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When boatbuilders sell to bandits

03.04.19
Corruption in arms trade is endemic. But the corruption surrounding the export of Dutch gunboats to Nigeria is next level. The Nigerian Premium Times published a series of articles on how Nigerian and Israeli businessmen and high ranking officers enriched themselves by weapon deals. In an article under the heading 'When generals turn bandits' one of them called it “a particular... read more >

How strong is the German 'nein'?

07.03.19
How strong is the German 'nein'? The German government has extended its policy to not grant export permissions for military products for countries participating in the Yemen war to the end of March. Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to relax the strict rules and said they could be reconsidered. The Social Democrats of the SPD however, also part of the German government, and forced by the... read more >

Military industrial axis of the European Union

19.02.19
Military industrial axis of the European Union On January 22, 2019 Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron signed the Treaty of Aachen (Aachener Vertrag/Traité d'Aix-la-Chapelle). Article 4 deals with internal and external security and defence cooperation, including military industrial issues. Berlin and Paris will intensify common defence programs to promote and consolidate the European... read more >

Part 2: Dutch naval yard at the Black Sea

07.02.19
Recently the Romanian government canceled the acquisition of corvettes, probably due to irregularities (see part 1). This is a setback for Damen – a major global conglomerate of ship wharfs and one of the biggest Dutch arms exporters – started to build a Romanian position already in the nineties, with the acquisition of the Galati ship wharf (near Moldavia in the Northeast). It made... read more >

Part 1: Political scandel with Dutch yard at Black Sea

31.01.19
Romania is one of the few NATO countries that has raised its military budget up to 2 per cent of its GDP. The country is now upgrading its armed forces and one of the projects it embarks on is modernisation of the naval forces. The project however is not going as planned. Mid January the Romanian Ministry of Defence suspended the selection process for a €1.8 billion naval corvette program,... read more >

Fighter jet programs in Europe

09.01.19
An often heard complaint about the European defence industry is that it is divided and that every country has its own production facilities. An infographic by the European Commission on the lack of Integration in Defence clarified this for land and air systems. The figure shows that the United States has eleven types of fighter aircraft for 2,279 fighters. In the European Union, there are... read more >

Dutch transit of Czech ammo to Guatemala

19.12.18
Dutch transit of Czech ammo to Guatemala; a country sliding “towards becoming a dictatorial state” In the largest harbour outside Asia, that of Rotterdam, remarkable things happen. Sometimes questions must be asked, like in the case of a large shipment of bullets to Guatemala, a country with a horrible past which is still a chilling part of the present. Guatemala was the stage of a... read more >

Crazy catalyst for European defence spending

13.12.18
“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race. The U.S. spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!” Tweet Donald Trump 3 Dec 2018 This Trump Tweet was sent in the heat of the debate on enlarging the US defense budgets.... read more >

Coocking the budget: the drive for higher defence expenditures

28.11.18
The presumed need for higher military budgets is a major argument on which defence industries flourish. Why are alarm bells on the military budgets tolled so loud? It is hard to miss that the West is the dominant party in military expenditure. It spends more than the rest of the world together. The expenditures of Russia collapsed after the Cold War. Because the category 'Rest of the world... read more >

Reapers, Dutch air force and Fokker

26.10.18
The Dutch air force is in the process of acquiring four General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drones with ground stations at a cost of € 187 million. Anticipated deployment includes gathering intelligence during interventions/humanitarian operations and the support of civilian authorities. Dutch GKN Fokker is rewarded for the Dutch acquisition with participation in the production of the Reapers.... read more >

Netherland is Pakistan's 3rd source of arms

09.10.18
Dutch arms exports in 2017 are projected as dots on a map published online by Stop Wapenhandel (Stop Arms Trade) from the Netherlands. Eye catching for Asia is the big dot covering Pakistan. Karachi was a major client for Dutch arms in 2017. Which is peculiar for several reasons: First because the Dutch have overall a restrictive arms export policy. And second because the South Asian country is... read more >

Fokker alive and kicking; components for Yemen

13.09.18
Late august 2018 military helicopter company NHIndustries concluded a deal with Qatar to sell 28 helicopters. The France-based company is jointly owned by Airbus, Leonardo Helicopters and Fokker Aerostructures. Fokker produces the landing gear for the NH-90 helicopters. The deal with Qatar is only a tip of the iceberg of the involvement of the Fokker company in the Middle East. Fokker delivers... read more >

Hidden parts in Dutch arms export

24.07.18
During a visit of the Dutch prime minister to Washington, the Netherlands and the United States reinforced their ties on military affairs on issues like cooperation on operations, equipment and acquisitions. The US is already the biggest customer of the Dutch arms industry, followed by EU/NATO+ and Germany. Cooperation agreements play a large role in this trade connection. Great global powers... read more >

Control on second hand arms exports

26.06.18
Surplus arms will come to the market when armed forces are shrinking because of budget limitations or are restructuring due to major strategic changes. This happened for example in the nineties after the Cold War, when NATO armies shifted their focus towards intervention forces. It is also happening now; Cold War 2.0 comes with new generations of ships, vehicles and fighter planes making arms... read more >

Dutch arms exports and SIPRI ranking

04.06.18
In the latest annual report Trends in international arms transfers by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) The Netherlands entered the top-10 of Global arms exporters. The main message of the report, covering 2013-2017, is that global arms exports grew 10 per cent in comparison with 2008–2012. In the top 10 of largest arms exporters only two countries had a shrinking... read more >

F-35, Turkey and the EU Common Position

22.05.18
Although under the autocratic regime of president Erdogan, Turkey expected to receive its F-35 fighter aircraft. According to plan the first plan would be delivered June 21 and stationed in September 2019 in Turkey's Malatya province which borders Iran, Iraq and Syria. But remarkably the program is now under fire in the US. The detention of the American pastor Andrew Craig Brunson, the role... read more >

A Common Position is not a common policy

09.05.18
This year the EU Common Position on the export of military goods and technology is due for review. Will the text be improved? Will there be criteria added, for example on corruption? Will vague notions such as 'serious' human rights violation be replaced by something more measurable? So far most EU Member States have not shown much interest in a Common Position review. They seem happy... read more >

Submarines for swap

17.04.18
April 2018 the US promised Tapei technology to be used for a domestic Taiwanese submarine program. Only technology, because the largest superpower of this era has no capacity for building diesel submarines; it sails only subs with nuclear engines. The major builders and exporters of non-nuclear submarines are located in Europe. Nine nations have diesel submarine building capabilities, all EU/NATO... read more >