At Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) this week profession British soldiers acted as sales and marketing personnel for arms manufacturers and dealers.
The soldiers were paid by the British public while they worked for private businesses at DSEI and the businesses were charged no fee.
Of course, British armed forces as marketing teams for arms industry is as old as war and almost all military conflict exists to feed the arms industry. The senior military personnel working at DSEI did not try to deny their role, they embraced it but in the spurious context of the arms industry helping the British economy. In his keynote speech at DSEI Chief of the General Staff Mark Carleton-Smith (above) understood the presentation of the con and he stuck to the script.
“It is clearer than ever to me that our economic and national security go hand-in-hand. We need joint military industrial teams, globally deployed, demonstrating and developing cutting-edge capabilities together, in full-sight of your customers, for the benefit of the Army, the industrial base, and national prosperity.”
The flaws in Carleton-Smith’s argument were obvious:
- “National prosperity” and profits of arms industry are two entirely different entities
- All manufacturers of arms in Britain and their workforces could be used to manufacture something constructive rather than destructive
- There has been no armed conflict in the UK since the IRA ceased operations thirty years ago
The focus on arms industry as contributor to a good economy for Britain was merely a con-trick and the eagerness of senior military personnel to partake of the trick revealed where their allegiances lie.
An officer’s career in the armed forces is a career in marketing, salesmanship and PR. The more senior the officer, the more adept and willing she or he is to work for the profit-makers and promotion up the ranks depends on that.
DSEI: Tax-payers paid, arms industry raked in the profits and murderous dictators got their weapons.