Arms sales

Auld Lang So Long…

There has been a flurry of conflicting stories over the weekend on the future of U.S. troops in Iraq. The U.S. plainly, desperately, wants to keep some troops on Iraqi soil, for several reasons: preserve the gains won there since 2003 in U.S. blood and treasure (along with Iraq’s), keep an eye on neighboring Iran, try to get more …

Sticker Shock: Iraqi F-16s $165 Million Each

Think of it as a military-industrial complex two-fer — first we invade Iraq, eight years later we’re selling it F-16s. “Iraq has now made its first transfer payment for the purchase of 18 F-16 fighter aircraft,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday. “These aircraft are going to help provide air sovereignty for …

Of Stupid Answers and Arms Sales

We don’t dip our toes into domestic politics too much here on Battleland — that’s why TIME has Swampland. But sometimes we just can’t resist. In Thursday night’s debate, a questioner asked Texas Governor Rick Perry what he would do if he got a 3 a.m. phone call saying Pakistan’s nukes had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. His …

60 Seconds Over Taipei!

Even though the Obama Administration hasn’t officially declared Taiwan won’t be getting the new F-16s it craves, that hasn’t slowed down Taiwanese animators from commenting on the apparently crashed deal. In English, even. (h/t The Cable)

The Taiwan Employment Act




As the nation’s defense contractors pleaded with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta Tuesday against deeper budget cuts, senators were eying a proposed bill from two of their colleagues that would urge the Obama Administration to sell F-16 jet fighters to Taiwan for pretty much the same reason. Given the dire economy, it shouldn’t come as …

Global Arms Exports Track Global Economy’s Double Dip

It’s interesting to think back to the start of the global economic crisis, when there were a lot of assumptions voiced about how a rising quotient of international tension would inevitably morph into more conflicts and thus more traditionally focused defense spending – i.e., great powers hedging against one another versus, say, …

For Defense Contractors, That’s a Heck of a Budget Trigger

If you are a defense contractor and you make weapons or trucks or planes or whatever, beware the “enforcement mechanism” in the budget deal. Here is the summary from the White House.

  • Immediately enacted 10-year discretionary spending caps generating nearly $1 trillion in deficit reduction; balanced between defense and non-defense

Alternate Translation: There’ll Always Be An England

Gordon England is highly regarded in defense circles, which is why he got space in Friday’s New York Times to detail how he thinks Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should trim Pentagon spending. Yet the op-ed page only said he “served during the administration of George W. Bush as secretary of the Navy and deputy secretary of …

Robert Widmer Slips the Surly Bonds of Earth

Robert Widmer has achieved escape velocity. Never heard of him? How about the weapons he pioneered, ranging from the B-36 – the Air Force’s largest bomber – to the F-16 — its most nimble fighter — to the Tomahawk cruise missile?

Reports Sunday’s New York Times in an appreciative obit:

Mr. Widmer was so valuable to the

MTV Goes to War…

You know something is seriously wrong when the contractor’s website for the most expensive weapon in the history of the world features a rock band singing its praises.

For those whose tastes are more classical in nature, you’re invited to sign a “statement of support” for the $380 billion program. But too bad for all you overseas …

Harrier Jump Jets For Sale: Cheap!

Strange little story in Britain, where the Telegraph reports that the UK military is selling its used AV-8B Harrier jump jets to the U.S. Marines for spare parts. After pumping $1.6 billion into the jets over the past decade, the Ministry of Defence reportedly got only $55 million for 40 of the aging warplanes. Not true, the MOD

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