Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary decodes how war profits western arms manufacturers and media

In any modern-day war, the biggest beneficiaries are the companies involved in manufacturing weapons.

Zee News Editor-in-Chief Sudhir Chaudhary decodes how war profits western arms manufacturers and media

The simmering tension between India and Pakistan following the Indian Air Force's air strikes at Jaish-e-Mohammad terror camp in Pakistan and the failed attempt by Pakistan to attack Indian targets using F-16 fighter jets led the two nations on the verge of a war. The global community immediately plunged into action asking both sides to de-escalate and avoid any full-scale war. While it may seem that countries like the US, UK, Germany, China and others are asking India and Pakistan to de-escalate because they are concerned about the lives of citizens of both the countries but the reality is far more hard-hitting and grim.

Great Communist leader and the founder of modern China, Mao Zedong had said that politics is a bloodless war, while war is a politics which involves a lot of bloodshed.

In any modern-day war, the biggest beneficiaries are the companies involved in manufacturing weapons.

India has given all the evidence and facts to the US proving that Pakistan Air Force had used F-16 fighter jets to attack Indian targets on February 27.

But it seems that the US is still running a secret agenda so that no one can prove that PAF had used F-16 during the failed attack. But it is necessary to expose the American companies which indulge in politics in the name of weapons. Look at the two different articles published by western media houses.

US-based magazine Foreign Policy has published an article titled 'India’s Dogfight Loss Could Be a Win for US Weapons-Makers'. In this article, the writer has used words like India claims....and it has been written that 'According to India's claim, India's MiG 21 shot down Pakistan's F-16 fighter jet. It is to be noted that India has already made public the images of debris of AIM-120 AMRAA missile. In the same article, Foreign Policy magazine has accepted that only the F-16 in Pakistani arsenal can fire the AMRAA missile. But the article did not say even once that the F-16 was used by Pakistan. The magazine has an annual pageview of 4.9 crore.

An article was also published in New York Times titled 'After India Loses Dogfight To Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its ‘Vintage’ Military. The meaning of vintage is old and in the article, NYT has very cleverly taken a dig at India's outdated weapons and tried to save the F-16.

Now the question is: Why several big newspapers, news agencies and the journalists who are busy running fake news factories are making extra efforts to prove that a 'vintage' aircraft like MiG-21 cannot shoot down an F-16?

When the US had inked a deal to sell the F-16 fighter to Pakistan, it had tried to justify its decision by adding two conditions. The first condition was that Pakistan will use this aircraft only for its self-defence and second, Pakistan will use the F-16s only to counter terrorism.

According to this condition, self-defence meant that if a war breaks out between India and Pakistan, then the latter can use F-16 against India.

It is important to mention the date here which is July 2006, because this was the time when the US had to take a decision whether it will sell more F-16s to Pakistan in future or not.

The then Assistant Secretary of State for Political Military Affairs John Miller had said that the agreement with Pakistan will be finalised with strict conditions.

At that time two rules were laid out. According to the rules, it was decided that Pakistan will have to take approval from the US if it wants to use the F-16 jets in areas barred by the US and if it wants to use the jets against other countries.

But things changed on September 16, 2008, when an American Admiral said that the arms deal with Pakistan is based on three different Letters of Acceptance. The three main points were:

1. To give 18 new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan.
2. Use of AMRAA missile in these fighter jets.
3. Upgradation of 46 old F-16 fighter jets of Pakistan.

According to this deal, Pakistan was set to receive new F-16 fighter jets with AMRAA missile from June 2010.

The Congress-led UPA government was in power in India at that time and the government had objected to the US decision to give F-16s to Pakistan. But the then US government had assured India that it would ensure that F-16s are not used against India. But in 2016, the current BJP-led government at the Centre managed to stop the Barack Obama government from selling eight new F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan. India had managed to do this after very aggressive lobbying in the US Senate.

Whenever war breaks out anywhere in the world, the US considers it as a blessing for itself. It is notable that 2001-2011 is regarded as the 'golden decade' for the American defence industry. It is the same period when the US fought wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and its arms industry made profits of billions of dollars.

During these 10 years, the annual profit of the American defence industry increased four times to $25 billion. Similarly, the terror unleashed by ISIS in 2015 also became an 'only profit & no loss' war for the US.

It is interesting to note that till 2017, 42 out world's top 100 weapons manufacturing companies were from the US. These companies sold weapons worth over Rs 16 lakh crores globally in 2017.

Lockheed Martin and Boeing are two of the world's biggest arms manufacturing companies and both these companies are from the US.

According to an international agency, India was the world's biggest buyer of arms between 2013 and 2017. India has till date procured most of its weapons from Russia. Between 2013 and 2017, India bought 62% of its weapons from Russia, 15% from the US and 11% from Israel.

Russia has always been India's first choice when it comes to buying weapons and the American companies are trying their best to race ahead of Russia. This is the main reason why after 2013 there has been a 557% increased in India's weapons' purchase from the US. It is expected that India would spend around $230 billion to buy weapons in the coming years.

It means that profit is the only reason why companies like Lockheed Martin are unwilling to hear any narrative which is against the F-16. A former chief of Lockheed Martin had once accepted that the company had spent a huge sum of money to seek favour for F-16 from officials. These companies also spent crores of rupees to advertise their weapons and for media management.

During the Gulf War in the 1990s, the Scud missile made by the Soviet Union became quite popular and this missile is still used by 14 nations across the world. Similarly, the US has used Patriot Surface-To-Air Missile Defence System in different wars and it is now used by 13 nations.

Now, you must have got a fair idea that a war-like situation is the biggest opportunity for companies involved in arms manufacturing. The US and other global superpowers make their policies according to wars and global conflicts.

It would not be wrong to say that most of the news agencies and newspapers in the world are now 'compromised' as they run an agenda to benefit a particular company.

The biggest irony is that when we read an article published in a foreign newspaper or magazines, we believe their points without even giving a second thought. US President Donald Trump keeps New York Times in Fake News category but 'designer journalists' in our country do not hesitate to write even anti-India article for NYT.

Many people claim that there is a tacit understanding between defence experts and defence affairs columnist to hide the truth the serve the interest of arms manufacturing companies.