Mapping the War Machine


While it’s tempting to blame wars entirely on the culture of the people where they’re waged, as it must have been tempting to blame the Chinese on whom opium was pushed or the Native Americans to whom colonial settlers gave alcohol, the fact is that war’s tools are manufactured in wealthy nations that export war.

The maps below are based on U.S. data from a Congressional Research Service report published after World Beyond War and lobbied for it.

The first map below shows nations that export weapons to the rest of the world. A handful of nations dominate this racket, led by the United States, followed closely by Russia, with the other permanent UN Security Council members (China, France, UK) doing their part to end war by bringing up the rear together with Spain and Germany.

The next map illustrates the gentle humanitarian efforts of pushing war weapons on the poor nations of the world that are unable to manufacture such blessings on their own. In the measure of weapons actually delivered to poor countries in 2014, Russia edges into the top spot, with the United States just behind. As above, Ukraine begins to make a showing here.

The map below is not good news, as it illustrates future weapons deal agreements reached by each nation in the 2007-2014 period, whether all of those weapons have yet been delivered or not. The United States is back on top here. In fact, nobody else is anywhere close. Sweden’s image as relatively peaceful suffers here.

Below is a map showing agreements reached in 2014 to export weapons to poor countries. The U.S. has no real competition in this trade. Keep reading to find out which poor countries we’re talking about.

Here’s a map of agreements reached between 2007 and 2014 to sell weapons to poor countries:

And, finally, a map of agreements reached between 2007 and 2014 to sell weapons to the Middle East:

To advance the cause of divestment from weapons dealers, click here.

So, the United States sells the most weapons to other countries. Which countries does it sell them to? Click to the next page to see.

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