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US arms industry the sole winner of the war in Ukraine

Fighter Jet..Armaments

The United States approved arms sales to NATO Allies increased dramatically in 2021, compared with 2022, as the war between Russia and Ukraine prompted the member states into purchasing more weapons.

By some estimates, military spending by the United States and its allies is growing at a level without precedent since the end of the Second World War.

According to an analysis by Foreign Policy Magazine, the number and cash value of arms sales approved by the United States to its NATO allies has nearly doubled in 2022 Compared to 2021.

According to an analysis of two years of data from the US Defense Department's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, in 2021, the US government approved 14 possible major arms sales to NATO allies, worth around $15.5 billion.

In 2022 that jumped to 24 possible major arms sales worth around $28 billion, including $1.24 billion worth of arms sales to prospective NATO member, Finland.

While not all arms sales will be finalized as outlined in the proposals, the sharp uptick in these plans reflects a massive shift in Europe's security landscape.

This has been the basis for the generation of vast profits for the arms manufacturers, with the US military industrial complex emerging as the key beneficiary of the war in Ukraine.

Despite conditions in which the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen by 10% for the year as a whole, the share prices of US defense contractors have surged.

Over the past 12 months the share price of Northrop Grumman has increased by 40% and Raytheon is up by nearly 17% while Lockheed Martin has surged by 37%.

Some of the approved US arms sales in 2022 were years in the making, such as Germany's plan to purchase F 35 fighter jets in a deal of worth around $8.4 billion, in contrast, many other major arm sales were rushed after the war broke out in Ukraine.

European countries on NATO's eastern flank dashed to replenish and fully stock their own military capabilities in an effort to replace the equipment they shipped to Ukraine and deter Moscow.

The United States has already approved plans to sell HIMARS launchers to Estonia and Lithuania. And a similar plan for Latvia is expected to be announced within a matter of months.

The major European powers are surging their military spending with 10 NATO members spending more than 2% of their GDP on weapons this year, up from four NATO member states in 2014.

Any opportunity to supply weapons is profitable to the US Military Industrial Complex. This incentive is enough for perpetuating the Ukraine conflict.

Lockheed Martin, the United States largest military contractor, had booked more than $950 million worth of its own missile military orders from the Pentagon, in part, to refill stockpiles being used in Ukraine.

The Army has awarded Raytheon technologies more than $2 billion in contracts to deliver missile systems to expand or replenish weapons used to help Ukraine.

Since the beginning of the conflict in February 2022 media attention has regularly focused on the military assistance provided by states to bolster Ukraine's war effort, with NATO members delivering almost $40 billion in military aid.

To date the United States and its allies have provided Ukraine with over 100 million rounds of a small arms ammunition, over a million rounds of artillery shells, and over 100,000 tank rounds.

This is in addition to providing Ukraine with some of the most advanced weapons in the US arsenal, including the Armored Gun, the Patriot anti aircraft systems, the HARM anti radar missile, and Harpoon anti ship missile.

But this is only the beginning, US Army Secretary Christine Warmuth told The Times that the US Army has been working closely with the arms manufacturing industry to both increase their capacity and the speed at which they're able to produce them.

When viewed from a "bang per buck" perspective US and Western support for Ukraine is an incredibly cost effective investment.

In July the Ukrainian Minister of Defence, Oleksii Yuriyovych Reznikov, said that his country is now essentially a weapons testing ground as many weapons are now getting tested in the field under battle conditions against the Russian army.

He even invited arms manufacturers to test new products in Ukraine.

To sum up, the Ukraine war has provided a perfect opportunity for the US and its military industrial complex to, first, test their products in the battlefield, second, to market them for Europeans, and last, but by no means least, to sell more and more arms making them the real winner of the conflict.

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