Arms for Oil

By Michael Barratt Brown
July 2005
ISBN: 0851246982
60 pages, 6" x 8 "
$15.00 Paper Original

Why do one third of the world's arms exports - from the United States, The United Kingdom, France and Russia - go to one fifteenth of the world's peoples - all in the 'Middle East'? The obvious answer would be that the arms exporting countries want to protect the governments which control the oil supplies; and that is certainly part of the reason.

Another reason could be the need of undemocratic, Arab governments for protection against their own people, or against Israel or Iran. But, the purchase of so many state-of-the-art aircraft and naval vessels seems hardly to be needed for that. The author, having researched the arms for oil business in some depth, has come to a rather surprising conclusion.

The pressure comes from the arms exporters. In each major arms supplying country, the author demonstrates that there can be found a cabal of ministers, civil servants, bankers and directors of companies in the arms business concerned to expand the arms sales by all means including massive bribes, often from state funds. And they are assisted by their links to the giant oil corporations. This may seem obvious in the Bush administration, but it can be found also under New Labour.

Socialist Renewal, Fourth Series, No. 4

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