Global military spending sets new record

military The value of military hardware manufacturers has soared.

Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (£914bn) – up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri.

In contrast with civilian aerospace and airlines, the defence industry remains healthy.

“The global financial crisis has yet to have an impact on major arms companies’ revenues, profits and order backlogs,” Sipri said.

Peace-keeping operations – which also benefit defence firms – rose 11%.

Missions were launched in trouble spots such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Another record was set, with the total of international peace operation personnel reaching 187,586,” said Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Growth industry

As the world’s aerospace and defence industry prepares for next week’s Paris air show centenary, it seems much of the focus is set to shift away from troubled civilian aircraft makers, which are struggling with reduced orders from recession-hit airlines, towards the companies that make fighter jets and other military hardware.

The top 10 global arms producers fighter-jet

– Boeing $30.5bn
– BAE Systems $29.9bn
– Lockheed Martin $29.4bn
– Northrop Grumman$24.6bn
– General Dynamics $21.5bn
– Raytheon $19.5bn
– EADS (West Europe) $13.1bn
– L-3 Communications $11.2bn
– Finmeccanica $9.9bn
– Thales $9.4bn
Source: Sipri All figures from 2007.

In total, the 100 leading defence manufacturers sold arms worth $347bn during 2007, the most recent year for which reliable data are available.

Almost all the companies were American or European. Some 61% of the total was accounted for by 44 US companies, with 32 West European companies accounting for a further 31%. Other companies were Russian, Japanese, Israeli and Indian.

“Since 2002, the value of the top 100 arms sales has increased by 37% in real terms,” Sipri said. “The US presidency of George W Bush… was a period of continuity in the arms industry. This followed a period of consolidation in the 1990s and early 2000s.”

The US aerospace and defence giant Boeing remains the world’s largest, with arms sales of $30.5bn during 2007. The UK’s BAE Systems ranked a close second, with arms sales of $29.9bn, while Lockheed Martin was third with $29.4bn in sales.

Big spender

The US remains the biggest spender, accounting for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, though China and Russia have reduced the gap.

The top 10 military spenders george-bush
-USA $607bn
-China $84.9bn
– France $65.74bn
– UK $65.35bn
– Russia $58.6bn
– Germany $46.87bn
– Japan $46.38bn
– Italy $40.69bn
– Saudi Arabia $38.2bn
– India $30.0bn
Source: Sipri. All figures from 2008.

Both tripled military spending over the decade, and Russia “is maintaining plans for further increases despite severe economic problems”.

Military spending in the Middle East fell slightly during 2008, but Sipri saw this as a temporary drop. “Many countries in the region [are] planning major arms purchases,” Sipri said.

One exception was Iraq, whose military budget rose 133% during 2008 when compared with 2007. “Iraq remains highly dependent on the US for ams supplies, with numerous orders planned,” Sipri says.

US military spending accounted for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, with extra funds set aside to fight the “war on terror”.

In addition, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the US $903bn.

“The idea of the ‘war on terror’ has encouraged many countries to see their problems through a highly militarised lens, using this to justify high military spending,” said Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the military expenditure project at Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Read moreGlobal military spending sets new record

Gladiators set to return to Colosseum for first time in 2,000 years

Compare a modern soccer and baseball stadium to the Colosseum. Nothing has really changed. The entire society is built around ‘Panem et circenses’ (‘Bread and Circuses’ or ‘Bread and Games’)…and religion.

The crowning achievements to entertain and program you are TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cellphone towers, cell phones, subliminals, frequencies etc.

If an expert puts electrodes at certain places to your head and measures your brain waves – modified EEG using the Fourier-Transformation – this facts can be proven.

Not even a Faraday cage is safe because they are also using scalar waves that cannot be shielded.

In order to keep you frozen like a rabbit in front of a snake the elite uses to this day ‘Divide et impera’ (‘Divide and Rule’ or ‘Divide and Conquer’).


Gladiators are set to make a return to the ancient Colosseum in Rome for the first time in 2,000 years.

But it’s just for mock fights, organisers emphasised.

Council officials say the proposed plan would not be a ‘carnival’ but a very serious affair.


Maximus come alive: Russel Crowe in ‘Gladiator’

Umberto Broccoli, Rome’s archaeology councillor and TV presenter, said: ‘We need to bring museums alive and speak to the public. We will recreate the atmosphere as it was then.’

Mr Broccoli added: ‘We need to recreate the sights, smells and sounds that were there at the time on the streets.

‘This is the only way to create an atmosphere in a museum that will not be forgotten in a hurry.’

Rome has several modern day gladiator schools were ‘students’ can train as a real life Russell Crowe and pretend to be his hero character Maximus.

Whether Russell Crowe himself could be tempted to make an appearance remains to be seen.


Ready for action again: The Colosseum in Italy will see gladiator fights for the first time in 2,000 years

Mr Broccoli added that the proposal would not be tacky – although it had not yet been established whether the mock fights would take place on a purpose-built stage in the centre of the arena or outside.

Read moreGladiators set to return to Colosseum for first time in 2,000 years

Top world military leaders meet in Lake Placid


U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and top military commanders from four nations – Britain, France, Germany and Italy – flew into the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear this weekend aboard the jumbo jet that is used as Air Force 2 when the vice president is aboard. The group of powerful military leaders met in Lake Placid to discuss mutual security issues, including Afghanistan. Photo: Larry Miller

Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and military leaders from several countries discuss Afghanistan and other issues.

LAKE PLACID – Some of the most powerful military commanders in the world met in Lake Placid over the weekend.

Speculation was rife after a C-32, the military equivalent to a Boeing 757 airliner, touched down Friday at the Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear.

The 155-foot-long jumbo jet, which is used as Air Force 2 when the vice president is aboard, was emblazoned with “United States of America” on the side and parked on the eastern edge of the airport.

“I was contacted by the Department of Defense approximately a month ago, and they indicated they had some foreign dignitaries that they wanted to bring in through the airport,” said Ross Dubarry, the airport’s manager.

Following the landing, a motorcade led by State Police rushed Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and top military commanders from four nations – Britain, France, Germany and Italy – to a resort in Lake Placid.

Read moreTop world military leaders meet in Lake Placid

Worst slump since Great Depression

Major industrialised economies will suffer the worst slump since the 1930s, according to new research from Deutsche Bank.


Worst slump since Great Depression: Bud Fields and his family in their home during the Great Depression in Alabama, 1935. Photo: Corbis

The warning underlines the fact that policymakers have failed to prevent the financial crisis from turning into a full-blown economic slump. It comes as world leaders agreed to hold a summit in New York billed as the “Bretton Woods meeting for the 21st century”.

In its major assessment of the global economy’s health, Deutsche Bank also warned that Britain is even more vulnerable than the US or the euro area, as it predicted that the powerhouses of India and China would fail to support the wider global economy through the downturn.

The banks’ economists Thomas Mayer and Peter Hooper said: “We now expect a major recession for the world economy over the year ahead, with growth in the industrial countries falling to its lowest level since the Great Depression and global growth falling to 1.2pc, its lowest level since the severe downturn of the early 1980s.”

According to the International Monetary Fund, global growth of anything less than 3pc constitutes a world recession. The warning was echoed by Richard Berner of Morgan Stanley, who said: “A global recession is now under way, and risks are still pointed to the downside for commodity prices and earnings.”

Read moreWorst slump since Great Depression

The International Interphone Study Confirms: The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic

The official publication of the first intermediate results of the International Interphone Study from the International Research Centre on Cancer (CIRC) dependent on WHO confirms the increased tumors and cancer cases due to the use of mobile phone.

The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic: Here (PDF)

INTERPHONE Results latest update Oct. 08, 2008: Interphone Results Update (PDF)

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Europe stuns with €1.5 trillion bank rescue, as France plays role of saviour

Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland and Austria have joined forces to launch the greatest bank bail-out in history, offering over €1.5 trillion in guarantees and fresh capital in a “shock and awe” blitz to halt the credit panic.


French President Nicolas Sarkozy Photo: PHILIPPE WOJAZER

The move – unveiled simultaneously in the six states to maximise the show of unity – throws the full weight of the eurozone behind global efforts to stem the crisis.

The move gave a tremendous boost to bourses across Europe, lifting the Euro Stoxx index by 9.53pc in the biggest one-day rally ever.

The pan-European plan – totalling over $2 trillion, or £1.17 trillion – completes the third leg of a dramatic restructuring of finance across the Western world. Sovereign states have now absorbed the brunt of the credit risk in half the global economy.

Read moreEurope stuns with €1.5 trillion bank rescue, as France plays role of saviour

Financial crisis: Stock market suffers its worst fall in history

The UK stock market has suffered its worst one-day fall in history as the banking crisis intensified.

The FTSE-100 index of Britain’s biggest companies dropped by 391.06 points – its steepest ever fall – to end the day down 7.9 per cent.

The FTSE’s tumble was mirrored across Europe, as markets in France, Germany, Italy and Spain all recorded heavy falls.

On Wall Street, the panic drove the Dow Jones Industrial Average down through the 10,000 level for the first time in four years. The Dow was off 4.6 per cent at 9580.68 by lunchtime in New York as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index lost 5 per cent. The mild euphoria that greeted the passage of the $700bn bail-out of Wall Street on Friday evaporated as traders digested the more bad news from Europe.

A statement by Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, to Parliament failed to calm nerves with the stock market taking a further dive as he spoke.

The Chancellor refused to outline firm plans to deal with the crisis – however, he confirmed the Government was working on a radical scheme which could be implemented in the coming weeks.

Read moreFinancial crisis: Stock market suffers its worst fall in history

Minister: Alitalia might not last a week

ROME: Alitalia might stop flying within a week if unions don’t change course and accept a rescue plan offered by Italian investors, Italy’s transport minister said Sunday.

The only hope for the survival of Italy’s bankrupt flagship airline is for union leaders to agree to the investors’ terms, and for the government to convince the investors to put the deal back on the table, Minister Altero Matteoli told Sky TG24 TV.

“Alitalia has only very few days left, surely less than a week,” unless a deal is made, he said.

The investors withdrew their offer to acquire some of Alitalia’s more potentially profitable assets after some unions, including pilots’ representatives, rebuffed the deal.

Other unions for Alitalia employees have accepted the plan, which calls for some 3,250 layoffs among the airline’s 20,000 workers, the elimination or reduction of loss-making routes and the sale of many aircraft.

Read moreMinister: Alitalia might not last a week

Recession forecast for Germany, Spain and UK

Germany, the UK and Spain all face recessions this year, the European Commission forecast yesterday, dashing finally any remaining hopes that Europe would avoid a sharp economic downturn. France and Italy would fare little better, it said.

The steep downward revisions in growth forecasts by the European Union’s executive arm showed it had accepted that tumbling business and consumer confidence was hitting economic activity – even though the European economy had been “generally sound” prior to the credit crisis .

Joaquin Almunia, economics and monetary affairs commissioner, described the environment as “difficult and uncertain”. As well as financial turmoil and a near doubling of oil prices over the past year, significant housing market corrections in some countries were taking their toll, he said.

Read moreRecession forecast for Germany, Spain and UK

Are You Ready For Nuclear War?

By Paul Craig Roberts

Pervez Musharraf, the puppet installed by the US to rule Pakistan in the interest of US hegemony, resigned August 18 to avoid impeachment. Karl Rove and the Diebold electronic voting machines were unable to control the result of the last election in Pakistan, the result of which gave Pakistanis a bigger voice in their government than America’s.

It was obvious to anyone with any sense–which excludes the entire Bush Regime and almost all of the “foreign policy community”–that the illegal and gratuitous US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and Israel’s 2006 bombing of Lebanon civilians with US blessing, would result in the overthrow of America’s Pakistani puppet.

Read moreAre You Ready For Nuclear War?