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The Pentagon and the NATO - Military expenditure and armaments


1. Framing of the Pentagon’s warlike policy and of its alter ego, the NATO
2. The amount of military expenditure
3. The dimension of the armed forces
4. Armament of the main countries
5. Armament producing corporations
6. Armament selling countries
7. Sellers according to type of armament
8. Armament purchasing countries

1 – Framing of the Pentagon’s warlike policy and of its alter ego, the NATO

The volume of military expenditure for the great majority of countries is related to the
degree of regional conflict, considering that in those cases there are no hegemonic
claims at a global level; or with the internal power of the military castes, more or less
extensive or influential in the dimension of their resources and privileges. On the other
hand, in every country, there are more or less transparent relations, too often corrupt
ones, between the civil powers and the military castes, the armament suppliers as
well as discreet intermediaries, the latter being beneficiaries of huge commissions.
On its bottom there are the populations, and, namely, the crowd of workers and
former workers who get very little or almost nothing from those transactions, and
whose role is none other but to support the inherent costs which consequently
reduce their income.

In certain cases, pertaining to a coalition of States involves relations of solidarity,

normally inserted in a hierarchic framework with a domineering power at the top. In
this context, small countries, with no capability to develop hegemonic claims at a
global or even regional level and with no visible threats to their security, are involved
in charges, conflicts and wars resulting from that hierarchic insertion to satisfy
someone else’s interests, as if it were a lord’s tribute, unjustifiable before their own

Naturally, the NATO is the extreme example of coalition - whose top is the Pentagon -
which politically encompasses 28 states, in general pleasing the military castes, well
paid and ideologically brainwashed to obey and that constitute, in the whole a sort

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of Praetorian Guard, with acting codes and a common language. The NATO, on the
one hand, is the only military organisation - euphemistically designated as being a
supplier of a collective and jointly responsible security service amongst its members -,
and which allows itself to act in non-member countries and against their peoples
within the framework of a planetary intervention claim, dangerously liable to
practical application, due to the resources and cohesion degree it holds. The NATO
even defines a strategic scale with various degrees of application:

• Pre-emptive protection (the case of sanctions)

• Pro-active management of the crisis (the sort of intervention in Haiti)
• Use of military intervention (Afghanistan)
• Post-intervention stabilization (supposedly, today’s Iraq)

No other formal or informal coalition of States has the same global intervention
power, either political or military, founded upon the constant existence of a
devastating destruction power, which, on its turn, is cushioned by means of a clearly
asymmetric appropriation of the resources and wealth created by mankind.

In 2001 – and, it must be said, before the 11th of September – under the leadership of
the then US vice-president, Dick Cheney, the NEP – New Energetic Policy- was
created based upon the following principles:

• The USA national security must be guaranteed, while an axiom, as a non-

negotiable and holy principle, and, for that matter, the whole Humanity must
subdue to such high purpose;

• The maintenance of the capitalist world order, currently working within the
framework of the neo-liberal paradigm (as before under the Keynesian law)
demands an overwhelming military power to prevent, on the one hand, any
State from frontally challenging the USA, and, on the other, to deny the people
the right to social revolution;

• So that the north-American economy keeps on working, it needs huge

energetic resources which, being essentially of fossil origin, belong to limited
world reserves and, therefore, are the object of very strong disputes;

• The maintenance of the very military forces demands a steady and enormous
flux of energetic resources which contributes in itself to exert pressure in what the
control of those resources is concerned, if not of the sources, at least of the
transport channels – maritime routes, oil and gas pipelines;

• In spite of possessing enormous resources and being a great producer of

energetic products, the United States have a consumption volume a lot superior
to their own domestic capacities. According to the NEP, the situation, in the long
run, as far as oil is concerned, is preoccupying:

2002 Forecast 2020

Production 8.5 7.0
Consumption 19.5 25.5
Imported 11.0 18.5
Values in millions of barrels a day (Mb/d)

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• In order to move in this complex scenario, the USA have defined the
advantages of the political destabilisation and fragmentation of the States that
best serve their own interests; such is the case of the former Yugoslavia, the
former USSR or the Kurdish autonomy in Iraq.

• More recently, James Jones, NATO’s supreme commander between 2003 and
2006, was appointed as Obama’s adviser for national security, and it is known
he is a strong supporter of an enlarged NATO to the East and to the South
whose purpose is the control of the energetic resources necessary to the USA.
This continuity line vis-à-vis the Bush administration together with the USA action
in the support of the coup d’état in Honduras reveal the great unity between
Republicans and Democrats in what concerns the geographic extension of their
common concept about the US national interests. On the other hand, the
Pentagon, together with the oil sector and its multinationals as well as with the
armament industry, has a great autonomy vis-à-vis the Presidency; it is a state
within a state. Condoleeza Rice and Dick Cheney were former high cadres of
the oil sector, and Robert Gates remained as maximum authority of the
Pentagon, moving from the Bush to the Obama Administration.

Apart from this summary panel, some developments and options which lead to the
promotion of conflicts and other actions carried out by the USA, with a stronger or
lesser involvement of its NATO allies or other circumstantial ones, as Russia, Israel or
the Magreb countries in the Active Endeavour operation, the Persian Gulf countries
of the Gulf Cooperation Council, or even India in the Malaca Strait patrolling.

• In order to find a solution for the energetic issue, the US frame the necessity to
raise the number of suppliers, the appearance of new quarries, the use of clean
alternative sources (solar, aeolian…) or polluting ones (nuclear, coal), knowing
that these are meagre contributes to the problem. There are other great
consumers, namely China, eager to guarantee vital supplies for its high
economic growth, and are active both regarding exploration contracts in other
countries and constructing new conducting channels for oil and gas. On the
other hand, the discovery of great quarries is no longer so frequent and the
exploration conditions (for example, in the sea) are increasingly getting more
costly. At last, the renewable energies are still a long way away from
substituting oil, namely in the transports, while the nuclear energy has no
particular acceptance amongst populations;

• The great oil and gas reserves are located in Russia, Central Asia, Middle East
and Venezuela, while the great consumption is located in the US, in Europe, in
Japan and in China, apart from a long list of other producers, namely in Africa or
Norway and other consumers of rising importance as is the case of India. This
non-juxtaposition raises serious technical logistic problems as well as transport
difficulties which worsen the disputes among the various operators but which
also serve them as instruments within a geo-political and more enlarged frame;

• The control of the fluids out of the wells and their conduction demand the
political control of the producing States as well as other States which play a
relevant role for the energetic availability next to the great consumers;

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• Among other factors very little favourable to the USA, Russia comes in the first
place and whose geo-strategic power is not surmountable with sanctions or
warlike policies. Russia possesses enormous resources, also a strong political
power, around its emblematic figure Putin, which dominates the energetic
resources of the country and uses them as the spinal cord of the Russian
economy. The country is also Western Europe’s natural supplier, directly or as
passage to the exportations of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, which, on their
turn, have the advantage to be close to Japan and China, both great importers;

• That liaison to the EU takes place by means of various pipelines which,

necessarily, will have to go through Ukraine or, and less problematically, through
Belarus, which is a Moscow abiding State, both ready to be fodder for difficulties
provoked by the CIA agencies, as was the case of the Ukrainian “orange
revolution”, whose enticing smell and colour seem to have gone astray;

• The Central Asia great producers, together with Russia and China, integrated in
the Xinghai Cooperation Organization , tend to coordinate their economies with
those of their gigantic neighbours, gone as it is a period of permeability to the
North-American adulation and the weakness of Ieltsin’s Russia;

• In the South, the Iranian resources are insurmountable due to their dimension, the
same way the Iranian regime is absolutely intolerable to any North-American
administration, no matter whether it is evangelical fundamentalist with the
Republicans or, somehow less ideological, with Obama. In that context, the
intimidating and encircling manoeuvres seem to be there to stay, having as an
argument the military use of nuclear energy, the carrying out of inefficient
sanctions under the auspices of that diffuse entity called “international
community” together with the refrain of Israel’s aggressive ways, always ready to
warlike adventures, although it has won none since 1967;

• Still in the South, is located Afghanistan, where the North-Americans had great
hopes of constructing the exit to the Indian Ocean for the Central Asia oil – out
of the reach of Russians or Iranians – but which will never be built within a context
of civil war, whether it is as now with the Kabul mayor (Karzai) and the Taliban or,
as an alternative, the war lords among themselves over the drug trafficking;

• In the Persian Gulf, the USA built a network of oil protectorates and military bases
– Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman – having to deal simultaneously with the
Saudi everlasting suspicion of infidelity;

• In the Caspian Sea, western interests built the BTC pipeline which links the eastern
bank (Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan) to the western bank, limited to Azerbaijan
of the Aliev family, and whence it extends through Georgia and Turkey up to
Ceihan, in the Eastern Mediterranean, very close to the Syrian border;

• Finally, Venezuela, although it keeps on being an important energetic supplying

source for the United States, it presents a social model whose example for other
Latin American countries is not to be tolerated by the United States, accustomed
as they have been to monitoring the evolution of the Latin-American societies so
that they will not even dare to scratch the imperial power. Therefore, the
reinforcement of the military presence in Colombia, in Aruba, together with the

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reactivation of the IV South Atlantic Squad, coincident with the recent
discoveries of oil in the Brazilian Seas, is understandable.

Currently, the USA, in spite of their undeniable military power, have registered
strategic setbacks which can be considered as withdrawal and decadence factors
thus forcing them to successive interventions in other States, instead of the use of the
so-called “soft-power”, to an increasing use of the dissemination of their military
presence and at the same time diluting their leadership in formal contexts of
multilateral action. The NATO here plays a role of the utmost importance in the
military-strategic apparatus of the western capitalism.

• The strong points the United Sates have on this vast table are multiple. One is
Turkey, which historically dominates the straits between the Black and the
Aegean Seas, but which has been trying to keep a great strategic autonomy.
While maintaining excellent relations and armament deals with the North-
Americans or the friendship with Israel, Turkey tries to moderate this fact by
keeping good relations with Iran as well and refusing to support the United
States in the Iraqi invasion;

• Another strong point has to do with the Israeli fortress whose relevance in the
patrol of the Middle East forces the US to tolerate the Palestinian genocide
gaining, in rebuttal, the anti- Americanism of the “Arab Road”; distracted as far
as the nuclear proliferation of Israel is concerned, also aggregating the latter in
alternative projects for oil routes from Ceihan to Eilath, an Israeli port in the Red
Sea, thus averting the Suez Canal as liaison between the Indian and the

• The military power allows the US and the NATO great advantages as far as the
aero-naval domination at a global scale is concerned, with a logistic system
going through an adapting phase, whose purpose is a better and greater
mobility, with the use of a vast network of bases where they station soldiers and
equipments in a state of high readiness and tactical malleability;

• From a strictly politico-ideological view point, Obama’s administration let aside

the Huntington xenophobe thesis about the shocks of civilizations, where the
enemy was focused on the Islamic world and on the Christian orthodox
countries. On the one hand, several attempts to co-opt Russia for the western
strategy have been witnessed, with the abandonment of the construction of the
Eastern Europe Missile Shield platform, the involvement in Iran’s isolation, in the
patrolling of the Somali Seas, liable to please the European Union, the latter
being very little interested in tensions with its great energy supplier.
Simultaneously, their purpose is to divide the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
(SCO), which congregates Russia, China, the Central Asian countries and which
has as interested observers India and Iran. On the other hand, they try to
establish a dichotomy between the moderate Muslims and the Jihad supporters,
the terrorists, the fundamentalists, with obvious purposes to entice them against
each other, even if the border between segments is not at all clear;

• A great part of the world trade circulates through the Indian Ocean and links
Eastern Asia (China, Japan…) to Europe – without referring to
origins/intermediary destinies such as Northern and Eastern Africa or Southern
Asia – through a number of ways or, in a more explicit way, via straits. The same

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way, and in spite of using other possible alternatives, the Middle East oil is led to
the Far East and to Europe through the same straits, which thus become crucial
and potential strangulations points. These routes are vital to Europe, to East Asia
and even to South Asia (i.e. India), with strong business relations among them,
due to the energetic supplies. Nonetheless, the same does not apply to the USA,
which by way of assuming the control of such supplies, permanently hold the
right as well as determinant instruments to the economic (de) stabilisation of their
allies, of their friends and also of those not quite their friends. The US national
interest is paramount.

• In fact, the liaisons between the US and the Far East, as well as with Europe, do
not cross the Indian ocean, and, on the other hand, the US, as for the oil
question, have been increasing the sources of the oil they consume which are
situated elsewhere, e.g. on the African Atlantic Coast, also Venezuela and
Mexico, in the American continent, thus reducing their dependency on the
Middle East;

• The control of the Indian Ocean and its straits proves to be crucial for the whole
of the global maritime transport system. In 1510, Afonso de Albuquerque, second
Portuguese vice-Roy in India, tried to control the navigation in the Indian Ocean
– to the loss of Turks, Persians and Indians – by conquering Ormuz (Persian Gulf
access), Malaca (entry to the strait), only failing the seizure of Aden in order to
dominate the Red Sea access (Bab el Mandeb). Later, the English managed to
do so, the situation thus lasting until the decolonization;

• Currently, in what concerns the Bad el Mandeb, the US troops are stationed in
Djibouti with the possibility of moving on to a military facility in Yemen, having the
existing conflict in the latter country as a starting point. The US troops together
with other countries - NATO countries or not - also patrol the contiguous sea,
under the pretext of the so-called ‘Somali pirates’. In the vicinity of the Ormuz
Strait, the USA control Kuwait where they hold a number of military facilities. They
are strongly present in Iraq and Afghanistan, and possess military bases in Saudi
Arabia (in Dharam, coincidently situated very near the oil terminal of Ras
Tanura), Bahrain, Qatar (al-Ubaid) and Oman. Finally, the Malaca Strait, due to
its vulnerability and the existence of pirates somehow less media publicised, is
patrolled by the American navy together with India, and still benefit from the
strong support of Singapore. In order to understand how fragile this whole system
is, one has only to imagine the impact of the blockade in the Malaca Strait,
which, as a consequence, will increase in 10 to 12 days the length of the voyage
from the Indian Ocean to Japan. On top of all this, the V Squadron and the
Diego Garcia base should be referred to, the latter well located in the centre of
the Indian Ocean and whose population was expelled in the 70’s of last century;

• There are natural and growing strategic weaknesses for the Pentagon and its
NATO allies. The purpose of isolating Russia proposed during the Bush
administration has failed, in spite of the absorption of Eastern Europe by the
NATO, the dismemberment of Yugoslavia, the ‘independence’ of Kosovo,
created to host the great base of Bolsdteel, the ‘little Guantanamo’ for the
control of the Balkans and the ‘orange revolutions’ in Ukraine and Georgia.
Russia continues to supply Europe with energy, and has been diversifying those
channels with direct connections through the Baltic Sea and Murmansk thus
dodging Ukraine. This way, Russia has guaranteed the use of its pipelines for the

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Kazakh and Turkmen hydrocarbons; it is a member of an economic-military
alliance – the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) – that conglomerates
a huge geographical mass rich in oil and gas, which includes the Chinese
dynamic power, the Chinese and Russian capitals, the largest world army and
the Russian nuclear arsenal;

• The Iraq and Afghanistan invasions are far from being successful cases for the
USA. In Iraq, the invasion, although it had made easier the exploration of the Iraqi
oil to the western multinationals (1), did not guarantee the stability of the region,
increased the inner tensions in Iraq between Kurds, Sunnites and Shiites and the
scenario seems to be little optimistic when the withdrawal of the American army
and its mercenaries takes place. On the other hand, the intervention in
Afghanistan has not produced economically useful impacts for its promoters, if
the weaponry producers are to be excluded. As for the construction of pipelines
through the Afghan territory to conduct the Central Asian oil to the Indian
Ocean, to India and Pakistan, without having to cross Iranian territory, is
increasingly and virtually impossible;

• The solid position and stability of Iran have been maintained, and, rather than
being isolated, the country has intensified its relations with its neighbours. Iran is
going to build a pipeline to supply Pakistan, India might as well benefit (2), and a
connection with the Turkmen transport system has been established.
Concomitantly, it imports Turkmen gas for inner consumption as well as for
supplying Turkey; it also became an importer of the Azeri gas in what is a
compensation arrangement which reduces the transport of a homogeneous
product, thus promoting its exportations via sea.

• China has established gas and oil supply land connections with Russia,
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, thus a new opportunity is going to be opened with
the Russian exportation through the Nakhodka port, in the Russian Far East and
Sakhalin, which may also make Japan less dependent on the oil vessels coming
from the South. On the other hand, the same Turkmenistan, which holds the
world’d four greatest oil reserves, has dedicated its exportations to Russia, China
and Iran. On the other hand, the USA pay China the necessary attention to any
naval blockade by maintaining 1000000 soldiers in Japan and South Korea - the
VII Squadron -, Okinawa and Singapore, once Taiwan’s support is taken for
granted, and still consider the possibility of returning to Cam Rahn, in Vietnam, of
which they must keep extremely sad memories.

• Finally, the North-American budgetary deficit is enormous, and, as a result, the US

end up by having a huge debt, which, considering only China and Japan,
amounts to $1.5 billion to which annual interests of $ 250000 million should be
added. For such situation the military budget is highly responsible since $1 billion
goes to it alone, and of which $880000 million go to the Pentagon. The secret
military programmes are excluded from these amounts ($70000 million), the
military aid to foreign countries, namely to Egypt, Israel and Pakistan, the hiring of
225 000 elements for military services, the costs with the veterans plus the $ 75000
million on the 16 intelligence services. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only will
cost, in 2010, $200/250000 million, while the recent reinforcement of 30000 men
decreed by Obama for Afghanistan will represent a financial effort superior to
the whole of the defence budget of a country such as Germany (4).

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A balance between these synthesis of the Pentagon’s strong and weak points, also
the NATO and the North-American domination strategy in the world, focused on the
geopolitical and military aspects is not and will never be satisfactory to its promoters.
The USA and the so-called developed countries’ economic and financial difficulties,
facing serious unemployment problems, growth of poverty, labour devaluation,
deficits as well as stagnation, together with the lack of credibility of their political
system and leaders, is not favourable to a global resolution of the problems as their
expectations might have been.

The substitution of the postulate of the shock of civilizations, in a more subtle way
“shock of values” (5), does not change the seeking for the domination of the
Humanity and the appropriation of the planet’s resources. Naïve people might have
thought that the human rights key played by Reagan was dead, but the recent Abu
Ghraib, Guantanamo or Kunduz scandals have shown it was otherwise, thus it sounds
fake and offensive that the USA governors and their aids speak to the world about

The USA, the Pentagon and the NATO’s strategic difficulties will not make them draw
back – on the contrary – from their intent to make war, to make use of torture,
destruction of cities and villages, dislocation of populations, to make the North-
American and European peoples pay for the costs and risks linked to that infinite war
decreed by Bush, as an enraged animal, in front of the fumes and smokes coming
from the Twin Towers. Only the workers’ struggle, their interaction and organization
against the war, will enable the militarism and the military-industrial systems to stop
this crave for war. Such action can only be defined by means of a humanitarian goal
when framed within the struggle for democracy and the end of capitalism.

2 – The amount of the military expenditure

The amount of the military expenditure is an elementary indicator but it also sheds
light over the burden the peoples have to bear with the maintenance of their
respective countries’ troops. Table I deals with the military expenditure per inhabitant,
compared to the average contribution of each citizen to create wealth for the years
1998 and 2008. This analysis includes all the NATO countries, the neutral European
countries and Israel, taking into account the complete integration of the latter in the
Western military-strategic apparatus.

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Table I – Per capita expenditure on defence and capitation of the GDP ($ of 2005)
1998 2008 Defense/GDP (%)
Defense GDP Defense GDP 1998 2008
Albania 19 3.767 62 7.160 0,51 0,87
Austria * 340 29.721 336 36.037 1,14 0,93
Belgium 447 28.411 415 33.605 1,57 1,23
Bulgaria 65 6.319 93 11.239 1,02 0,83
Canada 369 29.902 494 36.077 1,23 1,37
Croatia 411 11.951 204 17.520 3,44 1,16
Cyprus 844 21.101 486 26.453 4,00 1,84
Czech Rep. 182 16.042 199 23.211 1,13 0,86
Denmark 698 30.016 651 34.140 2,33 1,91
Estonia 62 9.956 273 18.882 0,62 1,45
Finland * 472 25.073 527 33.596 1,88 1,57
France 833 26.704 827 30.624 3,12 2,70
Germany 499 29.074 451 33.714 1,72 1,34
Greece 724 19.134 871 27.124 3,78 3,21
Hungary 119 12.563 135 17.997 0,94 0,75
Iceland 0 28.251 0 36.209 0 0
Ireland * 283 27.354 275 39.115 1,03 0,70
Israel 1.543 21.535 1.752 25.353 7,17 6,91
Italy 535 26.360 545 28.272 2,03 1,93
Latvia 23 7.607 176 15.597 0,31 1,13
Lituania 59 9.188 153 17.571 0,65 0,87
Malta * 100 18.000 96 22.426 0,56 0,43
Nederlands 576 31.402 601 38.078 1,84 1,58
Norway 1.010 41.979 1.026 49.072 2,41 2,09
Poland 132 10.833 195 16.440 1,22 1,18
Portugal 317 19.086 355 21.194 1,66 1,67
Romania 85 6.792 102 11.704 1,25 0,87
Slovakia 138 12.538 168 20.518 1,10 0,82
Slovenia 198 17.990 337 27.188 1,10 1,24
Spain 263 23.148 332 28.313 1,13 1,17
Sweden * 672 26.599 571 33.610 2,53 1,70
Turkey 225 9.702 156 12.408 2,32 1,26
UK 813 27.714 941 34.061 2,93 2,76
USA 1.162 37.238 1.771 43.671 3,12 4,05
* UE countries non-NATO members Increasings in bold
Source – SIPRI – Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

It is worth noting that in the first place Iceland is the only one of these countries that,
since 1859, has not possessed formal armed forces, in spite of being a NATO member
and maintaining security agreements with the latter, with the USA, Denmark and
Norway, among other countries. The Keflavik base was run by the USA between1951-
2006 and the Icelandic Defence Force was stationed there. That base is now kept by
the Icelandic Defence Agency.

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The countries where the military expenditure per capita is higher – USA, Israel and
Norway – are the same in the two years here considered. The USA, as a
consequence of the 52.3% increase, in 2008, related to the occupation of the Middle
East present a higher figure than Israel in spite of the latter’s situation of permanent

Other cases of great growth per capita in what concerns the military expenditure are
the Baltic and the Eastern European countries, formerly integrated in the Warsaw
Pact. Currently, these countries renew their armament and their armed forces by
replacing the obsolete former USSR armament by armament supplied to them by the
western countries within the framework of their integration in the NATO.

Although no country has yet reduced the GDP value of the capitation – 2009 data
will prove this statement not to be accurate as a result of the current crisis – the
amount spent on the military has decreased in eleven countries – Germany, Austria,
Belgian, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, France, Ireland, Malta, Sweden and Turkey.

This fact can be justified by focusing on very distinct elements. In Northern Europe,
the dislocation of the NATO conflict axe towards South, towards the Mediterranean,
together with the contestation of the pacifist and anti-militarist movements in the
region were fertile ground for that development; in the case of Croatia, it has to do
with the end of the Balkan war; in Turkey it is linked to the reduction of the armed
forces traditional role while holding power, to the appeased conflict in Kurdistan and
to the US strong military presence which thus partially substitute the Turkish
expenditure on the defence sector; finally the case of Cyprus - being integrated in
the EU and although it does not belong to NATO, it will feel more secure, namely
before a possible Turkish threat, which on its turn is mitigated by its wish to join the EU.

The slice of the product each country reserves to the defence is higher in Israel, with
7.17%, in 1998, and slightly decreased to 6.91%, in 2008. The US, whose deviation of
resources to the defence sector increased, in 2008, almost one percent in relation to
ten years ago, occupy the second place. In the third place is Greece, with 3.21%, in
2008, which, very legitimately, questions the continued and huge military expenditure
considering the current difficulties of the Greek State.

A reduction in the weight of the military expenditure in 24 countries was to be

registered, the most significant reductions were registered in Croatia, Cyprus and
Turkey for the reasons already stated. Of those 24 countries, there are 11 of them
where the fact is concomitant with the reduction of the military expenditure per
inhabitant, regardless of the GDP. In the remaining countries, the weight of the GDP
military expenditure has been reduced, independently of the fact, in some cases
substantial, of the slice each citizen is summoned to contribute with.

During the same period, in nine countries – Albania, Canada, Slovenia, Spain,
Estonia, USA, Latvia, Lithuania and Portugal – the charges with the defence sector in
the total amount of the GDP increased, although only marginally in both Iberian

If in the other cases the reasons have already been explained, in Portugal and Spain,
taking into account the absence of conflict in their geographical area, everything
leads us to believe that the militarization of the society is increasing, and an attempt
to recuperate the armed forces “prestige” is underway. In fact, after the fall of the

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dictatorships, it was made clear the criminal character of the peninsular armed
forces as far as the support to the fascist regimes was concerned and, in the
Portuguese case, also their involvement in the colonial wars. Currently, with the
consolidation of the right-wing in power, we are going through a phase of re-
legitimacy of the armed forces, taking advantage of the end of the compulsory
military service to re-affirm their caste character and a more aggressive posture of
the Pentagon seeking for firm and docile allies. On the other hand, the enormous
unemployment rate among the young population gives rise to a social opportunity
for recruiting new mercenaries, which is, however, marked by precariousness. In the
case of Spain, and taking into consideration the extension of its territorial waters in
the Mediterranean, the great physical proximity with Africa as well as the strong
connections with Magreb, the armament question and the reinforcement of the
armed forces, in the militarist context, seem to be more justifiable than in the
peripheral Portugal.

In all countries included, there are six where the growth of the capitation of the
military expenditure is superior to the growth of the GDP per inhabitant in the
1998/2008 period;
% change
Canada 33.8 20.7
Latvia 654.8 105.0
Lithuania 157.2 91.2
Portugal 11.9 11.0
Slovenia 69.8 51.1
USA 52.3 17.3

The US military expenditure is circa 1 billion dollars and corresponds to a half of the
world expenditure in that sector. If their NATO allies and Japan are to be added, the
total participation of that group increases to 75%. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
alone, during the Bush mandates, despite the debt which made them possible,
represented a charge of $ 25000 to each American family (4) (6).

3 -The dimension of the armed forces

The elements that compose the armed forces are not always known due to various
reasons. The first reason has to do with matters of secrecy the States like to keep
about such matters, well in the core of their DNA, considering that it is a guarantee
for their sovereignty. In the second place, there are several concepts which may or
may not involve the reservists, paramilitary elements, praetorian guardians of the
regimes, all amounting to significant figures. Those situations may pose various
reserves to international comparisons, increased with the differences, sometimes of
several years, of the dates the data refer to.

As an example, in what concerns the paramilitary, above 400 thousand, in 2008, six
countries were registered, and in the case of the most important – Iran – the figures
were impressive (7):

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 11

Iran 11 390 Venezuela 600
China 3 969 USA 453
India 1 293 Egypt 405

Crossing various information sources (8), we were able to produce Table II which
includes the number of active troops, in general, for the year 2008, per 1 000
inhabitants, or the cost per active soldier in the same year with the comparison of the
elements related to the NATO countries, the EU countries that do not belong to that
military organisation and a number of other countries possessing armed forces of
great dimensions.

Table II - Number of active troops (aprox. 2008)

Nº Military
Nº Military
military/1000 expenditure/military
inhab ($ 2005)

World (estimate) 19.669 - -

Albania 10 3,1 20
Austria * 35 4,1 81
Belgium 39 3,8 110
Bulgaria 39 5,1 18
Canada 62 1,9 257
Croatia 20 4,4 46
Cyprus 10 11,7 42
Czech Rep. 57 5,6 35
Denmark 23 4,2 155
Estonia 5 3,7 73
Finland * 32 6 87
France 225 3,5 234
Germany 285 3,4 131
Greece 177 15,9 55
Hungary 33 3,3 41
Ireland * 10 2,4 113
Italy 240 4,1 134
Latvia 6 2,4 73
Lituania 14 4 38
Luxemburg 1 1,9 352
Malta 2 5,3 18
Netherlands 53 3,2 186
Norway 28 5,9 175
Poland 155 4,1 48
Portugal 45 4,2 84
Romania 90 4,2 24
Slovakia 26 4,9 35
Slovenia 9 4,5 75
Spain 177 4 83

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 12

Sweden * 34 3,7 154
Turkey 514 6,9 23
UK 195 3,2 294
USA 1.474 4,8 372
Brazil 287 1,5 54
China 2.255 1,7 28
Egypt 450 6 6
India 1.325 1,1 19
Iran 545 7,7 11
Israel 187 27 65
Japan 239 1,9 179
Pakistan 650 4 6
Russia 1.245 8,7 31
South Korea 687 14,2 35
Ukraine 149 3,2 22
Vietnam 484 5,5 3
Others (estim) 7.042 - -
*UE countries non-NATO members SIPRI

It is estimated that in the whole, the number of active troops in the armed forces is
between 19/20 million of elements. In that whole amount, the four countries which
possess over a million soldiers are: China, the USA, Russia and India, which represent
circa one third (32%) of the active troops.
As for the US armed forces, apart from the natural presence in their own territory, they
are disseminated in 750 military bases scattered throughout fifty countries. This logistic
apparatus, this network integrated and lead by the Pentagon, allows the latter a
strategic and tactical power which is unique in the world and turns all the human
beings and the global environment dependent on both their permanent threat and

Turkey holds the second biggest military NATO corps, whose effective members
present a dimension which is similar to that of South Korea and Pakistan (fifth and
sixth respectively in the world hierarchy), and of Iran immediately followed by
Vietnam and Egypt.

In the remaining NATO countries the dimension of the armed forces is very
heterogeneous, and does not always show a great proportionality in accordance to
the country’s population. The most astounding cases are those of Israel (here
considered as a NATO country, and a unique case of a true military order), as well as
Greece, also possessing an enormous military apparatus, whose size seems not to
have been put in question by the guardians of the “markets”, much more motivated
to impose sacrifices to workers and under-privileged people.

When the number of active soldiers per 1 000 inhabitants, apart from those
mentioned above, Israel and Greece, a relevant place is occupied by South Korea
and Cyprus, all of them having over 1% of the population in the military. In Israel the
figure is even 2.7%, but in reality it may amount to a higher figure considering that the
Arab population, which constitutes a considerable slice, is kept away from the
participation in the armed forces of the Zionist entity as well as from a full citizenship.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 13

Among the NATO or neutral European countries, Turkey, Finland, Norway, the Check
Republic, Malta and Bulgaria are relevant for their high ratios (>5.0, i.e. > 0,5% of the
population. The same applies to others, such as Russia (heir of the USSR superpower),
Iran and Egypt, well implanted in the instability axe which crosses the Middle East, in
the centre of the raw dispute over the domination of the fossil combustibles.

Among the NATO counties or neutral countries of the EU, the situations of relative
weight of the military corps in the whole of the population is to be registered in
Canada and Luxemburg (1.9). Note, however, that those indicators are even smaller
in countries of great population like India (1.1), Brazil, China and Japan.

The unit cost of each soldier is particularly high in the USA, which possess the most
powerful military forces of the whole planet, largely possessing technological means
for making war. At the technological level, it is relevant the role played by the
“drones”, planes without pilot, remotely controlled from land by civilian hired by the
North American State. Luxemburg also, a minute State, but very relevant as far as the
financial system is concerned, presents a unit cost per soldier.

In a second plan, are situated Great Britain and France, sub-imperialisms the two of
them, former colonial powers and holders of nuclear weaponry. All the most
developed countries have a high cost per soldier above $100, except for Austria and
Finland which are not NATO members.

Among the countries with armed forces above the 100000 troops, only the US,
France, Great Britain, Italy and Japan have a unit cost per soldier above $100. On
their turn, outside the NATO frame, only Japan, Sweden and Ireland overcome that
amount, the two latter countries are the only ones whose population is inferior to ten
million inhabitants.

On the reverse, the lowest costs per soldier are to be registered particularly among
the armed forces of great size, and, simultaneously of a lesser wealth, thus indicating
their difficulty in acquiring the expensive pieces of equipment available to the rich
countries. On the other hand, once the work force is abundant and cheap and the
sub-employment rather high, it is convenient to maintain large armies in order to
keep the population busy. From a strictly economic view point, it is more relevant to
the GDP the stimulation to inner consumption with the payment of salaries to the
military than importing very expensive equipment (by spending currency) and having
a high rate of unemployment or acquiring technical competence. The problem
arises when an open conflict breaks out which forces the acquisition of those
equipments without the reduction of the active elements.

Both, in the countries with a high number of military elements and a low index of
technological incorporation, and those where the reverse is to be observed there is
always a military caste which may dominate the political life or become a real state
within the state, as in Pakistan, Israel or the US, where the Pentagon’s economy is
such that it imposes its own choices as far as the leadership is concerned.

The human dimension of an army is not a determinant question in an epoch in which

the technology applied to the armament is, generally, allowed special attention and
to which the States do not discuss much over the financial question. Cases are
known in which certain technological innovations start by having, on their bases and
objectives, a military application before they are used by the world in general, the

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 14

internet being the most paramount example. In that context, the human dimension
of the armed forces, within certain proportions, does not supply much information
about the potentially destructive material, the mobility and the degree of readiness
of that military apparatus. As it is widely known, the Iraqi army at the time of the
American invasion in 2003, had a much higher human effective than the “allies”, and
that proved to be manifestly insufficient to face the fire power and use of technology
of the Pentagon hordes.

If a military effective belongs to a developed country, it will, a priory, be supplied with

sophisticated and expensive equipments, with well prepared and highly technically
prepared users to handle complex equipments. That high technical capacity is one
of the reasons to slowly extinguish the recruitment regimes based on the compulsory
military services, for short time gaps (till 2 years) not liable to create cumulative
experience in dealing with those equipments. Even when the military service was
compulsory, certain expertises, namely in the navy and air forces, went through a
special recruitment, with long period expectations as far as permanence was
concerned and by, among others, technical reasons. On the other hand, it is of the
governments’ and of the capitalist power interest the existence of a stable and
reliable military corps, which, articulated with the police forces, can perform mixed
functions necessary to the bio-political control of the crowd.

That fusion of military and police functions is well expressed in the NATO doctrine, with
the validation of its new bible – new strategic concept – for the coming November, in
Lisbon. When in the NATO preoccupations problems such as illegal migrations, there
must be an articulation with the border polices; when the organisation intends to
include in its objectives the organised crime, the drug-traffic or the “hackers” action,
they force themselves to work as a criminal police.

In this context, the defence of a return to the compulsory military service is an illusion.
First, the current form of bio-political domination of the societies makes the mingling
of the police and the military one of the essential instruments for maintaining the
capitalist system on a durable basis, and the defence of the compulsory military
service has something parallel to the creation of the Icarian Community, in the 19th
century. On the other hand, even the armies based upon the compulsory military
service, only seldom have they been the protagonists of progressive interventions in
the peoples’ lives; the hierarchical structure and the authoritarianism existing in the
military ranks does not favour the soldiers’ relation with the people without a
significant support of the rank officers. As it is widely known, the Portuguese 25th of
April was determined by the low officers’ ranks naturally with the enthusiastic
adherence of the rank and file. Normally, the profound social changes go through
the dismantling of the armies, even if, regrettably, with the edification of others who
substitute the former with the same spirit and vices of caste.

On the other hand, in a globalization context, with open borders, of economic and
political integration of countries in geo-strategic groups of a variable geometry, of
the multinationals domination, of deliberate bet on the “global market”, of the
exports, the defence of the inner market - the nation, as a realm defended by
devoted and patriotic warriors, is finished. The national bourgeoisies find themselves
resources for the defence of the “national unity” as a justification for the
maintenance of their armed forces, since power is essentially a matter that concerns
regional or world institutions.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 15

Thus, the armed forces as a cohesion factor are no longer necessary, so secondary
became the concept of homeland before the regional or market integration, as one
may put it. For the populations, however, the nationalist issue and the traditional
homeland defence - increasingly out of place and contradicting the great
interconnection among the peoples, who travel more frequently, the migratory
fluxes, the internet information exchange, etc. - are still banners to be brandished.

More than ever, it is now clear the social partition between the social class of the
capitalists, with their multiple coordination entities in the political, economic, financial
and … military fields, and the greatest part of Humanity which is supposed to be
laborious, qualified and, through the global bio-political control, tame and abiding,
even when their subsistence levels lower to the point of their inclusion in explicit
programmes of genocide.

The global capitalism thus needs a military force also at a global scale, with well
established hierarchies in order to establish the authority of the capital before what
are the misdeeds of their own existence – international conflicts, social crises,
“terrorism”, clandestine migrations, cyber-crime, pirates’ attacks, environmental
problems, security of the communication routes, organized crime, drug trade and
similar businesses, defence of “democracy”, etc. This force, which is now being built
as well as reinforced in what its doctrine is concerned and getting hold of the
available and organizational means, is also going through a period of building up
other forms of establishing themselves and acting at a territorial level.

This global military power needs the borders to be guarded thus needing regional
and local agents the same way a district police command cannot do without the
local police stations to enforce law and order. This way, in a global plan, capitalism
demands the presence of localized military forces but integrated and movable
within a renewed NATO, which in its turn has the Pentagon as its unifying power; the
New Strategic Concept is the form found for such renewal.

4- The armament of the main countries

In this chapter the absence of systematic data about the armed forces armament is
maintained as part of the convenient secrecy policies implemented by the States.
This secrecy applies only to the peoples since the intelligence services always supply
their military headquarters with the necessary information about potential enemies
and rivals in order to have their human, material and logistic resources reshaped for
planning purposes, both operational and of acquisition. Note, however, that it is fairly
common, while negotiating acquisitions, the corruption of high rank officials and the
interested connection of the latter to the great supplying groups, the same way that
very seldom do those groups object to such commissions, where market competition
as well as the high value of the transactions play a paramount role. The issue which
connects Ferrostaal, the Portuguese Council in Munich and the submarines is an
illustrating example, while many of the details and intervenient actors are still to be

The following table (Table III) understates and simultaneously quantifies the principal
elements of the world main countries’ war arsenals, and particularly estimates the

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 16

NATO destructive power. The specification was done to what planes, helicopters,
tanks, vessels and submarines were concerned (9).

Table III – Military means of the main countries 2001-2008 period

Planes Helicopters Tanks Vessels Submarines
Canada 399 168 2.194 34 4
Denmark 161 40 nd 51 4
France 1.023 892 8.536 134 10
Germany 350 748 5.699 130 13
Greece 847 218 4.403 118 8
Italy 1.594 716 3.355 107 7
Norway 141 66 nd 45 6
Poland 807 291 nd 87 4
Spain 691 311 2.869 90 8
Sweden * 744 150 540 77 9
Turkey 1.199 336 6.672 182 13
UK 1.891 779 5.121 139 17
USA 18.169 4.593 29.920 1.559 75
Brazil 1.272 372 1.676 89 5
China 1.900 491 31.300 760 68
Egypt 1.230 243 9.357 93 4
India 1.007 240 10.340 143 18
Iran 84 84 5.449 65 3
Israel 1.230 386 14.200 18 3
Japan 1.957 745 2.040 147 18
Pakistan 710 198 3.919 33 11
Russia 3.888 2.625 79.985 526 61
South Korea 538 502 8.325 85 20
Ukraine 2.451 743 nd 46 1

NATO 27.272 9.158 68.769 2.676 169

Others 17.011 6.779 167.131 2.082 221
*UE countries non-NATO members SIPRI

Among the air forces present in the table of the countries, the dimension of the NATO
countries flotillas is a lot superior to the rest of them which do not belong to the same
military organisation, and cannot take advantage of the homogeneity of the
equipment. In this field, that numerical supremacy is higher than in other type of war

The US air force alone, without considering other NATO allies, is twice as big as the
other countries in question, those non-NATO members. This aerial superiority is possible
for two reasons: first, for the domination of technology mainly held by three
corporations – Boing, Lockheed-Martin and Northrop-Grumman; secondly due to a
constant research and innovation, under the Pentagon’s request, which holds a
huge autonomy within the North-American administration, the latter being generous
about the budgetary amounts allowed for that purpose. Next comes the existence of
a powerful economy which can be maintained due the facility to be allowed credit

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 17

(issue of dollars) which no other country possesses, and finally for their determination
to maintain a world military hegemony that forces the US to consider the rest of the
world countries as assets to satisfy “the national interests of the USA”, namely, in what
concerns the energetic field.

The US air force, by its dimension, its mobility, its various support bases throughout the
world, is the main North-American hegemonic instrument at a planetary level.

Russia and Ukraine occupy the second and third places respectively, although the
latter possesses obsolete equipment and the economic difficulties the country has to
put up with does not enable the renewal of such equipment.

On the same quantitative level, there are such countries as Japan, China, Great-
Britain and Italy, and there are still six more States that possess over a thousand war
planes. The Israeli fleet, which according to its territorial and human dimension is
absolutely enormous, is a sign of its role as a fortress and permanent threat to all the
Middle East and East Mediterranean peoples. In the 80’s, such situation allowed Israel
to bomb the Iraqi nuclear power station of Osirak, without punishment, with disastrous
consequences for the region as well as a tremendous impact on the energy prices,
which is obviously not welcome in recession times.

In what the helicopters are concerned, the superiority of the NATO countries is also
extremely high, although somehow inferior concerning the war planes. The
helicopter, being a tactical weapon, plays a more localized role, and, therefore, is
not an element of strategic domination. The US have by far the highest number of
helicopters, but in what the war planes are concerned their superiority amounts to
figures that comparing to Russia attains 4.7/1, that figure being reduced to 1.8/1 on
the helicopters. On a much lower level than the military superpowers, with 700/800
machines, are situated Great-Britain, Germany, Japan, Ukraine and Italy. Probably,
Ukraine’s position in the hierarchy of the war machines tends to get lower as the
Soviet inheritance fades away.

In the 2006 presented data, it is clear the relevance of the Iranian air means, well
away from what the North-American propaganda intends to make the world
believe, which, and before the facts, reveals that the Iranian ‘threat’ is none other
but the energetic resources, coveted by the Pentagon for over 30 years.

As for the tanks, the NATO is not so well supplied as in the cases referred above,
holding a position, in relation to the remaining countries, of 4/10. That position is due
to the enormous parks particularly held by Russia and China. The latter countries,
being continental, with stretched and remote borders as well as some border
conflicts (such is the case of China with India and also the Taiwan question),
supposedly tend to demand an adequate deterrent for their armies.

Within the NATO framework, also, the US do not possess the absolute majority of such
vehicles, but even so they hold a volume superior to that of the holders that follow –
France, Turkey, Germany and Great-Britain.

Once again, Israel has a relevant place, thus being the fourth country in the world
hierarchy, a lot above the remaining countries, and possibly holding the greatest
density of tanks per square Km.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 18

Within the framework of the constant regional conflict between India and Pakistan,
already protagonists of several wars, the Indian superiority is relevant.

The war navy, similarly to what happens with the aviation, is another instrument of
global domination, taking into consideration its mobility and destruction capability.
And here again appears the NATO with an evident superiority in relation to the group
of the remaining countries of the world, although it has a relatively small power in
supporting the attempts for a strategic establishment of the US in Central Asia; unlike
the aviation which can operate without geographical limitations, both on land and
at sea.

The NATO naval superiority, without taking into consideration the diversity of the
composition and the autonomy of the fleets, can be verified by the simple fact that
the number of the organisation’s vessels is 29% superior to that of the remaining world

On the other hand, the naval facilities of the US are astoundingly superior to those
held by any other country or even the Russian and Chinese vessels together or of all
the NATO allies. The United States hold 58% of the war navies of the main NATO
countries together.

An interesting fact is that the war navies, historically important or even domineering –
the cases of Great-Britain, Germany, France and Japan – do not represent 9% of the
North-American effectives, if each of them is to be considered.

In this context, one should also take good note of the enormous concentration of
naval means in the Mediterranean/Aegean belonging to Turkey and Greece. The
Turks possess the fourth greatest world war fleet, and Greece the eleventh, the fact
naturally accounting for the financial difficulties the latter country is currently going
through. Within the prevalent logic, the ECB, the IMF and the EC, as well as other
obscure ‘markets’, prefer to reduce salaries and penalize the civil servants to
diminish the deficit.

It is not impossible to believe that the Portuguese admirals must envy their Greek
consorts and anxiously wait for the submarines which will make them go beyond their
duties as coastal guards where they have not been particularly successful. Their
tough performance in what the fight against small motor boats boarded by half a
dozen men (Somali ‘pirates’) in order to protect the plundering of the tuna-fish by
Spanish fishing boats among others is known. An interesting note goes to the
Portuguese Admiralty which had not sailed in the Indian Ocean waters since the
glorious escape in the Pangim port of the “Afonso de Albuquerque” – among
merchant vessels anchored, till it was stuck on land – when being confronted with the
Indian navy at the end of the Portuguese colonization of Goa (1961).

Finally, the last point here considered, as far as war machines are concerned, goes
to the submarines. In this case the NATO supremacy is relative since all the fleets
together sum up a higher amount than the total amount of the submarines held by
the countries belonging to the organisation.

The USA hold the largest amount of submarines followed relatively closely by China
and Russia. Within the NATO context, the United States have only 44% of the

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 19

All the other States possess 20 or less embarkations, with relative relevance to South
Korea, India, Japan and Great-Britain. Once again Greece has a relevant position,
with a number of units little according to its economic and population dimension,
and whose integrity is not being disputed by any other State.

5 – Armament producing corporations

Table IV hierarchically presents the ten main armament corporations according to

the amount of sales; it also shows the degree of dependence in what concerns the
military orders, the profitability of the business, the use and types of armament

Table IV – The main armament producing corporations (2007)*

Sales of weapons Profit Type of
Corporation Country % of Workers
$ millions rate (%) production
1 Boeing USA 30.480 46 13,4 159.300 1,3,4,9
2 BAE Systems UK 29.850 95 6,0 97.500 1,2,3,4,5,6,8
3 Lockheed Martin USA 29.400 70 10,3 140.000 1,3,4,9
4 Northrop Grumman USA 24.600 77 7,3 122.000 1,3,4,7,8,9
5 General Dynamics USA 21.520 79 9,7 83.500 2,3,5,7
6 Raytheon USA 19.540 92 7,5 72.100 3,4
7 BAE Systems ** USA 14.910 100 9,9 51.300 2,3,5,6
8 EADS EU 13.100 24 (4,7) 116.490 1,3,4,9
9 L-3 Communications USA 11.240 81 6,7 64.600 3,7
10 Finmeccanica Italy 9.850 54 7,2 60.750 1,2,3,4,5,6
11 Thales France 9.350 56 13,0 61.200 3,4,6
* China excluded Source: SIPRI
** BAE Systems subsidiary company (Great-Britain)

1 - Planes 2 - Artillery 3 -Electronics

4- Missiles 5- Military vehicles 6- Small weapons and ammunitions
7- Services 8- Vessels 9 - Aerospace

As clearly shown, the United States hold a great domination among the main
producing corporations. The search for a world hegemonic position leads to the
maintenance of hugely powerful armed forces, normally directly involved in wars or
promoting them through other actors. This fact forces the existence of an armament
domestic sector, with the economically viable guarantee allowed by the Pentagon
orders, by subsidiary countries or still party gangs in power, and, for that purpose, a
vast network of information gathering and intelligence agents, the promotion of
“procurement” or “lobbying” corruption activities are fed in order to enable the
transaction of equipments abroad and thus guaranteeing the profitability of the
invested capitals. All this represents a typical example of what the real capitalism is,
nothing similar to the lyrical idea of the free market brandished by the neo-liberal

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 20

The sales amount show to be very close when the three first corporations are taken
into account, it turns really small considering the most distant ones, and the last
corporation considered on the list presented in Table IV displays one third less than
the first ones, thus revealing a high degree of concentration of the sector at a world

All the top corporations employ a high number of workers and achieve a reasonable
profit rate. As what is in question are public orders, most of the times from the very
countries they are located in, the pressure to lower the prices does not attain the
degree it does in other sectors of activity. The States have always been less
demanding as far as the prices they pay to corporations in their own military-industrial
compounds than in what concerns the individuals who work in them.

As for the diversity of the production, the most comprehensive is the English BAE
Systems, with one more valence than the American Northrop Grumman or the Italian
Finmeccanica. On the other hand, the Raytheon and the L-3 Communications, both
in the US, have their activity concentrated only on two segments.

In the list made public by the SIPRI (10), there are 117 corporations whose grouping
according to nationality produces the following result:

Australia 2 Russia 7
Canada 1 Singapore 1
Finland 1 South Korea 6
France 8 Spain 4
Germany 5 Sweden 1
India 3 Switzerland 1
Israel 3 UE 1
Italy 9 UK 11
Japan 4 USA 48
Norway 1 Total 117

In the total amount shown, 75% are located in NATO countries, and, amongst them,
the US contribute with 41%, immediately followed, but at a great distance, by Great-
Britain, Italy and France. The US world domination in what concerns the production of
armaments is very strong when the list of corporations with a volume of sales circa $
500 thousand, in 2007, is considered.

In Portugal, there are also a large number of corporations that develop their activity
in the defence area, which are integrated in a holding company called Empordef –
Empresa Portuguesa de Defesa, SGPS, SA. This corporation, with a social capital of
141.9 million euros, presents, in 2008, losses that amount to 66.2 million euros.

The companies which form the holding appear in Table V (11):

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 21

Table V

Sales Net income for the year
participa Activity
(M €) (M €)
tion (%)
Arsenal do Alfeite 100 ship repair nd nd
Estal. Nav. Viana Castelo 100 shipbuilding 129,6 (12,100)
Navalrocha 45 ship repair 6,2 0,700
demilitarization of
IDD 100 2,1 0,25
defense materials
maintenance and repair
OGMA 35 141,5 5,6
of aircraft
Edisoft 30 software 6,1 0,300
EID 31,8 communication systems 19,5 1,100
ETI 100 simulation software 1,9 (0,170)
Portugal Space 83,75 space technology 0 (0,010)
Defloc 81 leasing 15,0 (0,050)
Defaerloc 100 leasing of aircraft 0 0,000
OGMA Imobiliária 100 real estate 0 (1,350)
Ribeira d'Atalaia 56,58 construction 0 (0,700)

While elements of the defence sector, these corporations present various

characteristics which weaken them. Some of the relevant corporations are
dominated by private interests (and even foreign, as the OGMA case) which will very
improbably be integrated in a logic dominated by Portuguese military interests. Only
very episodically will military equipments be produced, some corporations being
mere support or service suppliers. On the other hand, some secondary corporations
are grouped in a military compound, namely the rental ones and those of the estate
or construction areas. Finally, very little profits have been made in counterparts in the
acquisition of military equipments abroad.

In this context, it is not strange that the sales, the military ones only, correspond to
circa 1/3 of the total amount and that the exports only 54.5%, in 2008.

Invoicing in 2008
M€ %
Military 98,8 32,1
national 45,0 45,5
exports 53,8 54,5
Civilian 208,9 67,9
national 43,9 21,0
exports 165,1 79,0
Total 307,7 100,0
national 88,9 28,9
exports 218,9 71,1

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 22

Finally, it is understandable that Portugal has not even one single corporation in the
117 largest corporations in the military area, and that it is an importer of equipments
as will later be made clear.

6 – Armament selling countries

In accordance with SIPRI, the armament exportations accumulated in the twenty

years which ended in 2009 correspond to $ 468 199 million, at 1990 constant prices, in
an annual average of $ 23 410 million, which represent circa $78 per existing human

That cost may look derisory for the Humanity. However, it is worth stating that it is just
a calculation which only assesses international transactions of the various parts of the
countries’ arsenals, and thus not considering the production for the armed forces of
the producing countries themselves. If the poor countries, deprived of relevant
armament factories, will essentially have to get hold of the importation to fairly equip
their already many and ill-paid soldiers; the same does not apply to the rich and
powerful countries, those which possess the greatest military budgets, the great
factories of sophisticated equipments, the same way they also have their armed
forces supplied with high technology equipment as well as well-paid cadres.

Thus, an enormous proportion of the armament production of the producing

countries is not included in the international trade for it is absorbed by their domestic
armed forces, which largely contribute to their economic viability. On the other
hand, the second hand armament sales will be considered in the international
transactions, those not involving the producers but rather the object of not always
clear financial and political ingredients.

In order to update and modernise their armed forces, the States try, when ordering
new equipments, to make the obsolete armament they possess available to
countries with a lesser financial support or interest in placing themselves at the top of
the existing technologies.

However, in order to appraise the distance between the world armament production
and its exportation, the slice which is absorbed by the producing countries
themselves can be assessed. In an approximate exercise, due to the various measure
units, it is possible to achieve an estimation by comparing the trade of armament in
2007 - $ 25 443 million (1990 prices) to the $ 213 840 million of the sales of the eleven
largest groups referred above (Table V) in 2007 (current prices).

In this field, some interesting comparisons can be made to the $213 840 million of
those sales:

• GDP in 2007: of Thailand $ 245 384 million (population 63.9 M); of Venezuela - $
233 450 million (population 27.7 M); of Portugal - $ 219 499 million (population
10.5 M)

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 23

• Grosso modo, that amount of armament sales would have permitted to
double the income of the 320 million inhabitants of the 25 Eastern and Central
Africa countries, whose GDP altogether amounted to $244 032 million in 2007.

The period that immediately followed the end of the Cold War and the subsequent
dismantling of the USSR has brought a period of international transactions reduction
as far as the equipments are concerned, which was a cause for deep concern
among the armament producers and the general staff, for different reasons but
coincident as for the way to overcome that demand crisis.

It seems all natural that the armament producers could do with more wars and
tensions in order to maintain their producing chains active and their shareholders’
pockets full. The generals and admirals needed to be creative in order to justify their
own existences and be able to explain the governments and the peoples the need
for rearmament.

This creativity is shown when the NATO, after a first phase where there was a certain
confusion following the disappearance of the enemy which justified its very
existence, made up a whole number of threats, some of them quite vague or
ethereal, and others rather dangerous once they ended up in real wars – with no
figurants, as in the traditional manoeuvres – with the destruction of lives and property
in a geographically enlarged context (6).

The fact that there was no carrying out of the threats and the emergency of the
enemies does not occur out of the lack of reasoning of the military personnel and
their consultants, but rather out of a deliberate purpose to let a void in the field of
application of the military interventions, unlike what used to happen during the Cold
War, where the space and war motives were minutely calculated.

When the countries purchase armament everything obeys to medium run planning,
namely if the acquisitions in question are new equipments where the makers’ chains
of production, financing as well as payment delays will have to be taken into
account. Each country has its own planning and schedules thus the summing up of
the international transactions has variations which are not in juxtaposition with the
periods of wars and crises or even the lack of them. On the other hand, the validity
delays of the military equipments are limited, as any other equipment, even those
socially useful.

After the decrease understated in the following chart, at the beginning of the 90’s,
1997/1998 is a fresh outbreak period with responsibilities shared among different
buyers – Greece, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, the US being the
main supplier. India was supplied with by Russia, and finally Taiwan whose suppliers
were the US and France.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 24

Armament sales (1990/2009) M $ of 1990

Vendas de armamento (1990/2009)

M$ de 1990














































The 2000/2005 period reveals to be only relatively active in what the international
armament transactions are concerned, regardless of the fear imposed upon the
peoples before the 11th September terrorist threat and the North-American and their
allies’ invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.

In 2006/2007 there is again a new growth in armament purchasing. That growth

being the result of a group of purchasing as well as supplying countries much larger
than ten years before. Among those countries supplied with armament by the US are
South Korea, Canada, Kuwait and Japan; India and Algeria are supplied by Russia;
Holland supplied Norway, Chile and Germany; on its turn Germany sold a lot to Italy,
also a great supplier of Greece (in partnership with France) and Malaysia, the latter
also supplied by Russia.

The distribution of armament sales in the 1990/2009 period among great supplying
groups is presented in the chart further down.

For all the period in question (1990/2009), and summing up, the NATO member
countries carry out circa 2/3 of the world armament sales, against 21.2% of China-
Russia-Ukraine altogether, while the neutral European countries (Sweden and
Switzerland) reach 2.4% and the rest of the world 9.3%.

In the two first years of our chart there is a classification problem since data for Russia
and Ukraine are unknown, it is not possible to separate them from the rest of the
world countries, which slightly falsifies the accumulated value for the two decades.

Taking into account what has just been stated, in the 90 decade, the NATO countries
(where Israel, for reasons already made clear, is included) always reach amounts
above 70% of the sales total amount, reaching even 84.6% in 2008, levels never
achieved again.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 25

Armament sales (1990/2009) per group of countries

(% ) Vendas de armamento (1990/2009)


















































Membros da NATO - Europa EUA-Israel Países neutros da Europa
China-Rússia-Ucrânia Resto do mundo

NATO members – Europe/USA-Israel/

European neutral countries/China-Russia-Ukraine/Rest of the world

The triangle China-Russia-Ukraine establishes during the 1999/2004 period a

consolidation of its position at a much higher level than it had previously attained
and which reaches 37.6% of the world demand, in 2001, which would seemingly
stabilise to market shares between 25 and 30%.

In what concerns the EU countries which are simultaneously NATO members,

throughout the 1994/2000 period, their weight related to the total amount of the
armament sales was a little over ¼ of the whole volume, and in the last five years it
has maintained a share which shows a tendency to be maintained slightly above
30%, and in 2007 it even attained 35.1%.

As for Europe’s neutral countries, a steady position has been maintained, which has
clearly risen since 1999, attaining its maximum of 5.4% in 2001.

Summing up, these tendencies show a relatively equal share between the US, the
binomial USA-Israel and China-Russia-Ukraine altogether.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 26

Among the main European countries, a tendency for the growth of the market share
in all of them can be observed, particularly in the last lustrum with the exception of

Average share per period (%)

1990/1994 1995/1999 2000/2004 2005/2009 1990/2009
France 3,9 8,4 7,4 8,0 6,9
Germany 7,6 6,2 6,5 10,6 7,7
Italy 1,0 1,6 1,4 2,6 1,6
Netherlands 1,8 1,9 1,4 3,6 2,2
Spain 0,5 0,8 0,4 2,5 1,1
UK 5,6 6,5 5,8 4,1 5,5
Total 20,4 25,3 22,9 31,4 25,0

The US, encompassing almost a half of the world armament sales in the 90’s, draw
back to less than 1/3 in the first decade of the twenty first century. This so happens
precisely, when soon after the bombing of Yugoslavia, the US strengthen their
tensions, their aspirations to an absolute hegemony and carry out their intervention
by means of warlike actions, making use of the terrifying “diktat” uttered by G. W.
Bush “Those who are not with us are with terrorism”, well within the framework of the
typical Manichaeism of the Christian fundamentalists. In actual fact, the wish for a
planetary domination shown by the US faces not only the peoples’ or the States’
explicit or less explicit resistances, an evident economic fragility which manifests itself,
in this particular case, in the loss of relative importance in the armament trade.

Average share per period (%)

1990/1994 1995/1999 2000/2004 2005/2009 1990/2009
49,2 49,5 32,1 29,8 40,9

However, the US great value in the world economic context is essentially their
unlimited capacity to issue currency as well as public debt, thus transferring to their
creditors the responsibility for their potential insolvency. As for the production of
goods and services, strategically and beyond the sectors linked to the military
(aviation, communications, software…) the following will have to be named: cinema
and contents production (with an inherent ideological role, and the cereal
production, the latter being highly subsidized).

Within the China-Russia-Ukraine group, and during the period in question from which
the 1990/1994 period is to be excluded for reasons already made clear, it can be
seen that a stabilisation of the relative weight of China and Ukraine, which
performed modestly, there is Russia which appears as the second world export power
in spite of the decline shown in the second half of the last decade.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 27

Average share per period (%)
1995/1999 2000/2004 2005/2009 1990/2009
China 2,4 2,3 2,4 2,8
Russia 13,3 28,7 23,6 16,8
Ukraine 1,9 1,9 1,8 1,5
total 17,6 33,0 27,7 21,2

Referring to Portugal, and having focused on the data base reported by the SIPRI,
the country’s exportations are situated only in 2008 and 2009 and amount to 87
million and 40 million (in accordance with 1990 prices), which corresponds to 0.38%
and 0.18% respectively. Note, however, that in the Empordef report already referred
to, the 2008 military exports amount to 53.8 million where there must be included the
exportation of services which has not been taken into consideration in this chapter.

The Portuguese armament exports in 2008 were directed to Chile and Uruguay, and
in 2009 to Belgian.

7 - Sellers per type of armament

In the previous point, the distribution of the armament sales were made clear, we
shall now follow to its assessment per type of equipment.

The preponderance of the NATO countries (where Israel is also included) is to be

observed in all types of equipment, the global average corresponding to circa 2/3 of
the world sales. Only the case of the tanks shows values below that level (54.9%, but
the supremacy as far as satellites and “other items” are concerned is paramount; as
for machines and sensors the sales weight of the NATO countries is circa 3/4 of the
world total amount.

When the planes come into question, the binomial USA-Israel, namely the US, perform
the most part of the world sales followed by China-Russia-Ukraine but at great
distance, the participation of the European NATO countries being rather modest.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 28

Sales of armament per type of equipment (1990/2009)

Vendas de armamento por tipo de equipamento

































Membros da NATO - Europa EUA-Israel Países neutros da Europa

China-Rússia-Ucrânia Restantes

NATO members – Europe/USA-Israel/

European neutral countries/China-Russia-Ukraine/Rest of the world

In what concerns the anti-aerial systems and tanks, the participation of NATO-Europe
and China-Russia-Ukraine is very close to ¼ of the world sales, just behind USA-Israel,
lower in the tanks context, regardless of the fact that in both cases they hold the
biggest market slice. As for the tanks, the remaining countries hold a higher degree
of participation (18.2%).

In the artillery sales, the domineering position belongs to NATO-Europe, followed very
closely by USA-Israel. The remaining countries represent a superior weight to that of

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 29

In the case of the machines, the predominance of USA-Israel is high, followed by
NATO-Europe which reaches 1/3 of the sales, while China-Russia-Ukraine and the
remaining countries present approximate values.

In what the missiles are concerned, the USA-Israel binomial is again in the first place,
followed by China-Russia-Ukraine together responding for ¼ of the total amount, a lot
above the NATO-Europe position, which, according to the SIPRI, is the only satellite

As for “the other equipments” the NATO countries have a very great slice, the same
applies to the sensors where the relevance of the neutral European countries,
Sweden and Switzerland, is notorious.

In what concerns the war vessels, NATO-Europe appears in a domineering position

with 55.7% of the total amount in the whole of the three decades, USA-Israel
occupying the third place behind China-Russia-Ukraine.

The exporting features of each group of countries, in accordance with the type of
military equipment, consolidated in the last two decades, presents clear differences
as shown in the table below.

European China-
neutral Russia- Others World
Europe Israel
countries Ukraine
Aircraft 26,6 55,6 24,6 49,3 40,7 44,9
3,7 3,6 7,2 4,3 0,7 3,6
Tanks 10,9 9,2 11,7 14,0 23,6 12,1
Artillery 2,7 1,5 1,7 1,2 3,3 1,9
Machines 3,4 2,7 0,4 1,4 2,8 2,6
Missiles 9,8 15,8 9,0 15,3 12,8 13,8
Others 0,7 0,6 0,0 0,0 0,7 0,5
Satelites 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0 0,0
Sensors 7,4 4,9 28,3 1,8 1,5 5,1
Vessels 34,8 6,0 17,2 12,6 14,0 15,6

The world exportation is dominated by the high value planes, followed by vessels,
missiles and tanks on the same level.

In what concerns the NATO European countries, the main sectors lie on the sales of
vessels and planes. As for each country, there are significant specialising differences.
In Germany, the predominance goes to vessels and tanks. Spain exports both vessels
and planes. In France and Great-Britain the sales of vessels and planes are important,
while Holland focuses its sales on vessels and sensors, and Italy supplies mainly vessels,
planes and sensors.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 30

The US export mainly planes, followed at a great distance by the exportation of
missiles, while Israel focuses its sales on missiles and sensors.

Between the European countries that are non-NATO members – Sweden and
Switzerland – there are significant differences. Sweden presents a varied feature of its
armament exportations, where the vessels are predominant, but with a high
relevance attached to sensors, planes, missiles and tanks. Switzerland focuses its sales
on sensors and planes.

China-Russia-Ukraine is similar to the US, but with inferior values when it comes to
planes, while the sales of vessels and tanks appear to be superior. In the case of
Russia, the similarities with the US are still closer, but not so close in what concerns the
vessels, which in the North-American exportations are poorly represented. China sells
planes and vessels, while Ukraine supplies planes and tanks.

The rest of the world countries seem to concentrate on the exportation of planes and

Finally, Portugal, where the exportations of the last two decades amounted to 128
million (1990 values), but without any relevance in the global context whatsoever,
and were mainly planes and vessels. It should be interesting to take note that what is
jocularly referred to as Portuguese defence sector, the technical expertise is
concentrated on the OGMA and on the shipyards (EN Viana do Castelo and

8 – Armament purchasing countries

Using again the SIPRI data to the 2005/2009 period, the world armament trade was
$115934 million at 1990 constant prices.

With importations superior to $ 100 million, there are 65 countries which in the whole
represent 96.3% of the global value referred to in the previous paragraph. Those that
import over 3000 million are only 16; they absorb 53.2% of the world total amount and
appear in the chart that follows.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 31

Importers with over 3000 M (2005/2009)

Importadores com mais de $ 3000 M

(%) (2005/2009)






















The two main importers – China and India – together possess very close to 40% of the
world population, and do not have armament corporations with enough technology
to do without such a high volume of importations. India is on the list (10) with three
corporations – Hindustan Aeronautics (43ª of the list) with $1670 M invoicing in 2007,
the India Ordnance Factories (50ª) and the Bharat Electronics (63ª). China has not
been included in the SIPRI list.

China has gradually been assuming the role of main exporting world power as well as
the most important Eastern State, competing with Japan and in geo-strategic tension
with the US. China maintains areas of potential conflict with Taiwan (which is Chinese
territory) and which works as US carrier; with the China Sea coastal countries for the
control of the Spratley, Paracels and other islands, although small as they are, allow
the control of a vast territorial area, with reasonable resources of hydrocarbons in
their sea depths; with India, in several areas of the Himalayas, namely the Aksai Chin
region and on the border between Tibet and Assam. China deals with an inner
conflict with the Xinkiang uighur separatists - an ethnic group which is also present
(circa 300 thousand people) in the Central Asian Republics. Russia is by far China’s
main supplier with 88.6% of the latter’s purchases in the 2005/2009 period, in the
whole of a small group of supplying countries.

The Indian imports come from ten countries amongst which Russia occupies the first
place with 76.9% in the whole of the last five years. Apart from the conflicts with
China already referred to, India has a conflict with Pakistan over Cashmere, which
raises tensions, sometimes bloody ones, between Muslims and Hindus, liable to
provoke a war with Pakistan. India, in order to satisfy its regional hegemonic
tendencies, has already intervened in the war in Sri Lanka, participates together with

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 32

the US in the patrolling of the Malaca Strait, and with other countries in the Somali

South-Korea is the third importer and is part of the North-American apparatus in the
East, where the latter has had troops stationed and military bases for over fifty years.
Those troops participate in the encirclement and intimidation of China as well as in
activities of vigilance of North-Korea before a chimerical North-Korean invasion; it
also aims at the Russian Far East, where the naval base and the oil terminal of
Nakhodka are located, and the Sakhalin Island, where oil is also explored, very
close to eager consumers such as China, Japan and South Korea.

South Korea possesses powerful armed forces and one of the most dynamic
economies of the world. Military monitored by the US, it is all too natural that 65.9% of
its armament importations in 2005/2009 stem from that superpower, at a great
distance from the second supplier, Germany (19.6%) in what is a total of six suppliers.

In fourth place come the United Arab Emirates which belong to the Gulf
Cooperation Council, having as their partners Kuwait and the United States that,
obviously, while offering them “protection” (that possibility was opened by Saddam
when he invaded Kuwait) charge, as counterpart, the right to establish themselves in
the territory in order to control the Persian Gulf and the maritime traffic that use that
route. This way and in spite of the US military presence, the Emirates still import
armament from France (40.5%), and from the United States (27.6%), amounting to a
total of thirteen suppliers, during the 2005/2009 period.

Greece, somehow in a paranoiac manner, understates as the fifth largest armament

importer during the 2005/2009 period. Note, however, that there is an underlying
conflict with Turkey, on the border drawn in the Aegean Sea waters and because of
the Cyprus issue, where Turkey sponsors a so-called Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.
However, Turkey being a partner of Greece in the NATO, an open conflict is not
predictable, specially now when the former is highly interested in integrating the EU.
On the other hand, in spite of the Greek cultural proximity with the majority of
Cyprus’s population, Cyprus belongs to the EU, and no one believes the Turks will
embark in a military adventure in the Southern part of the island.

Instabilities and wars, on the other side of the northern Greek border, do not seem
liable to become a real threat for Greece. Those maniacs aspiring to a Great
Albania must not be allowed to destabilize the Epiroby using a small Albanese
minority (some 100000 people), as they did in Macedonia. The presence of European
troops in Kosovo, around the great Boldsteel base, and subsequently that becoming
a North-American protectorate, imposes some kind of order in the Balkans.

It has already been pointed out that the financial “markets” have never been willing
to investigate the Greek squandering with such voluminous errands of military
equipment since that would allow the producers huge profits. Those suppliers, eleven
in the whole, are dominated by Germany (34.9%), the US (26.3%) and France (23.1%),
becoming less cooperative and less obliging when the Greek crises broke out.

As already stated, Israel is a militarized entity, a great armament importer, most of it

stemming from the US (98.1% in 2005/2009), within the framework of a privileged
relationship between both countries, and of the financial and military support which
the US have supplied for decades.

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 33

Singapore is, since its creation by the English, the key to the passage between the
Indian Ocean and the East. This strategic position as well as its ethnic and linguistic
composition (3/4 of the population is of Chinese origin) differentiates Singapore from
Malaysia and Indonesia. During the Vietnam War, Singapore established a close
relation with the United States, by being responsible for the maintenance of the US
navy vessels. In the region, it is the most interested actor in the security of the Malaca
Strait, whose maritime circulation is the basis of its prosperity, and which could be
affected if the Chinese and Japanese claims imposed the construction of a canal in
the Kra isthmus or, most unexpectedly, if any loaded tank-vessel were the object of
an attack likely to block the maritime circulation. The main armament suppliers of
Singapore in 2005/2009 are France (51.3%) and the United States (37.1%) in a total of
eight countries.

The US occupy the seventh place as far as the armament importation is concerned,
regardless of their capacity as a producing country; the productive partnerships, the
segmentation of expertise, as well as financial questions as demanded by
counterparts. In a group of thirteen producers in the 2005/2009 period, Great-Britain
(32.1%), Canada (21.1%) and Switzerland (18.4%) are to be highlighted.

Algeria has in its interior territory the Salafi insurrection which directly challenges the
Algerian armed forces, in a latent war, whose contours is little dignifying as far as
human rights are concerned. Outside, there is a permanent conflict in Morocco,
aggravated, since 1975, with the presence of thousands of Sahrawi in their territory. It
has, between 2005 and 2009, eight armament suppliers, with special relevance for
Russia (91.9% of the whole).

Pakistan maintains, as already mentioned above, a quite serious conflict with India
which has already led to several wars between both countries. More recently,
Pakistan got involved in the Afghanistan war led by the US and the NATO, since the
flux of Afghan refugees find (in Pakistan) a very friendly environment in the North East
part of the country as well as in Waziristan, where most of the inhabitants belong to
the Pashtun tribes, as in Afghanistan.

On the other hand, the misery of the population, in contrast with the strong
corruption and the power of the military and of the ISI, the tentacular secret service,
provokes both political and social unrest, namely focused on the mosques. The
intervention of the US in the domestic Pakistani politics, stimulating the army to exert
military actions in the so-called ‘tribal regions’, and the direct intervention of the US
warlike means tend to integrate both Pakistan and Afghanistan in a common war.

Turkey is the link between Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, and it is an
essential device for the Pentagon’s strategy to encircle Russia, as in the XIX century.
The country is crossed by the liaison between the Mediterranean and the Black Seas,
hosts the sources of both rivers Tigris and Euphrates, essential for Syria and Iraq, it has
a close relation with Israel as well as an internal problem with the Kurd minority. Turkey
also feeds tensions with Greece and Cyprus. Moreover, because of the community
funds, it has to soften the authoritarianism of its own traditional political power,
focused on its armed forces. The country also represents an important channel for
the North-American strategy in order to enable the circulation of Central Asia,
without the Russian and Iranian intervention (the BTC pipeline), it hosts important

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 34

bases of the US close to the Syrian border, leaving the latter stuck with Israel on the
other side; and, as a counterpart it has refused the use of its space to the America
invasion of Iraq and it maintains good relations with Iran.

Turkey possesses the second largest armed forces of the NATO and the eighth
position in the world, while its navy lies fourth in the whole planet. Its armament
acquisitions are scattered throughout ten countries during the last five years, with the
predominance of Germany (53.2%), Israel (16.1%) and the USA (12.6%).

Malaysia lies in the same region as Singapore and partially its geo-strategic framing is
similar. However, the country has another element of potential conflict which is the
disputed division of the Southern China waters, rich in oil, with China, Indonesia, and
the Philippines. Amongst the thirteen suppliers of Malaysia, in 2005/2009, we highlight
Russia (43.1%) and Germany (21.1%).

At last, and outside the graphics whose significance have been described, Portugal’s
situation is referred to. In the last twenty years, Portugal has imported $ 3044M (1990
prices) in armament, with $ 999 concentrated in the last five years, contrasting with
the total amount of $ 165M in the 1995/2004 period, precisely the period when the
economic environment was more favourable. In a clear counter-cycle, the PS/PSD
governments fill the budget with military expenditure, exactly in periods of social and
financial difficulties, showing not only their technical and political incompetence of
management as far as the public expenditure is concerned, but also their social

1991/1994 1995/2004 2005/2009

GDP average growth (%) 1.8 2.6 0.3
Annual average military expenditure ($ 1990) 450 16.5 200
Sources: Pordata (PIB) and SIPRI

Throughout the whole period in question, eleven suppliers with greater relevance are
to be registered: USA (37.5%), Germany (30.9%) and Holland (14.4%). If the
observation is to be focused on the last five years, the main suppliers are Holland
(35.6%), USA (32%) and Spain (11.8%).

Vítor Lima
Pagan – Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-Nato (Portugal)

Ângela Prestes (tranlation)


(1) The Rumaila ore deposit was handed in to a consortium which included BP and
CNPC (China) (Democracy Now/03/11/2009)

(2) http://translate.google.pt/translate?hl=pt-

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 35

(3) M. K. Bhadrakumar, “Le Turkménistan réserve ses fournitures de gaz à la Chine, la
Russie et l’Iran. La géopolitique des pipelines à un tournant capital”, Asia Times
Online (Chine), quoted in Voltairenet

(4) Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun, quoted in Esquerda.net 26/2/2010)

(5) Joe Biden, Fevereiro/2009

(6) “Um problema mundial chamado NATO”, Vítor Lima,


(7) http://www.globalfirepower.com/active-paramilitary-manpower.asp

(8) http://www.nationmaster.com/

(9) http://www.globalfirepower.com

(10) The SIPRI top 100 arms-producing companies in the world excluding China

(11) Activity Report in 2008

Plataforma Anti-Guerra, Anti-NATO (PAGAN) 36