Arms Races in the Greater Middle East

Some theorists of arms race argue that domestic interests (the often recalled military-industrial complex) play a primary role in pushing countries to buy more and more advanced weapons.

In this article in The New York Times, the authors seemed to confirm the close link existing between arms races and the interests of defense firms:

As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. The result is a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business in an era of shrinking Pentagon budgets.

American defense firms are following the money. Boeing opened an office in Doha, Qatar, in 2011, and Lockheed Martin set up an office there this year. Lockheed created a division in 2013 devoted solely to foreign military sales, and the company’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, has said that Lockheed needs to increase foreign business — with a goal of global arms sales’ becoming 25 percent to 30 percent of its revenue — in part to offset the shrinking of the Pentagon budget after the post-Sept. 11 boom.

In other words, instability and conflict in the Grater Middle East seem to be beneficial to business, at least as far as defense firms are concerned.

Read the entire article here

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