Huffington Post reports that the U.S. government sanctioned $40 billion in international private arms sales in 2009. Of that, $7 billion was allocated to the middle east and African countries that are now in ‘people power’ revolts.
In 2008/2007, the authoritarian regimes of Egypt and Bahrain had benefitted from the US’s blanket authorization for more sales of military equipment. However, in 2009, the US had lowered its arms sales quotas to Moammar Gadhafi’s Libyan regime, which only last month got a blanket weapons ban from the Mr. Obama’s administration.
The ‘smart diplomacy’ advocate President Obama’s approval of such sales during the first year of his administration, tops that of George W Bush in the final year of his administration who had only approved $34.2 billion.
It is reported that the ‘people power’ protestors in war-torn Libya are looking to see if the USA and the EU will sanction sales of military equipment to them in the same way that these administrations had supported their oppressive government. Tricky times ahead for the US and EU it would seem which only recently had imposed a ban on military sales to the troubled nation.
[Johnathan Bleuet – Finance & Economy Contributor]
- $40 Billion In Private Arms Sales Approved By U.S. in 2009 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Arab League asks for no-fly zone over Libya (salon.com)
- Gadhafi forces show growing confidence (salon.com)
- Dirty money: Britain, Libya and the arms trade (newpoliticsreview.wordpress.com)
- How a Democratic Middle East Is Bad For The U.S. Economy (247wallst.com)
- Pope condemns ‘oppressors’ in Christmas message (calgaryherald.com)
- Libya army transport deal frozen after US approval (seattletimes.nwsource.com)