Monday, May 10, 2010

The Lords of Arms

This beautiful trendy graphic display blow from the transparency department at Good1 shows the Arms sales around the globe from 2001 to 2008 according to congressional records.
Gunslingers of the world from 2001 to 2008
It shows the top exporters and also the top importers. Of course it is not a surprise to find the United States of America as a top exporter worldwide but the surprise at least for me was in the importers side , yes some of the top countries are well known like Saudi Arabia , UAE and Israel but to see in Egypt in the top 5 this is a surprise to me.
I am really surprised because despite I know very well that the American aid mostly goes to the army , I know too that we do not expend on arms like other countries in the region like for instance Israel or UAE or KSA not to mention since Camp David accords there have been many questions on the arming of the our army with speculations that it will be less in time of peace than in time of war normally.
I can’t deny that I am having mixed thoughts about this info graph because regardless of how much the CIA and Congress know about our military expenditure , it should be secret2
We Can find in this info graph the following :
1- 5 countries from the 10 top countries are Arab countries which are respectively : Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt , Syria and Algeria.
2- 6 Countries from the 10 top countries are  in the Middle East which are above along with Israel between Egypt and Syria.
3- 7 Countries from those countries had wars with each other starting with India Vs. Pakistan then Egypt and Syria Vs. Israel then Israel Vs. Egypt then India Vs. China then India Vs. Pakistan then Israel Vs. Egypt and Syria then India Vs. Pakistan then Egypt and Syria Vs. Israel then India Vs. Pakistan !!
4- 4 countries have huge nuclear capabilities : India,China, Pakistan and Israel
5- 4 countries are the top exporters of oil in the world : Saudi Arabia , UAE , Venezuela and Algeria.
6- Two countries are expected to be world powers in the current century : India and China.
7- Most countries including China have internal security problems with different degrees from minorities problems like in India and China to disputed territories like UAE and Iran to occupied territories like in case of Syria and its opposite case in Israel or even civil war and internal political conflicts like in Algeria. Even Venezuela now sees to be facing threats from the West in particular from the States that does not like Chavez’ leftist views and the fact it is reviving old fears in this region. Saudi Arabia faces terrorism mainly , only recently the rebels in the South gave it hard time where all those weapons proved to be useless in the mountain guerilla wars.
8- The UAE is considered a hot spot itself for arms trade around the world.
Of course there is more we can get from these numbers but my main focus here is Egypt , my country that spent $12.3 Billion on arm sales in seven years. We are currently in Peace yet this huge number spent on the army makes me have mixed thoughts.
I will not hate that my army to be well prepared from arms and training especially we live in a region war became a part of its daily news but how we can be sure that all that money spent on arms is spent for our best interest , on buying the best arms ..etc !!?? How can we be sure that the myth of old weaponry of 1948 does not turn in to reality in the 21st century !!?? History tells us that big countries like the States or Russia regardless of how close we are to them , will not sell us their latest state of the art arm technologies and this is why we develop old weapons in our factories.
Is this the sum of the military aid we receive from the states in those 7 years !!?? The Egyptian army is the second beneficiary of military aid in the world after Israel according to its reports and it takes annually $1.3 billion since 1979 , so in those 7 years we got near $9 billion , this besides the $12.3 billion we spent.
Again I will not hate it but these numbers do not go along with that regime who is selling our country and does not care much about its really national security which is not only the army.
1. I really love their style
2. at least in a perfect world , of course this is the declared number , we do not know the size and share of each country in the black market which is even bigger.
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  1. There is a point that I can't help but saying. There is no 100% devil system. So Mubarak's regime has vices but we can't just ignore that there must be good things they did.
    Actually to maintain a state of peace for 30 yrs and yet not fall into the trap of unprepared military is something that should be counted.
    Keeping the nuclear powers aside Egypt came ahead of Iran and slightly after Israel in the firepower. Which isn't calculated only in terms of Armors but also manpower and infrastructure.

    And completely neutral sources put Egypt on the 17th place. Iran 18th. Israel came 11th.

    And the U.S military aid isn't the only source. And according to the CIA reports there is no clear evidence of how much Egypt spend on defense because of the sources the army use to generate finances. From weddings to bottled water everything pours into the defense budget including the staff salaries.

    And we don't develop old weapons in our factories. We produce an American tank that's the most developed in the world. And we have two projects with China one for a training plane and there was news about a new fighter or something.

    And the state of peace never means less spending on Military. Actually to maintain peace you should always have an army ready to go to war at any time.

  2. Costa Rica has no army and maintains a higher standard of living than a lot of countries including Egypt. They spend their money where it counts like education,health,infrastructure and the well being of their people.


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