Countries of the NATO military alliance have been ordered by President Trump to increase their spending on weapons, and the reasons for his insistence they do so are becoming clearer.
It’s got nothing to do with any defence rationale, because, after all, the Secretary General of the US-NATO military alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, has admitted that “we don’t see any imminent threat against any NATO ally” and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute recorded in its 2018 World Report that “at $66.3 billion, Russia’s military spending in 2017 was 20 per cent lower than in 2016.”
There is demonstrably no threat whatever to any NATO country by Russia, but this is considered irrelevant in the context of US arms’ sales, which are flourishing and being encouraged to increase and multiply.
On July 12, the second and final day of the recent US-NATO meeting, Reuters reported Trump as saying that “the United States makes by far the best military equipment in the world: the best jets, the best missiles, the best guns, the best everything.” He went on “to list the top US arms makers, Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp by name.”
On July 11 the Nasdaq Stock Exchange listed the stock price of Lockheed Martin at $305.68. The day after Trump’s speech, it increased to $318.37.
On July 11 the Nasdaq Stock Exchange listed the stock price of Boeing at $340.50. The day after Trump’s speech, it increased to $350.79.
On July 11 the New York Stock Exchange listed the stock price of Northrop Grumman (it doesn’t appear on Nasdaq) at $311.71. The day after Trump’s speech, it increased to $321.73.
General Dynamics, another major US weapons producer, might not be too pleased, however, because its stock price rose only slightly, from $191.51 to $192.74. Nor might Raytheon, the maker of the Patriot missile system which Washington is selling all over the world,