Procurement: Merchants of Death Help Each Other Out


November29, 2006: While Russian weapons exports are expected to reach $7 billion in 2007, after hitting $6 billion this year, U.S. arms sales nearly doubled this year, going from $10.6 billion last year, to $21 billion in 2006. For Russia, 2003, export sales were $4.4 billion, and $4.7 billion in 2005, Iran is a major new customer for Russia. And that's the main reason for the jump in U.S. sales. The Arab countries in the Persian Gulf region are nervous about Iran's growing military might. So Russian weapons exports to Iran, cause even larger U.S. exports to Iran's neighbors.

For Russia, though, arms sales are considered a national priority, because they allow defense manufacturers to recover from years of post-Cold War drought. Arms exports enable weapons to be made in larger quantities, and thus more cheaply for exports, and the Russian armed forces alike. The export sales are also making more research and development possible.

U.S. weapons are more expensive, but they are also combat proven. Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown again, what American weapons will do under combat conditions. Russia has to sell on price, and on promises that their stuff will do better than the last time they were blown off the battlefield by American arms.


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