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.

Aimpoint is a Swedish company, manufacturing red-dot magnifying optic sights for a wide range of military, law enforcement, and commercial hunting weapons. Aimpoint was formed in 1974 and is based in Malmo, Sweden. Militaries all over the world, including the US military and NATO member countries use the company’s sights, and they are available from suppliers on every continent.

Who arms Myanmar?

Since 25th August, over half a million members of Myanmar's Rohyinga community have been driven out from the north Rakhine state, with security forces torching homes, crops and villages in so called “clearance operations” the UN high commissioner for Human Rights has described as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

From 11 to 15 September, Geneva will be hosting the Conference of States Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty. The world’s third largest purveyor of armaments, France has a privileged relationship in this area with Saudi Arabia and its allies. According to hitherto undisclosed data revealed to Orient XXI by the Observatoire des Armements, the French government used a contract for weapons ostensibly meant for Lebanon to prepare for the Kingdom’s war in Yemen and speed up delivery at the height of that conflict.

Since 2008, the Klong Sai Pattana community in Thailand have been resisting the encroachment of a large palm oil company - Jiew Kang Jue Pattana Co Ltd. The company has illegally occupied and cultivated palm oil trees, and the community believes it is behind escalating violence that has led to a number of deaths, in a campaign of intimidation they believe is being waged to drive them from the land.

In September 2017, hundreds of weapons companies gathered in London for the Defence and Security Equipment International arms fair, to meet representatives from militaries all over the world. WRI produced a booklet profiling some of the companies attending.

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