The United States' weapons sales to NATO member states in 2022 have shown a drastic increase as countries react to fears caused by the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
Foreign Policy magazine reported on Thursday that US arms sales to NATO almost doubled this past year as the war between Russia and Ukraine prompted other European countries into purchasing more weapons.
According to an analysis of two years of data from the US Defense Department’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency by the magazine, US arms sales had increased from $15.5 billion in 2021 to $28 billion in 2022.
The magazine concluded that the sharp uptick in the US arms sales to NATO countries reflected a massive shift in Europe’s security policy after Russia launched what Moscow has been describing as a special military operation aimed to “de-Nazify” Ukraine’s pro-Russia eastern territories.
It said that after some European countries allowed their military capabilities to atrophy for decades, the war in Ukraine has now shaken Europe into a scramble to rapidly boost military spending.
In the meantime, the US military-industrial complex has emerged as the key beneficiary of the war in Ukraine.
Reports in US media have confirmed that American weapons manufacturers were reaping huge profits from the war in Ukraine as the demands for weapons and ammunition increased.
The Associated Press reported in September that US military officials had told the agency that the Pentagon was getting more requests for weapons, including the high-tech, multiple-launch rocket system that Ukrainian forces have successfully used against Russian ammunition depots and other supplies.
Media reports say in addition to the weapons sold by the US to its allies, Washington has also sent more than $110 billion worth of military aid to Kiev since February.
The four largest US arms manufacturers all ended 2022 with their stocks at or near all-time highs. Lockheed Martin’s share price is currently up 37 percent from this time last year. Boeing’s stock, which had taken a beating since the COVID pandemic grounded flights worldwide, has been buoyed by the conflict in Ukraine and now sits roughly where it did a year ago. Raytheon has seen its share price rise by 17 percent this year, while General Dynamics has increased in value by 18 percent.
The profits of these companies are so interlinked with the rising demand for weapons caused by the war in Ukraine that Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Pratt & Whitney, and Lockheed Martin all sponsored a reception at the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, DC earlier this month, causing controversy over the matter of arms sales when they emblazoned the logos of their companies on the invitation letters.
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