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German arms exports double in five years
Photo: DPA

German arms exports double in five years

Published: 15 Mar 2010 10:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 15 Mar 2010 10:40 GMT+01:00

Sales of mainly submarines and armoured vehicles helped Germany capture 11 percent of the global arms market, compared to 30 percent and 23 percent for the United States and Russia, the study from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

Warships made up 44 percent of all arms exports, while armoured vehicles accounted for 27 percent. The study included the sale of used military wares and goods given away to allies.

Germany’s most important customers included Turkey, Greece and South Africa.

Fourteen percent of Germany’s arms exports went to Turkey, while Greece bought 13 percent and South Africa imported 12 percent – but SIPRI did not place a price tag on the goods.

The growth is part of a worldwide increase of 22 percent in weapons sales in the last five years, particularly in the trade of extremely expensive fighter planes. SIPRI warned of an arms race in tense regions like the Middle East, North Africa, South America and South Asia.

Meanwhile Greece has become one of the world’s top-five importers despite being on the verge of bankruptcy.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

11:14 March 15, 2010 by Celeon
The arms race in south Asia is already going on since years, there is no point in warning anymore.

Mainly driven by the naval built up of China and India , Australia is now considering not just to modernize its troubled submarine fleet but to double it in size as well. If they find a way to finance that.

The scale of China and India's naval plans already in motion have nothing to do with defence anymore. Now its about force projection. China aims at seriously challening the u.s navy within the coming decades.

One of their aims is clearly to change the Taiwan and Japan situation in their favor for good.

Im not sure if Australia will manage to develop their new subs within a reasonable time though. They've set their aims very high, maybe too high and i can already see them asking Germany for participation in their development efforts. We already have pretty much what they are looking to develop first.

Pakistan wants more submarines as well. Logically when looking over the border to India reveals such cunning naval ambitions going on there which are clearly aimed at domination over the coastline and northern part of the Indian ocean.
11:26 March 15, 2010 by dbert4
What BS! The US has 12 aircraft carrier battle GROUPS. Most of which are deployed all around the world PROJECTING power. Although China intends to acquire aircraft carriers, at this point it has none.

This alarm ringing about the evil intent of China is simple a ploy used by certain other countries to justify the continuing buildup of their own armed forces.
13:11 March 15, 2010 by mixxim
Britain armed Iraq before the war, the USA armed the Taliban (to fight the Russians), Selling arms to other countries is likely to 'misfire.' unfortunately the arms dont!
14:39 March 15, 2010 by dbert4
@Frenemy

Considering to what ends the US used their, "unchallenged military hegemony" that might not be a bad thing. The US taxpayers bore the tremendous cost of the defense industry only to encourage US corporation to give it all away to the Chinese for monetary gain, it's been such a huge waste.

But then a great number of US companies and private people have gotten rich haven't they.
15:20 March 15, 2010 by Henckel
@Frenemy and dbert4: If the US loses its military dominance, who will fill the power vacuum? China? India? Lame old Russia? Personally, I would like to see Germany become a world power again, but then I'm biased because so many of my relatives have served in the German military (Napoleonic Wars, Franco-Prussian War, the World Wars) so I can hardly claim to be objective about it.
16:18 March 15, 2010 by dbert4
@Henckel

The Germans are smarter than that now. The Europeans finally learned what some American haven't. Waging war isn't a glorious Hollywood movie. As for the "power vacuum", it's probably appropriate that the countries in the Asian region step up to the plate and work it out themselves.
16:31 March 15, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
12 carrier battle groups... and a complete inability to stop some guys on camels with AK-47s.

Congratulations.
18:20 March 15, 2010 by Henckel
@ dbert4: We had that in A.D. 451 when Attila and his Huns (with German allies) tried to dominate Europe. They were defeated at Catalani (Chalons-sur-Marne) by an army composed partly of Gallo-Romans but largely of Germans -- Visigoths under Theodoric I, Salian Franks under Merowig (Meroveus), and Burgundians. The irony is that the Germans, those invaders who destroyed the Roman Empire and toppled Western civilization, stopped the Huns in 451. Their descendants stopped the Mongols in 1241-42. In either case defeat might have meant domination of Europe by an Asian people.

I agree that waging war is not a glorious Hollywood move. But I still believe in miliarism. Perhaps it is my Old Prussian genes.
19:57 March 15, 2010 by Major B
"days of unchallenged USN/USAF hegemony numbered". Well, there are always challenges. Is that hegemony numbered? Is someone talking about a true united EU?

Ref. Asia. Does anyone think Japan will sit idly by in the coming decades and let China circle aircraft carriers around it? They can quickly build up an offensive Navy again and have the technical prowess to more that match anything China can do -- period.
20:15 March 15, 2010 by dbert4
"12 carrier battle groups... and a complete inability to stop some guys on camels with AK-47s"

That is certainly the truth! And the guys on camels have almost bankrupted the US. Or should I say that the Dick Cheney and Co defense established, using the guys on camels as a pretext has almost driven the US broke buy crazy military hardware which is worthless against the guys on camels.

But hey, the defense contracts have made BILLIONS!.
20:30 March 15, 2010 by Celeon
We destroyed the Roman Empire? Thats new to me :-D

Some of us (The Vandals) plundered and burned Rome down...once that was.

And we surely threw them out of Germania, but Rome , of all, IS still THE example of an empire that did not need help from someone else to completely break down and crumble.

The Roman empire destroyed itself in a several hundred years lasting process of intrigue, corruption, civil war and overall moral decay.
21:13 March 15, 2010 by Frenemy
@majorB: "Is someone talking about a true united EU?"

...I'm not sure what that has to do with anything (or maybe I'm missing your point).

What I'm saying is that countries with the requisite A2/AD hardware (like Russia, China, and Iran) can render American force projection capabilities useless if the pentagon deems military engagement in any given situation to be too risky (I'm pretty sure that any American strategic planner would agree that several air squadrons, a couple AEGIS cruisers and a CVN or two out of commission represents unacceptable risk).

Like it or not, the days of the USN and USAF operating in virtually risk-free combat environments are pretty much over...
13:53 March 16, 2010 by tollermann
As usual the thread is hijacked by a bunch of Know-it-alls! I am so impressed, military analyist....whatever, I am a LTC in the US Army, so does that mean I am an expert on Strategic Maneuver?

The point is Germany is exporting death and destruction, from a country that should know better! The Article is not about Russia, America or any other country, it is about Deutschland!
15:04 March 16, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
@tollermann That's rich coming from the guy who's country sold Iraq chemical weapons, trained the founding members of Al-Queda, toppled real democracies because they weren't friendly to the west, used two atomic bombs, and is still the largest arms exporter in the world. Clean your own house first before you critique others.
15:27 March 16, 2010 by Dinaricman
Henckel your knowledge of European military history is refreshing. Europe owes it respect to the Germans for stopping those invasions. Let us pay homage to a lesser known tribe of Europe the Croats who crushed the Asiatic Avars and along with their Austrian friends stopped the Ottoman invasion into Europe at the battle of Sisak. Also remember the Battle of Grobnik field where the Croats stopped the mongols dead in their tracks.
16:20 March 16, 2010 by dbert4
"The point is Germany is exporting death and destruction, from a country that should know better!"

@tollermann - You LTC, have HUGE balls to comment on another country, "exporting death and destruction". You are part of a military establishment that has garrisioned the global, refuses to sign treaties to control landmine or small arms.

So STFU!
17:25 March 16, 2010 by tollermann
dbert4, sorry threats should not be tolerated whether from the left or right. I have a right to my opinion as much as you do for yours. Besides, I know what blood runs through my veins and it is not from a weak collapsing civilization.
19:07 March 16, 2010 by wenddiver
@dbert4- Don't get your pantys in a wad. Germany is selling weapons to Greece, Turkey and South Africa mostly. For the record, these are Democracys who for the most part have legitimate defence interests. They aren't the kind of people who run around the world starting revolutions or abusing their neighbors. I don't think Germany is even competing with the US, since there remains tight sanctions on Turkey and Greece due to the Cyprus incidents.

As far as the demise of American military power, LOL with that . The Americans may call them Carrier Battle Groups, but the rest of the world calls them a Fleet with a nuclear capable SUPER Carrier in the middle, that Supper Carrier an Air Arm more powerful than most nation's whole Air Forces.

The US projects Full Spectrum dominance in every catagory from Space Weapons to throwing mud, Germany is lucky the English speaking democracies (US, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) see her as an Allie.

The Greatest disaster any politician could arrange, would be a weakining of the Democracies.
21:29 March 16, 2010 by Major B
@ My man Frenemy - Ref your 15 Mar response at around 2100

Well, didn't want to go there - was talking about a far more potent and long quietly discussed potential challenge. I'm not going to "kook out" on these pages.

Not doubting your expertise -- there are real challenges to the US military right now. A radical wanting 70 virgins just has to go low-tech and ram a dingy into a docked US warship, etc. and some of the other low-tech challenges mentioned above. In terms of future hi-tech weapons systems potentially facing the US -- well "the boys" are planning for those. That's how the funds flow -- through naming challenges, hyping them up ...defense industrial complex stuff.

The more troubling word is "military hegemony". The "hegemon" is the big bad bully, throwing its weight around...standing there, daring anyone else to move.... As you know the international stage is far more complicated than that. The last 9 years is a long aberration but the U.S. acted in a similar same way to an extent in the years after the Pearl Harbor attack and no one should be foolish enough to think the US is going to just sit there and not be proactive in this stuff. That just isn't in the American psyche. I'll point out again that the Americans are a melting pot from all over - a continental nation established through blood, sweat and tears. American military traditions and responses are influenced by the homeland its inhabitants came from, the largest group coming from the nation that sponsors this news forum.
22:00 March 16, 2010 by Talonx
Well mine's the biggest!

Oh, I'm sorry I thought we were comparing penis sizes.

"the cause of war is preparation for war" - Mr. Dubois
23:50 March 16, 2010 by Talonx
I don't know, the australian-german accent is pretty sexy, I'd hate to see it go.
01:12 March 17, 2010 by wenddiver
@Frenemy- If they don't I would believe they are making one hell of a mistake. Two world wars and a recent jaunt in the dessert have shown that a poke at one of the English speaking democracies will eventually bring you in conflict with all of them.

The last century was one long underestimation on their leaders part as to the military potential of the English Speaking democracies.

But Germany isn't crazy, she won't go there. Communist China moving to close towards Australia our ours and Canadas Pacific coast, might let the chickens out of the Hen House.

As for the EU, which member country would rather see Germany or France running the world and their country.
11:54 March 17, 2010 by Frenemy
Lets just call a spade a spade: you mean the US (because without her, the other anglophonic countries would be committing collective suicide if they mixed it up with any Sino-Russian military alliance).

In fact, given Iraq, Afghanistan, and the current state of the American military, in general I doubt Washington would respond to a Chinese occupation of New Zealand with little more than a strongly worded demarche. So if you're in English-speaking Oceania, I wouldn't go around poking the sleeping bear/dragon in the eye just yet... ;-)

Lets not forget that the US had to be DRAGGED (kicking and screaming) into both of the last world wars. The US wanted no part of either one of them. And if Hitler wouldn't have been such a genocidal nut-job, the US definitely would have come down on the German side in WWII (because it would have made cultural and economic/industrial sense).
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