfer policies, and serve as proving
grounds for measuring the efficacy of current approaches to weapons exports.
The profiles are organized by region, beginning with Africa. The countries
profiled are Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Georgia, Turkey, the Philippines,
Thailand, Iraq, Israel, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Colombia.

East Asia and the Pacific
Near East
Central and South Asia
Western Hemisphere
Conclusion and Recommendations
U.S. arms sales policy is in disarray. As the size, scope, and
sophistication of U.S. transfers has increased during the Bush
administration, so have the risks.

When the vast bulk of U.S. arms transfers to the developing world go to
human rights abusers and undemocratic regimes, it does real and substantial
damage to the reputation of the United States as a force for democracy and
the rule of law. This in turn undermines the ability of Washington to
promote cooperation in other areas of national need, from the coordination
of intelligence and law enforcement, to promoting economic growth, to
curbing climate change. While some of these objectives-particularly those in
the economic and environmental spheres-should be of mutual interest to all
countries, Washington's ability to play a leadership role is hampered by its
role as the world's leading arms trafficking nation.

In addition, arming repressive regimes is more likely to promote instability
than it is to foster stability. Arms transfers can serve as a U.S.
government "seal of approval" for governments engaged in unacceptable
behavior, not to mention being used as tools of internal repression and
instruments of warfare with neighboring states. This concern is underscored
by the fact that U.S. weapons are present in fully half of the major armed
conflicts currently under way worldwide. And in some potential
conflicts-between India and Pakistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Turkey
and the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, forces on both sides are receiving
U.S. arms and training.

These negative consequences of runaway arms transfers are exacerbated by the
fact that there has been a proliferation of new aid and training programs
run by the Pentagon without much transparency or accountability. Until these
programs are reformed, the ability of Congress to play a meaningful role in
overseeing the weapons trade will be severely undermined.

All of this is not to say that arms transfers do not have security benefits,
particularly in the realm of fostering military cooperation. But the level
and types of exports provided to specific countries need to be subjected to
much more careful scrutiny, including consideration as to whether the same
benefits might be obtained through nonmilitary forms of engagement.

Accordingly, we make the following recommendations:

The next administration should follow the leads set by the Reagan, Carter,
and Clinton administrations by putting forward a new arms transfer policy
directive within its first six months in office. The directive should
establish clearer criteria for arms transfer decision making that strike a
balance among military, political, economic, human rights, and
nonproliferation objectives.
Congress should establish common standards of transparency and
accountability for all arms transfer and security assistance programs,
including required reporting on amounts disbursed, countries served, and
weapons systems and training provided.
The president and Congress should reverse the trend toward situating
security assistance programs within the Pentagon budget. The State
Department is better equipped to mesh the competing interests that U.S.
foreign and military policies are meant to address.
The president and the Congress should endorse and/or ratify key
international initiatives like the global ban on anti-personnel land mines,
the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and a global arms trade treaty.

[1] Figure derived by the authors from U.S.Department of Defense, Defense
Security Cooperation Agency, Historical Facts Book as of September 30,2006;
and U.S. Department of State, CongressionalBudget Justification for Foreign
Operations, FY2009 ed., PM Annex, "TitleIV Supporting Information."

[2] The human rights language is containedin section 502 of the Foreign
Assistance Act of 1961.

[3] To cite just one egregious example--China's role in arming the
government of the Sudan--see William D. Hartung, Deadly Traffic: China's
Arms Trade with theSudan (Washington, DC: New AmericaFoundation, August 5,

[4] On this point, see George Withers, Adam Isacson, LisaHaugaard, Joy
Olson, and Joel Fyke, "Ready, Aim, Foreign Policy: How thePentagon's Role in
Foreign Policy Is Growing, and Why the Congress, and theAmerican
Public—Should be Worried," a joint project of the Center forInternational
Policy, the Latin America Working Group Education Fund, and theWashington
Office on Latin America, March 2008.

[5] Dana Hedgpath and Sarah Cohen, "Money asa Weapon," Washington Post,
August 11, 2008.

[6] International Consortium ofInvestigative Journalists, "Collateral
Damage: Human Rights and U.S. MilitaryAid Since 9/11," Center for Public
Integrity, May 2007, http://projects.publicintegrity.org/militaryaid/.

[7] On the impact of the U.S.-backedEthiopian invasion of Somalia,see
Nicholas D. Kristof, "The Endorsement from Hell," New York Times, October
25, 2008.

Protecting Human Rights, Safeguarding Democracy?
The Records of the Top 25 Recipients of U.S. Arms in the Developing World

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