How does US become a "war monger"?


China Military Online
Li Weichao
2024-02-29 11:47:39

By Wu Jinhuai and Zhang Gaosheng

吴金淮 张高胜

In the movie Lord of War, Nicolas Cage plays an arms dealer, and he has this famous line: "And while the biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss, the President of the US, who ships more merchandise in a day than I do in a year." Although it's a fictional dialogue, it reflects a reality – the US has consistently been the world's largest arms dealer.


Recently, the US Department of State announced that in the fiscal year 2023, US military exports totaled USD 238 billion, a 16 percent increase compared to the previous year. The US has not only maintained its position as the world's largest arms exporter but also reached a historic high in export value.


Propelled by the military-industrial complex, US arms exports have been steadily increasing year after year. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI), US arms exports increased by 14 percent from 2018 to 2022 compared to that of the previous four years, and its global share of arms exports rose from 33 percent to 40 percent.


In Europe, the US has capitalized on the Ukraine crisis to stimulate arms procurement by European and NATO countries, leading to a continued increase in their dependence on US weapons and equipment. In 2023, the US exported nearly USD 30 billion worth of military equipment to Poland, including Apache helicopters, HIMARS rocket artillery systems, and M1 Abrams main battle tanks. The US also exported USD 11.5 billion worth of equipment to Germany, including Chinook helicopters and advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles.


In the Asia-Pacific region, the US is peddling weapons to countries surrounding China, vigorously promoting the Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at countering China. In the fiscal year 2023, the US exported USD 5 billion worth of F-35 fighters to the ROK, USD 1.2 billion worth of F100 engine systems and spare parts to Singapore and the ROK respectively, and strengthened military security cooperation with Vietnam, the Philippines, and other countries. In 2023, the US also exported USD 1.8 billion worth of military aviation engine hardware to India and approved the sale of 31 MQ-9B SkyGuardian drones to India.


US overseas arms sales, especially the relaxation of arms trade export control for selfish gains, have led to massive arms proliferation. Taking the US and Western arms sales to Ukraine during the Ukraine crisis as an example, a large amount of weapons aid from the US and the West couldn't be tracked and even fell into the hands of terrorist organizations and extremist forces, and were resold to the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. African leaders once said that terrorist groups in the Lake Chad region used smuggled weapons from conflict zones in Ukraine.


What is even more irresponsible is that the US ignores the risk of nuclear proliferation in its arms sales. In October 2021, the US, UK, and Australia announced the establishment of a new trilateral security partnership. The US and the UK will support the Australian Navy in establishing a nuclear submarine force, and Australia will work with the two nuclear powers to build nuclear submarines in Australia. This move sets a bad precedent for nuclear-weapon states to transfer weapons-grade nuclear materials to non-nuclear-weapon states, violates the purpose and principle of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), impacts the Safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency and creates serious nuclear proliferation risks,which has caused widespread international concern and criticism.


At present, the international security situation is complex and volatile, the confrontation between major powers is intensifying, and regional instability factors are more prominent. The irresponsible and wanton export of various types of weapons by the US has not only intensified the risk of conflicts in hotspot areas, but also triggered a new arms race on a global scale, making the international security situation more fragile and posing unprecedented risks and challenges to human society.


As a true war monger, wherever the US sells weapons, it exacerbates tensions in that region. The ongoing Ukraine crisis, the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula, and the heating up of situations in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait all have the shadow of US interference and arms sales behind them. US arms exports can easily trigger regional arms races, fuel military conflicts and social turmoil, and seriously threaten international and regional peace and stability.


Stability, cooperation and development are the common aspirations of people all over the world. The US should also earnestly abide by the basic norms of international relations, abandon hegemony and Cold War mentality, stop provoking confrontation and stimulating arms races, and do more things that are conducive to global peace and stability.


Editor's note: Originally published on, this article is translated from Chinese into English and edited by the China Military Online. The information and opinions in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of

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