Instrument for the Third World: the eye of Washington

Weapons to the Third World: A View from Washington

Analysis of the 1st document, prepared on Capitol hill

September 10, 2010 Congressional Research Service has published a yearly report, "Supply of conventional arms to developing countries» (Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations). It usually covers a period of eight years (in this case 2002-2009) and is practically the only official public document, in certain extent reflects the expert eyes of South American society at the state and dynamics of the global arms market.

Shortcomings are many, but the demand is there

1. The emphasis in the report is made on the analysis of the arms markets of developing countries (first Near East region), specifically as they are the main importers of arms and military equipment, and immediately the main points of impermanence. According to the report includes all the countries, except the United States, the Russian Federation, the European countries (perhaps assumed to Western Europe only, but the precise explanation in the document is not), Canada, Japan, Australia and of New Zealand.

2. It is built on the report of the "given the U.S. government," without specifying the primary sources of info and ways to calculate the aggregate characteristics (eg amount of contracts / supplies for the year). Although in some cases it would be appropriate, taking into account, for example, that with regard to the Russian Federation presented its findings and the number actually always crawl to Russian press reports and official statistics of the Russian Federation. The same Nesov-downs have on other countries. This event significantly reduces the level of confidence in the work of American researchers as to independent analytical work.

3. Information report on the export of arms and military equipment from the United States — is the data collected in the framework of programs from Foreign Military Sales, which only take into account international agreements and do not take into account their own contracts with companies of South American defense zabugornom customers (in other words aaplet Direct Commercial Sales). Meanwhile, these agreements do not actually lend themselves to adequate evaluation because of the lack of official statistics. So Makar, the volume of U.S. military exports are very low.

4. Regarding carefully examining the new contracts (with the recipient country, the number and names of purchased technology, and its price), the report does not actually detail the supply of arms. Everything is limited only by the number of samples sent AME by type (without names) and the recipient region (no breakdown by country), and only in aggregate for the four-year period. An exception is made in respect of Near East: a section dedicated to him indicates the total price of the arms purchased by each state in the region of each major exporter for two four-year period.

5. Each new report provides data not only for a new past year, yes and updates information on all prior periods. So Makarov, "ancient" information in a new report often does not correspond to the information placed in the previously published reports. Adjustments from time to time there are so substantial that the findings of a new report contradict uttered a year ago. Naturally, because of the incompleteness of the open disk imaging similar practice is permissible, for example, to the Stockholm Institute SIPRI, but the validity of this approach in the South American report, is based on "evidence of the U.S. government" (in a certain degree of source) is questionable. Since the premise of adjustments are not specified, it lowers the level of confidence in the conclusions of the work.

6. For many years, the reports are not updated in a row in high regard. It can be said that the text in them year after year the same (word for word) — it undergoes only cosmetic changes. For example, closely read the report, published in 2005, you could not read all of the following documents, and browse tables with figures, as promises of new findings in the text or not. With all of this to describe the shift in market sentiment AME used two little-changing set of arguments — one to explain the positive dynamics, the second — negative. In general, such an approach raises huge doubts about whether it is reading the work South American congressmen.

Yet, despite the shortcomings, the report, the authorship of which belongs to Richard Grimmett (Richard Grimmett), continues to benefit from the huge demand, as, again, is the only official document that reflects the United States as a superpower look at the trends of the global market of AME.

Weapons to the Third World: A View from Washington

And what about our homeland?

As in previous reports, the new labor Grimmett leaves mixed feelings. On the one hand, the assessment of the situation of the Russian Federation to the creator of the world arms market are becoming increasingly inadequate. But along with that certain number of the document, as previously mentioned, are in sharp contrast to the official data of the Russian supply of arms and military equipment over the limit.

Let's start with the positive. Grimmett quite accurately and thoroughly describes naikrupneyshie treaties concluded by Russian exporters in 2009. Among them is an agreement for the supply of six diesel-electric submarines (DES) Project 636M Vietnam. The truth seems to be the creator reduced the amount of the contract, defining it in 1.8 billion dollars. The precedents of similar transactions indeed indicate that the cost of such a submarine is 300 million dollars, but with all this is not considered sufficiently tangible escalation of prices of arms, which is observed in the near future. Besides, is not taken into account the amount of money needed for the construction of infrastructure for the newly created underwater fleet of Vietnam, and yet here we should be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.

There is also a large Russian Grimmett holds contracts include agreements for the supply to Myanmar 20 MiG-29 fighters, and Vietnam — eight Su-30MK2. Mentioned and the sale of the China's next big batch of AL-31FN engines, and a large package of agreements with Venezuela. The total price of the transactions in the sphere of military-technical cooperation concluded by Russia in 2009, according to the report, is 10.4 billion dollars. It spreads from the official statistics, according to which the Russian Federation then managed to sign an agreement on the amount exceeding 15 billion dollars. But an estimated price CAST identifiable Russian contracts — least 8 billion dollars, which is fully comparable with the conclusion and Grimmett.

Again, it is worth noting: price evaluation Russian supply of arms and military equipment made in the report, usually spreading dramatically with the official data. A comparison of figures Grimmett with the official data for the last 5 years is shown in Table 1. In addition, it is interesting to Grimmett data on Russia, which he published in the past own report (encircled 2001-2008).

Again, to emphasize that the phenomenal ratings discrepancy reports the U.S. Congressional Research Service (CRS) to official data refers not only Russia. France once a year publishes perhaps more detailed and accurate records of their own national export of arms and military equipment. How do the number of Ministry of Defence of the Fifth Republic and the CRS, can be seen in Table 2. It is easy to see that, as in the case of Russia, CRS estimates are very understated relative to official data (French data are presented in constant prices, but if they move into the current, in other words, adjusted for inflation, the discrepancy is even more dramatic.)

          Table 1
Year 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
These FSMTC Code (billion USD in current prices) 6.1 6.5 7.6 8.4 8.5
Rating Grimmett, the report 2002-2009 3.3 6.0 5.1 5.9 3.7
Rating Grimmett, report 2001-2008 3.4 6.3 5.1 5.4
          Table 2
Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Official figures (billion euros) in 2008 constant prices 7.7 4.0 4.2 4.7 3.2
Official data (billions of dollars), constant prices 2008 * 11.32 5.88 6.17 6.91 4.7
These Grimmett 2002-2009 (billions of dollars), current prices 5.6 2.7 1.7 2.3 1.6
These Grimmett 2001-2008 (billions of dollars), current prices 5.5 2.6 1.5 2.2 0.9
* Conversion to the Bucks made at the average exchange rate in 2008 (1.47 dollars. / Euro)          

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