During Eye in the Sky, the 2015 film starring Helen Mirren, there is a scene in which British and U.S. officials argue over whether to order a drone attack in Nairobi, Kenya. The politicians have direct knowledge a drone attack will result in the loss of American and British life (the lives of radicalized American and British citizens), and that said drone attack will lead to civilian casualties in Kenya (a “friendly” partner). 

As the government group monitors a home in Kenya, they obtain direct knowledge via a live video feed there are two suicide bombers readying vests inside the home being monitored, from the “Eye in the Sky”. 

The group begins to refer up the chain of command, and someone is sent to track down the British Foreign Secretary, James Willet (played by Iain Glen).

Cut-to the British Foreign Minister, who is enjoying himself at a cocktail party at an arms industry trade show in Singapore. The British Foreign Minister is introducing the keynote speaker.

As the politicians and military commanders contemplate the feed delivering images of bombs laid bare on the bed (bombs which the group estimates will cause a loss of life to 80 persons or more), and, as the group is monitoring a Las Vegas base, where a U.S. soldier is awaiting orders to fire a drone in Kenya, the group (and, the audience) is keenly aware of a child selling bread on a street in Kenya. The movie creates tension – will the group decide to order the drone?, will the U.S. soldier refuse orders?, will the little girl leave her chair?…

But the irony of this build-up to climax is that there is not one character who speaks to the fact the British Foreign Secretary has been located at an international arms trade show.

It was just a thought. Think nothing more of it. – eds, Hsquared Magazine. 

(Read on …)

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On July 23, 2016, a terrorist attack in the city of Kabul killed 80 people and wounded 231 more.

On July 24, 2016 the Afghanistan paper Khaama reported that the National Security Adviser of Afghanistan, Mohammad Hanif Atmar, would immediately travel to Russia to meet with his Russian counterpart to discuss  a”supply of Mi-35 gunships and Mi-17 helicopters to the Afghan Air Force“, “ammunition” and weapon repair agreements.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported in its annual Top 100 Arms-producing and Military Services Companies, 2014, that excluding China, total world-wide arms sales in 2014 totaled $401 billion dollars.

While many are unsettled by Russia’s expansionist interests into areas and territories the U.S. government would prefer the Russian government remain out of, of the top ten arm-producing countries in the world, seven of these companies are U.S. based; thirty-eight of the top 100 producers are U.S. companies, and, Lockheed Martin, a U.S. based corporation, is ranked number one arms’ supplier in the world. 

Of the top 100 weapons suppliers in the world, eleven companies are located in Russia (an increase of three companies from 2013).

The idiom “guns don’t kill people, people do” may work to suppress a vote on gun legislation in the United States, but translated as collective foreign policy, it seems a bit illogical.

The United States has no political standing to argue for a reduction of arms production (say, to diplomatically argue lower world-wide civilian casualties or economic benefit to nation states), if the production of arms within the United States, is driving the anxiety behind the foreign arms build-up.

The world has already modernized, purchased and stockpiled enough weapons to render all dust. The idea that within the world arsenal, there is not already enough military might to defend the right of nations to live unencumbered by war is a fallacy created by the quagmires of individuals in charge of executing policy (who tend to chose options of benefit to self-interest, with expediency preferred.)

 

Download Full Report: The SPIRI Top-100 Arms-producing Companies, 2014. SIPRIFS1512

Editors, writers and members of the Fraternal Order of the Leather Apron Club.