Barack Obama: From Peace Prize To World’s Biggest Arms Dealer In 8 Short Years
On Thursday, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of more military equipment, valued at around $1.15 billion USD, to the oil-rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This sounds like a lot of money to most of us, but the most frightening aspect of the sale is that it represents a continuation of an arms-dealing relationship between Washington and the Saudi regime, which has been worth over $50 billion USD in arms sales to date.
It is not an understatement to say Obama’s tears over gun violence are disingenuous considering his administration has enacted a policy of systematically arming the entire world with all manner of warcraft. According to the Department of Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), during his first six years in office, the Obama administration entered into agreements to sell more than $190 billion USD in weaponry worldwide. As the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, William D. Hartung, states, this figure is higher than any U.S. administration since World War II. Perhaps that is why the Nobel secretary has voiced serious regrets about awarding the Peace Prize to the president.
While there are a number of companies who are making an absolute killing from these sales — like Lockheed Martin and Boeing — the fact remains that the U.S. government actively facilitates this industry in more ways than one.
In 2013, the Obama administration loosened controls over military exports so military equipment could be sent to almost any country in the world with little oversight. U.S. companies began to enjoy fewer checks than they had in the past. For example, thanks to the Obama administration, weapons manufacturers can now send military parts to most regions of the world without a license, which makes it easier for companies to extend their market — even to countries that are on the U.N. arms embargo list. This is because, according to Colby Goodman, an arms-control expert with the Open Society Policy Center, once an item is approved for that exemption, there may no longer be any ongoing, country-specific human rights review as had been conducted previously. – READ MORE