War Profiteers

WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair
WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair

Economics is one of the key causes of war - wherever there is a military conflict, someone is profiting from it. We call this "war profiteering".

WRI looks at war profiteering in a broad sense - we consider all companies and initiatives that benefit financially from military conflict as war profiteers, in some sense. This includes the arms trade and companies profiteering for the privatisation and outsourcing of the military, but also those extracting natural resources in conflict zones, financial institutions investing in arms companies, and many others.

WRI publishes a quarterly magazine called War Profiteers' News (in English and Spanish), and organises events to bring campaigners and researchers together to share strategies against war profiteering. In 2017 we will gather members and friends of the WRI network in London, for a seminar called “Stopping the War Business”. Campaigners will share experiences and strategies of countering the arms trade and other war profiteers. The seminar will take place at the same time  as the DSEI arms fair, where we will also take nonviolent direct action together. In 2015, we organised a similar event in Seoul, South Korea, which took place at the same time as the ADEX arms fair.

A new report reveals that the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) is actively funding research into technology supporting the development of armed autonomous drones. The British military has asserted that it “does not possess fully autonomous weapons and has no intention of developing them”, but the reports author insisted that "the development of a truly autonomous lethal drone in the foreseeable future is now a real possibility."

Following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arbian embassy in Istanbul on October 2nd, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will halt all arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

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The Spanish government has decided to go ahead with the delivery of 400 laser guided missiles to Saudi Arabia, worth more than $10m, a few weeks after saying they would cancel the order.

In the first week of September 2018, the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, spent four days visiting Israel. His trip was an opportunity to meet the Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the thousands of Filipinos who live and work in the country… and explore opportunities to buy weapons.

In the United Kingdom, campaigners have been resisting arms fairs being held in their cities. In Glasgow, dozens of activists held noisy protests outside the Undersea Defence Technology exhibition and conference, held at the cities Scottish Events Campus (SEC). In Farnborough and London, activists protested against the Farnborough International Airshow - biannual, week-long event, combining a public air show with an international trade show attended by military delegations from all over the world.

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