25 February 2019

India Has a Lesson for Trump: National Emergencies Are a Disaster for Democracy


After declaring a national emergency on Feb. 15, U.S. President Donald Trump said: “I didn’t need to do this, but I’d rather do it much faster.” He was referring to the speed with which he could now initiate special powers to access the funds needed to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Clearly, expediency shaped the president’s decision—and will shape the legal challenges to it, too.

Despite Trump’s self-serving reasons for declaring a national emergency, such executive actions are hardly unusual in the United States. Since 1976, when the National Emergencies Act was passed, this legal instrument has been used on numerous occasions to block properties owned by those contributing to conflicts in Libya and Somalia, support the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, prevent financial deals between U.S. entities and Iran, and take action when democracy was deemed to be undermined in Belarus and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The main difference, of course, between the past and the present is the brazenness with which Trump has circumvented congressional authority on just about every legislative turn since he came into office in 2016.

Pulwama, Imran Khan’s ‘Naya Pakistan’ and Pakistan’s ‘New Mind-Set’

Amb D P Srivastava

The Pulwama attack has to be seen against the background of events in the wider region. On 13th February, a suicide attack on killed 27 Iranian soldiers in Sistan Balochistan province of Iran. The Iranian National Guards Corps (IRGC) ground forces commander Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour stated that the suicide bomber was a Pakistani national Hafiz Mohamed Ali. The methodology was also similar to the attack in J&K. An explosive laden car rammed into a bus carrying members of the IRGC1.

While the methods were common, Pakistani response was different. Imran Khan questioned Indian motives in case of terror attack in Pulwama. In case of attack in Sistan-Balochistan, Pakistan is cooperating with the Iranian government. Islamabad has announced sending a team to Iran. The Iranian side is however, not satisfied. Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the IRGC commander, said that Iran will take revenge on those behind the attacks2. Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that ‘It is not tolerable for us that the government and the army of Pakistan cannot prevent such acts of sabotage and terror from inside their soil against Iran.’3

Iran and India Slam Pakistan for 'Sheltering Terrorists'

by Seth Frantzman

Iran and India are both outraged over recent terror attacks that appear to involve networks linked to extremists in Pakistan. Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Mohammed Ali Jafar called on Pakistan to fight "takifiri" terrorists after 27 IRGC members were killed in a suicide bombing targeting a bus near the Pakistan border.

Meanwhile India is also outraged at a terror attack in Pulwana in which 40 Indian Central Reserve Police Force members were killed. The attack on the Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir also targeted a bus. A group called Jaish-e-Mohammed was fingered as responsible. In Iran it was the IRGC members patrolling the border in Sistan and Baluchestan province and the attack is blamed on Jaish al-Asl, a Baluch militant group. In both cases the attacks took place in regions that have long had a restive insurgency involving Islamist groups that are both separatists and involved in terrorism. In both cases the groups are said to receive support from across the border in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Governance Changes Won’t Be Enough to Offer It Economic Salvation

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s recent visit to Pakistan has taken place at a time when Islamabad is looking to shore up its political and diplomatic clout internationally. However, the goal of attracting investments and gaining diplomatic influence internationally is not going to be easy for Pakistan. Currently, the country is battling to leave behind its enduring image as a state that supports extremist ideas internally and externally and whose governance structures are rooted in corruption malpractice.

It’s a fact that Pakistan’s poorly performing economy is in dire needs of international investment. Pakistan’s economic challenge is not of a sort that can be expected to go away with the addition of just $20 or $30 billion. Pakistan’s domestic economic base is in ruins and the debt payments that the country is supposed to pay are amassing every day. On top of this, Pakistan’s national security budget continues to grow in numbers that have further added a burden on the country’s economy.

The Looming Taiwan Crisis

by Richard N. Haass

Just as important was the United States’ decision to recognize, effective January 1 that year, the government of the People’s Republic of China – then, as today, run by the Communist Party – as China’s sole legal government. The change paved the way for expansion of trade and investment between the world’s largest economy and the world’s most populous country, and enabled closer collaboration against the Soviet Union.

Diplomacy was based on an intricate choreography. In three communiqués (in 1972, 1978, and 1982), the US acknowledged “the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.” It agreed to downgrade its ties with Taiwan and maintain only unofficial relations with the island.

America’s commitments to Taiwan were articulated in legislation (the Taiwan Relations Act) signed in 1979. The US stated that it would “consider any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means of grave concern to the United States.”

Explained: Why is China shielding the Jaish-e-Mohammad?

by Apurva 

India’s proposal, put forward in February 2016 after the Pathankot attack, to designate Azhar as a global terrorist under the 1267 regime has been blocked four times by China, most recently in January 2017.

Soon after a suicide bomber killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir on February 14, the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility. The terrorist organisation has carried out multiple attacks on India over the last nearly two decades, but its leader, Maulana Masood Azhar, eludes international sanctions.

The reason is China. Beijing has refused to lift its “technical hold” on a proposal to declare Azhar a global terrorist under UN Security Council Resolution 1267, which prescribes a sanctions regime against designated terrorists and terrorist groups. India’s proposal, put forward in February 2016 after the Pathankot attack, to designate Azhar as a global terrorist under the 1267 regime has been blocked four times by China, most recently in January 2017.

Why Bangladesh overtook Pakistan

Pervez Hoodbhoy

BANGLADESH is not some Scandinavian heaven. It is poor and overpopulated, undereducated and corrupt, frequented by natural catastrophes, experiences occasional terrorism, and the farcical nature of its democracy was exposed in the December 2018 elections. But the earlier caricature of a country on life support disappeared years ago. Today, some economists say it shall be the next Asian tiger. Its growth rate last year (7.8 per cent) put it at par with India (8.0pc) and well above Pakistan (5.8pc). The debt per capita for Bangladesh ($434) is less than half that for Pakistan ($974), and its foreign exchange reserves ($32 billion) are four times Pakistan’s ($8bn).

Bring a Measure of Justice to the End of the Afghanistan War


An Iraq War veteran reminds us of the debt owed to Afghans who helped American troops.

It was my senior year at Georgetown and I watched from my dorm room as the Pentagon burned and smoldered. The day after graduation, I eagerly enlisted in the Army and asked the recruiter to send me to Afghanistan — a just war, by all accounts. Instead, the Army sent me to Iraq, a preventative war that had no connection to the 9/11 attacks. It was a swift lesson: soldiers are mere cogs in the military-industrial complex and can’t pick and choose their conflicts.

Even though the Iraq war lacked a just cause — jus ad bellum — I still recognized my ethical responsibilities as a soldier to adhere to the jus in bello principles of military necessity, civilian distinction, proportionality, and humanity; in essence, to fight honorably.

Is the Taliban Making a Pledge It Cannot Keep?

By Tricia Bacon

In Doha in late January, the United States and the Afghan Taliban agreed in principle to the contours of a peace deal. Under its terms, the Taliban would guarantee that Afghan territory will never be used by terrorists. The concession is critical to the United States, but while some commentators have heralded the Taliban’s promise as a major breakthrough, analysts have noted that the group has made, and failed to keep, similar assurances in the past. Questions remain about whether the Taliban is genuinely willing to break with al Qaeda—the very prospect at which the group balked back in 2001, prompting the United States to invade.

The terrorist landscape in South and Central Asia extends far beyond al Qaeda. The Taliban has been fighting the Islamic State’s affiliate in the region, the Islamic State in Khorasan (ISK), inflicting serious losses without succeeding in eradicating this rival. Since 2002, the Taliban-led insurgency in Afghanistan has been a unifying cause for militant organizations in the region. At least 18 terrorist groups operate in Afghanistan. The Taliban exercises some influence over the activities of 14 of them, providing entrée to the insurgency in exchange for manpower and expertise. These groups will expect a payoff in the event of a Taliban victory and will likely seek to continue using Afghan territory as a base for terrorist activities. If the Taliban proves unwilling or unable to prevent the country from becoming a free-for-all for militant organizations after the U.S. withdrawal, the United States, as well as Pakistan, India, and the Central Asian states, will be threatened.

China Rushes to Dominate Global Supply of Lithium

By Yigal Chazan

China is increasingly dominating the supply of what’s been described as “white petroleum,” the soft, silvery metal lithium, seen as key to the momentum-gathering electric vehicle (EV) revolution.

Discoveries of lithium in North America and Europe may loosen China’s tightening hold on the market in time, but the race to find and exploit new deposits is also throwing up other concerns, namely the risk of oversupply or even a glut and political risks that may affect countries with some of the biggest reserves and production.

Lithium is one of the main components of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries used in smartphones, laptops, and EVs, with demand for the latter anticipated to surge over the next decade or so as manufacturing costs fall and environmental concerns rise. China, eager to reduce oil imports and address chronic air pollution, is driving production of EVs, accounting for 37 percent of passenger EVs sold globally since 2011, according to Bloomberg. The agency forecast in 2017 that by 2040 more than half of all new car sales will be electric vehicles.

The New Containment Handling Russia, China, and Iran

By Michael Mandelbaum

The quarter century following the Cold War was the most peaceful in modern history. The world’s strongest powers did not fight one another or even think much about doing so. They did not, on the whole, prepare for war, anticipate war, or conduct negotiations and political maneuvers with the prospect of war looming in the background. As U.S. global military hegemony persisted, the possibility of developed nations fighting one another seemed ever more remote.

Then history began to change course. In the last several years, three powers have launched active efforts to revise security arrangements in their respective regions. Russia has invaded Crimea and other parts of Ukraine and has tried covertly to destabilize European democracies. China has built artificial island fortresses in international waters, claimed vast swaths of the western Pacific, and moved to organize Eurasia economically in ways favorable to Beijing. And the Islamic Republic of Iran has expanded its influence over much of Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen and is pursuing nuclear weapons.

ISIS Might Come Back. That’s Just One More Reason to Get Out of Syria


U.S. military intervention cannot address the grievances that fuel ISIS. Nor does it protect American interests or serve our defense.

The Islamic State is decimated but not eradicated in Syria, the Pentagon inspector general reports, and “ISIS remains a potent force of battle-hardened and well-disciplined fighters that ‘could likely resurge in Syria’ absent continued counterterrorism pressure.”

In light of the last two decades of American foreign policy and the realistic near-future of the nations we’ve occupied, this report should serve as one more piece of evidence that it is time to end U.S. intervention in Syria. Using the chance of a relatively small-scale ISIS resurgence as a reason to delay U.S. withdrawal from Syria is both pointless and reckless, a needless and counterproductive means of exposing America to further risk of great-power conflict while accomplishing little in a war Congress never duly authorized two successive administrations to fight.

Pre-Emptively Striking Iran Would Be One of the Worst Blunders in American History

Steven Metz 

Iran is a longstanding and steadfast opponent of the United States. It promotes terrorism, extremism and instability in the Middle East, with brutal allies like Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Lebanon’s Hezbollah. The Iranian regime continues to develop advanced weaponry while repressing internal dissent. There is no question that the United States, its partners in the Middle East and Europe, and many Iranians themselves would prefer a different government than the theocratic one that has held power since 1979. But the idea of a pre-emptive American attack on Iran, which periodically resurfaces in Washington, would be a monumental mistake.



Even when they win, they lose. So miserable was the performance of Arab armed forces during the last century that even a few examples of victories tended to be defeats in one respect or another. When Egypt took Israel by surprise in 1973 and was able to cross the Suez Canal, it still achieved only limited success.

In Armies of Sand: The Past, Present and Future of Arab Military Effectiveness, Kenneth Pollack charts the history of Arab armies and seeks to diagnose how they came to be what they are. A military analyst concentrating on the Persian Gulf at the CIA and National Security Council as well as a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, his new book is comprehensive and a welcome contribution to our understand of the region and its war fighters.

New Era Of Nuclear Rearmament – Analysis

By Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León*

Thirty years ago, when the Berlin Wall was brought down marking the end of the Cold War, the threat of conflict between two nuclear-armed, ideologically opposed superpowers receded, and my generation, which had grown up in the shadow of the bomb, breathed a sigh of relief. Although the nuclear threat did not vanish then, it certainly became subdued as the process of disarmament and control seemed to move forward along a clear path of no return. 

Today, the geopolitical and security climate is far removed from the heady days of 1989. Walls are back in fashion, and a new nuclear arms race risks taking the whole world back to the old tensions and conceivably to an even more dangerous situation than during the Cold War era, when deterrence provided effective stability – although a perverse one by being based on the threat of mutual destruction. After the end of the Cold War, deterrence had persisted, but was auspiciously accompanied by incremental disarmament. Now the foundations of deterrence are seriously being eroded while disarmament is being stopped, giving way to a new era of rearmament. Arms control is fast unraveling and incredibly the United States, the unquestionable victor of the Cold War, is leading the march to destroy it.

US Stryker Vehicles in Europe Have Deep Cyberwar Weaknesses - Pentagon Report

The two newest versions of the US Army’s Stryker combat vehicle in Europe have “cybersecurity vulnerabilities that can be exploited,” a US Department of Defense report reveals. It’s a growing problem for the US’ high-tech vehicles and weapons systems ‒ and one that reflects the priorities of the military-industrial complex, an expert tells Sputnik.

Sputnik has previously reported on Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) Robert Behler's report in December 2018 eviscerating the Pentagon's cybersecurity capabilities, which described how even as it was improving its cyber defense capabilities, the US military was continuing to lose ground against adversaries in cyberspace.

Sanctions Will Widen the Russia-West Rift in 2019

The United States is all but guaranteed to increase sanctions against Russia in the coming months. With Congress's hawks demanding a hard line on Moscow and the White House favoring moderation, the extent of U.S. sanctions will fall somewhere between the two extremes. The European Union will also increase sanctions against Russia, albeit to a much more limited degree than the United States. Russia will succeed in managing the economic fallout from the sanctions with its sanctions insulation strategy, but prolonged measures will continue to undermine the country's longer-term economic outlook.

Editor's Note: This assessment is part of a series of analyses supporting Stratfor's upcoming 2019 Second-Quarter Forecast. These assessments are designed to provide more context and in-depth analysis on key developments over the next quarter.

Russia Chooses Paupers as Partners, with Questionable Benefit

by William Courtney and Howard J. Shatz

In December, President Vladimir Putin called for Russia's economy “to enter another league.” But that priority is far from clear if one looks at where the Kremlin places its foreign policy chips.

The latest gamble is Venezuela, where Russia recently flew two nuclear-capable Blackjack bombers. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo dismissed this as “two corrupt governments squandering public funds and squelching liberty … while their people suffer.” Indeed, Venezuela is an economic basket case where, the International Monetary Fund predicts, inflation this year will hit 10 million percent.

How Geopolitics Is Bringing Nationalism Back to Spain

By Adriano Bosoni

Like so many other European countries, Spain is now experiencing a re-emergence of nationalism. In Spain's case, it is occurring as a reaction to Catalan separatism. Spain's geography has contributed to competing nationalisms in the country, which has led to resistance in the country's periphery to Madrid's centralizing efforts. The April 28 general election will most likely result in a fragmented parliament, opening the door for nationalists to be key in the formation of a government. This would lead to renewed discord with Catalonia and potential clashes with the European Union. Calls for constitutional reform will grow louder, but political fragmentation would make that process increasingly difficult to complete.

The Future of the Liberal Order Is Conservative A Strategy to Save the System

By Jennifer Lind and William C. Wohlforth

The liberal world order is in peril. Seventy-five years after the United States helped found it, this global system of alliances, institutions, and norms is under attack like never before. From within, the order is contending with growing populism, nationalism, and authoritarianism. Externally, it faces mounting pressure from a pugnacious Russia and a rising China. At stake is the survival of not just the order itself but also the unprecedented economic prosperity and peace it has nurtured.

The order is clearly worth saving, but the question is how. Keep calm and carry on, some of its defenders argue; today’s difficulties will pass, and the order is resilient enough to survive them. Others appreciate the gravity of the crisis but insist that the best response is to vigorously reaffirm the order’s virtues and confront its external challengers. Bold Churchillian moves—sending more American troops to Syria, offering Ukraine more help to kick out pro-Russian forces—would help make the liberal international order great again. Only by doubling down on the norms and institutions that made the liberal world order so successful, they say, can that order be saved.

What does cyberwar look like? We're about to find out, but from an unlikely source


In the summer of 2017, the Russian government implanted malware in a commercial accounting software called M.E. Doc, used by the majority of Ukrainians to file their taxes. The malware known as NotPetya spread quickly throughout Ukraine. But what began as targeted attack against a regional rival soon morphed into a global campaign that wreaked havoc on dozens of companies around the world. Multinational giants such as Merck and FedEx each suffered hundreds of millions of dollars in damagesas the malicious code spread from their business networks to critical industrial control systems. With total damages estimated at approximately $10 billion, NotPetya was the single most costly known cyberattack in history. Almost two years later it may have an impact on the legal standards related to cyberwar.

Among the other victims of NotPetya’s collateral damage was Mondelez, the U.S. food company that claims Oreo as one of its brands. After the malware rendered 1,700 servers and 24,000 laptops “permanently dysfunctional,” Mondelez submitted a $100 million property insurance claim, citing their coverage for “physical loss or damage to electronic data, programs or software, including physical loss or damage caused by the malicious introduction of a machine code or instruction.” Zurich, their insurer, refused to pay, citing an exclusion for “hostile or warlike action in time of peace or war... by any government or sovereign power, military, naval or air force, or agent or authority of any party specified above.” Mondelez is suing, putting an Illinois state judge in the unusual role of interpreting the law of armed conflict.

New report questions effectiveness of cyber indictments

By: Mark Pomerleau

A recent report throws cold water on one of the U.S. government’s key pillars for what it calls whole-of-government deterrence in cyberspace: indictments.

According to cyberthreat intelligence firm CrowdStrike’s 2019 Global Threat report, nation-state actors do not seem deterred in the face of legal actions.

“[I]n spite of some impressive indictments against several named nation-state actors — their activities show no signs of diminishing,” the report states. “In diplomatic channels and the media, several nation-states gave lip-service to curbing their clandestine cyber activities, but behind the scenes, they doubled down on their cyber espionage operations — combining those efforts with further forays into destructive attacks and financially motivated fraud.”

The report continues, saying that law enforcement efforts “have not yet halted or deterred nation-state sponsored activities” as nation-states were continuously active in 2018 targeting dissidents, regional adversaries and foreign powers to collect intelligence for decision-makers.

Rethink 2%: NATO ‘Defense Spending’ Should Favor Cyber


Today, a dollar or euro spent on network security goes farther than one spent on conventional arms.

The acting Pentagon chief’s ambivalent visit to NATOheadquarters last week hardly reassured allies rattled by President Trump’s talk of quitting the alliance. But while Trump’s rhetoric is less than encouraging, his criticism of allies who put less than the agreed-upon 2 percent of national economic output toward defense should prompt us to rethink how we define “defense spending” in today’s fast-changing world. 

Of NATO 28’s member states, only five meet the goal; German defense spending is just 1.2 percent of GDP. In this way, at least, Trump has a point: NATO’s economics are clearly not working out, and this disorganization is undermining the alliance. But the crucial adjustment that is needed is not the amount of spending, but what it seeks to fund. 

Building data-driven culture: An interview with ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan

Sam Yagan, current ShopRunner CEO, cofounder of OkCupid, and former Match Group CEO, discusses the importance of culture for driving data-based decision making, innovation, and, ultimately, company success.

Sam Yagan has led an illustrious entrepreneurial career by embracing data and innovation. He helped transform online dating when he cofounded OkCupid, which continually searched for unique ways to leverage user data to increase the chances of singles finding compatible mates. After selling the successful company to the Match Group, he became the dating conglomerate’s CEO, during which time the group innovated digital matchmaking again by introducing the “swipe” method for companion selection in its Tinder app.

Now, as the CEO of ShopRunner, he’s at it once more. The online service offers members benefits such as two-day shipping and free returns across more than 100 retailers. But some of its biggest benefits derive from data. The company uses data to provide online shoppers with personalized experiences and its participating retailers with access to new customers. And it’s rolling out innovative products such as its new mobile app District, which, among other neat features, offers users a tailored, real-time feed of trending products.

NATO researchers used social media to learn details of a military exercise and manipulate troops. It wasn’t very hard to do.

By Matt Field

NATO affiliated researchers recently conducted a test to see whether they could use some of the same social media techniques Russia famously used in an attempt to influence the US presidential election to infiltrate a NATO ally’s military exercise.

Using fake social media accounts, researchers at the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence identified troops, located battalions, and even manipulated soldiers to “instill undesirable behavior.”

They were remarkably successful. In about a month, the researchers, who used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other publicly accessible online resources, gained detailed knowledge about the operation and successfully pushed some soldiers, at least, into disobeying orders. According to a Wired article, the researchers manipulated some personnel into abandoning “their positions.”

White House Orders Agencies to Defend the Skies From Cyberattacks

By Jack Corrigan

Agencies need to step up their efforts to defend the aviation industry against a growing array of emerging threats like cyberattacks and drones, the White House said Wednesday.

In its National Strategy for Aviation Security, the Trump administration called on the government to unify its efforts to combat threats in the country’s airspace. And as the airlines grow increasingly network-connected, agencies must also work to identify and protect against potential vulnerabilities in cyberspace, officials said.

The last national aviation security strategy, which the Bush administration released in 2007, focused mainly on combating terrorism and physical threats posed by criminals and foreign adversaries. According to the White House, this latest iteration aims to expand the government’s defenses against the risks of the digital age.

International Intrigue Over Venezuela’s Gold Could Help Decide Maduro’s Fate

Frida Ghitis 

A country’s gold reserves are meant to provide stability and financial ballast, not cash for everyday purchases. Only in the most extreme cases do they become a source of currency for vital supplies. That is exactly what is happening in Venezuela, where the political crisis has triggered the kind of international intrigue usually scripted in Hollywood. The embattled government of President Nicolas Maduro is trying to cash in its reserves while the opposition and its foreign backers maneuver to keep the country’s gold and any hard currency from its sale out of Maduro’s hands. 

How Does Space Policy Directive-4 Reorganize U.S. Military Space Operations?

On February 19, 2019, President Trump signed a new Space Policy Directive, which directs the Department of Defense (DoD) to formally create a separate military service for space. This long-anticipated announcement endorses DoD to submit to Congress a request to stand up the U.S. Space Force.

Q1: Is a Space Force being created?

A1: Yes. Space Policy Directive-4 (SPD-4) calls on the secretary of defense to submit a legislative proposal to create a sixth service of the United States’ Armed Forces to focus on space operations. The Space Force will be the sixth military service within DoD.

Q2: Is a Space Force needed?

A2: Depends on who you ask. CSIS Aerospace Security experts Todd Harrison and I disagree on the structure of the Space Force.

The AI Road to Serfdom?


Estimates of job losses in the near future due to automation range from 9% to 47%, and jobs themselves are becoming ever more precarious. Should we trust the conventional economic narrative according to which machines inevitably raise workers' living standards?

LONDON – Surveys from round the world show that people want secure jobs. At the same time, they have always dreamed of a life free from toil. The “rise of the robots” has made the tension between these impulses palpable.

Estimates of job losses in the near future due to automation range from 9% to 47%, and jobs themselves are becoming ever more precarious. Yet automation also promises relief from most forms of enforced work, bringing closer to reality Aristotle’s extraordinary prediction that all needed work would one day be carried out by “mechanical slaves,” leaving humans free to live the “good life.” So the age-old question arises again: are machines a threat to humans or a means of emancipating them?

Military spending: 20 companies profiting the most from war

Samuel Stebbins and Evan Comen

There was a 1.1 percent increase in global military spending in 2017, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The global rise was driven partially by a $9.6 billion hike in U.S. arms expenditure – the United States is the world’s largest defense spender by a wide margin. Though it is yet unclear what the growing arms investments will mean for international relations, major defense contractors around the world stand to benefit.

Total arms sales among the world’s 100 largest defense contractors topped $398 billion in 2017 after climbing for the third consecutive year. Notably, Russia, one of the countries with the fastest growing militaries over the last decade, became the second largest arms-producing country, overtaking the United Kingdom for the first time since 2002. The United States’ position as the top arms-producing nation in the world remains unchanged, and for now unchallenged.

The United States is home to five of the world’s 10 largest defense contractors, and American companies account for 57 percent of total arms sales by the world’s 100 largest defense contractors, based on SIPRI data.