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.


The Global Day of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS) is an annual, international day of action against the huge expenditure by governments across the world on militaries, this year taking place on the 13th April 2015. Last year, the Latin America Antimilitarist Network released a statement demanding that resources are invested in society, not the military. As in previous years, WRI will be supporting the day, and inviting affiliates from across the world to take action to challenge to challenge spending on the military in their own context.

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On 10 February groups in South Korea (World Without War), Turkey (Ban Tear Gas Initiative), the UK (Campaign Against Arms Trade and War Resisters' International) took action to demand that a shipment of South Korean tear gas to Turkey be stopped. In recent years, Turkey has repeatedly abused the rights of protesters with the weaponised use of tear gas at demonstrations. But despite human rights concerns, South Korea have issued export licences granting the export of nearly 1.65 million tear gas canisters and grenades to Turkey. At the action in Istanbul protesters were met by riot police, in the words of one of the organisers: "In front of the Korean embassy, 2 full buses of armed riot police, 1 water cannon vehicle, 10 cars of undercover cops were waiting. The consulate general is in a plaza and they didn't let us in. After the protest, the police tried to block us from entering but we reached the Korean embassy employees and delivered the letter to them. Too many press were with us!" (see photos).

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In recent years, Turkey has repeatedly abused the rights of protesters with the weaponised use of tear gas at demonstrations. But despite human rights concerns, South Korea has authorised a huge shipment of tear gas to Turkey. On 10 February, Ban Tear Gas Initiative (Turkey), Campaign Against Arms Trade (UK), War Resisters' International and World Without War (South Korea) carried out actions in Seoul, Istanbul and London to stop the shipment! (see photos).

No choice on drones?

Placheolder image

War Profiteers' News, No 45, February 2015

By Chris Cole

On January 5 I was part of a small group of four people that entered RAF Waddington, the home of UK drone warfare, to protest the growing use of armed drones. British RAF pilots began operating armed US Predator drones in Iraq just over ten years ago before the UK acquired its own Reaper drones in 2007 for use in Afghanistan. Since then UK pilots have launched hundreds of drone strikes in Afghanistan before returning to Iraq, in November 2014, to begin launching strikes there once again. Along with the US and Israel, the UK is a key proponent of the idea of remote ‘risk free’ warfare.

 By Rafael Uzcátegui

In Venezuela, the left and the right agree on one thing – it is a country which is very rich in oil and mining reserves which must be sold as quickly as possible, ignoring the social and environmental consequences of further using the development model based on extractivism.

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