Britain was the world's biggest arms seller last year, accounting for a third of global arms exports, said UKTI (UK Trade and Investment), the government's trade promotion organisation.
The United States still tops the world for the last five years with $63 billion in total arms exports. Britain was second with $53 billion and Russia third with $33 billion, it said.http://uk.reuters.com/article/allBreakingNews/idUKL1718846720080617http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jun/21/armstrade.saudiarabia
"Shortly after Labour came to power in the uk in 1997, the Labour government drew up guidelines covering arms sales. They should not be approved, the regulations say, if the sales risk contributing to internal oppression, external aggression, or regional tensions."
"According to the latest annual report on weapons-related exports, the Labour government in 2006 approved arms exports to 19 of the 20 countries it identified as "countries of concern" for abusing human rights."
For me the madness is always best summed up in a report written by Gideon Burrows, when he wrote:
"Like most people, I remember exactly where I was when I first heard that terrorists had flown aeroplanes into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon. I was outside a huge arms exhibition in London's Docklands, where 14 Middle Eastern nations were shopping for weapons. While events across the world were cancelled out of respect for the thousands of dead, arms buyers continued doing weapons deals in London for a further three days."
One week after 9/11, Richard Aboulafia, senior military analyst with the aerospace and defence consultancy Teal Group, said the attacks were "all good things for the defence industry".http://www.guardian.co.uk/armstrade/story/0,10674,1038619,00.html