British war profiteering corporations

This video is called Bahrain: Human rights and arms sales.

Despite reports of ongoing government violence and arbitrary arrests of protesters in Bahrain, United Nations member states have so far failed to take action to stop the 17 months crackdown on pro-democracy activists: here.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

UK arms exports: which countries do British firms sell to, and who buys what? Get the data

British firms export military hardware and technologies to dozens of countries across the world. Figures released today show what shipments are made and to whom. In 2011, export licences were granted for 45 different types of shipment to Egypt, 43 to Saudi Arabia and 38 to Iraq.

Licences were granted for the export of 10 types of weapons and ammunition to Saudi Arabia alone, including sniper rifles and submachine guns. Use our interactive graphic to explore the destinations and types of British arms shipments. The first tab shows recipient countries and shipment categories, while the second lists exactly what each country imports. All data was taken from the Committee of Arms Export Controls report: Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012).

View or download the data

From WalesOnline, about British government policies:

Global military sales review urged

July 13 2012

Ministers have been accused of failing to take sufficient account of human rights concerns when awarding licences for arms exports.

In a hard-hitting report, MPs on the Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls called for a worldwide review of the government policy on military sales to authoritarian regimes. They said ministers needed to explain whether the 600 licences still valid to Arab countries – including nine for Syria – fully complied with the Government’s position that exported equipment must not be used for internal repression.

The committees – made up of members of the Business, Defence, Foreign Affairs and International Development Committees – also strongly rebuked ministers for classifying equipment such as sniper rifles, submachine guns and armoured fighting vehicles as “crowd control goods”.

The report said the revocation on human rights grounds of an unprecedented 158 licences since the start of the Arab Spring last year showed that ministers needed to be more cautious about issuing them.

“Whilst the promotion of arms exports and the upholding of human rights are both legitimate Government policies, the Government would do well to acknowledge that there is an inherent conflict between strongly promoting arms exports to authoritarian regimes whilst strongly criticising their lack of human rights at the same time,” it said. “Whilst the Government’s statement that ‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are mandatory considerations for all export licence applications’ is welcome, those considerations do not appear to have weighed sufficiently heavily on either the present Government or its predecessor.”

The report expressed particular concern about the licences still extant for Arab countries, including 124 for Egypt and 97 for Bahrain as well as nine for Syria covering chemicals, cryptographic equipment, and £200,000 worth of “all-wheel drive vehicles with ballistic protection”. It said the Government should say whether it was still satisfied they did not breach the policy that licences should not be issued where there is “a clear risk that the proposed export might provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts, or which might be used to facilitate internal repression”.

The committee chairman, Sir John Stanley, said: “The Government should apply significantly more cautious judgments when considering arms export licence applications for goods to authoritarian regimes which might be used to facilitate internal repression.”

See also here. And here. And here.

Licenses to sell arms to repressive regimes such as Syria are still available in Britain – in some cases for the purposes of ‘crowd control’, a report says: here.

Britain: Government sells arms to Egypt junta: here.

USA: Auditors: Billions Wasted in Iraq: here.

USA: Kick the Habit: Fund Our Communities, Not War. Joseph Gerson, Truthout: “Nationally, Lockheed-Martin and other weapons manufacturers have threatened to put an election year political gun to Congress’ head. They’ve announced that they will have to send layoff notices to all of their employees unless Congress reneges on the Budget Control Act of 2011, which would cut roughly 12 percent of the Pentagon’s gargantuan budget over the next decade. They haven’t expressed similar concern over the act’s $600 billion to be slashed from essential and already underfunded social services”: here.

An investigation by the Conflict Awareness Project has exposed an active arms trading network of associates of former trafficker Viktor Bout that involves companies from the United States, South Africa and the United Kingdom, among other countries: here.

United States Doing Global Damage by Peddling Weapons: here.

11 thoughts on “British war profiteering corporations

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