Arms For The Cheap And Clueless

Discussion in 'Strategic Forces' started by average american, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    Arms For The Cheap And Clueless
    Procurement: Arms For The Cheap And Clueless

    January 28, 2013: Russian arms exports for 2012 were a record $15.2 billion. This is a major increase over 2010 (a then record $10 billion). That was an 18 percent jump from 2009 sales of $8.5 billion. That was less than two percent more than 2008's $8.35 billion. It was feared that the 2010 sales might be as high as it would get for a while. This was because the subsequent political upheavals in the Arab world might lead to large cancellations of orders, in part because of Russian willingness to use bribes to obtain sales, and past help in security matters to keep the ousted dictators in power. Russia did lose some orders, and there might be other cancellations (especially from Syria.) But India remained the largest buyer of Russian arms, despite complaints of poor quality and bribes.

    Increasing these sales is very important for the Russian government. The defense industry employs over three million people and accounts for about 20 percent of industrial jobs in Russia. At the end of the Cold War in 1991, defense work was more than three times as large as it is now. It was the enormous size of the defense industry that played a major role in bankrupting the Soviet Union. The Russians were never quite sure (cost accounting not being a communist favorite) what proportion of their GDP was devoted to military spending, but it is estimated that it was over 20 percent. That was more than four times the figure for Western nations (and their generally larger per-capita economies).

    Russian defense firms quickly realized, in the 1990s, that export sales were all that could save them. It worked. By 2007, Russia was exporting $8 billion worth of weapons a year. Two years before that there were hopes that sales might reach $10 billion for 2008. Russian arms exports had been growing rapidly for a while. In 2005 Russian arms exporters had already booked orders for six billion dollars-worth of sales per year through 2008. In 2004, Russian arms sales were $5.6 billion, and that went to $6 billion in 2005 and $7 billion in 2006. Russian arms sales were only $4.3 billion in 2003, and ballooned as the economies of their two biggest customers (India and China) grew larger. That, and the escalating price of oil (driven largely by increased demand from China and India), has sent international arms sales from $29 billion in 2003, to over $80 billion now. Oil rich countries, particularly those in the Persian Gulf, are eager to buy more weapons, with which to defend their assets.

    Then problems developed, even before the current Arab situation. There were problems with the two largest customers; China and India. Over the last decade, about a third of Russian arms exports went to China. But that is now way down, as Russian manufacturers feud with the Chinese over stolen technology. The Chinese have been quite brazen of late, as they copy Russian military equipment, and then produce their own versions without paying for the technology. Worse, the Chinese are now offering to export these copies. The Russians are trying to work out licensing deals with the Chinese, with limited success. The Chinese say their generals are angry over how Russia sells technology to potential Chinese enemies, like India. The Russians don't understand that, as they have been selling weapons to India for decades. Russia fears that the Chinese have just decided that they don't need to buy Russian technology, or equipment, any more, and can just steal what they need.

    India is also unhappy with Russian sloppiness in handling large projects, like refurbishing a decommissioned Cold War era carrier. This project has been a financial disaster for India. Worse yet, India is buying more Western (Israeli, European and American) weapons, and notes the differences in performance and service. The Arabs were always more understanding, at least more so than China and India. But if Russia cannot change a lot of old habits real quick, their flourishing arms export business is going to slide back into the cellar.

    Three years ago Israel became one of the top four arms exporters on the planet, shipping $7.2 billion worth of military equipment. The year before, Israel had exported $6.9 billion. The U.S. is the largest exporter, followed by Russia and Germany. Israel is now number four.

    Half the weapons exported worldwide last year came from the United States (mostly) and Russia. European nations have long occupied the next three slots (Germany, France and Britain.) But lately, German and Israeli exports have been growing. The other big exporters are Spain, China, Netherlands and Italy. These top ten exporters accounted for over 90 percent of the exports. The major importers are Middle Eastern Arab nations, India, South Korea, China and (until recently) Greece.

    Israel and Germany have been gaining more sales because of reliability and quality. Israel has a major advantage in that many of its weapons and military equipment have proved their worth in combat.
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The cheap and clueless are a large market.

    I have Strategy Page bookmarked now.:)
     
  4. average american

    average american Senior Member Senior Member

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    MOSCOW, December 5 (RIA Novosti) – Russia ranked 133rd of 174 countries in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index by the Transparency International watchdog, alongside Iran, Kazakhstan and Honduras.

    The country’s recent anti-corruption campaign came too late to influence the 2012 rating, but will be reflected in next year’s study, Yelena Panfilova, head of Transparency International Russia, said at the survey’s presentation in Moscow on Wednesday.

    Denmark, Finland and New Zealand tied for first place in the study, while Afghanistan, North Korea and Somalia ended up at the bottom.

    Russia also performed the worst of all G20 and BRICS countries, whose members all ranked in the top 100.

    The report utilized a new method that would allow year-on-year comparisons, Panfilova added.

    The watchdog, headquartered in Berlin, has been conducting the annual study since 1995, but has used a different set of data each year. This rules out the direct comparison of countries’ past performance in the ranks.

    Last year, Russia ranked 144th of 183 countries in the poll, 23 places below its neighbors this year: Iran and Kazakhstan.

    Russia appeared to step up its anti-corruption efforts in November, when Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov was fired over a graft case against his subordinates, and another recently retired Cabinet member was accused of corruption by state-controlled federal television.

    The campaign was variously seen as a cover for a new turf war in the Kremlin or the start of a long-awaited nationwide crackdown on high-profile graft. Panfilova said it was likely both.

    Russia is also seeing a surge in grassroots anti-corruption activism, with the number of volunteers for related projects having grown in recent months, Panfilova said.

    The public anti-graft drive is the key to improving Russia’s dismal place in the corruption rankings, but it remains unclear whether the government is planning to utilize grassroots activists to fight corruption, she added.

    “It’s been my dream since 2000 that the public will to fight corruption meets the political will,” she said in response to a question by RIA Novosti. “But for this, the government would need to roll back everything it’s done over the past 12 years.”
     

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