Is the war business unaffected by recessions? :

Despite the continuing global economic recession in 2009, the total arms sales of the SIPRI Top 100 of the world's largest arms-producing companies increased by $14.8 billion from 2008 to reach $401 billion, a real increase of 8 per cent, according to new data on international arms production released today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Many Swedes have been surprised by recent newspaper articles detailing shipments to questionable customers. Actions have been taken to curtail some of those sales (for now):

"We have withdrawn licences (for weapons exports) to two countries … due to the situation in the region," Andreas Ekman Duse, the head of the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls (ISP), told AFP.

"We cannot say which countries, due to commercial and diplomatic classified information," he said.

His agency, which controls Sweden's exports of military equipment, would closely watch the situation, and the licences could be restored "if the development in these countries goes in a democratic direction," he said, adding "when that will happen I cannot say."



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