The countries, companies and think tanks that support the deadly nuclear arms trade
A new report from ICAN — Complicit: 2020 Global Nuclear Weapons spending — names names and produces some horrifying spending numbers, made all the more immoral by the desperate needs around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the ever worsening conditions brought on by the climate crisis.
As the report notes, “In 2020, during the worst global pandemic in a century, nine nuclear-armed states spent $72.6 billion on their nuclear weapons, more than $137,000 per minute, an inflation adjusted increase of $1.4 billion from last year.”
It goes on to ask the obvious question: Why? The answer lies in the profits to be made by the world’s nuclear weapons companies, not to mention the funding flowing to a few think tanks, some of which have missions that should make taking this money unacceptable. “Not only does this report reveal the massive spending on nuclear weapons during the worst global pandemic in a century, it also shines a light on the shadowy connection between the private companies building nuclear weapons, lobbyists and think tanks,” wrote ICAN’s Susi Snyder in an email to launch the report.
She also narrates this short video below that explains the findings.
“The exchange of money and influence, from countries to companies to lobbyists and think tanks, sustains and maintains a global arsenal of catastrophically destructive weapons. Each person and organisation in this cycle is complicit in threatening life as we know it and wasting resources desperately needed to address real threats to human health and safety”, says the report’s executive summary. It goes on:
“The $72.6 billion spent on nuclear weapons was split between governmental departments and private companies. Companies in France, the United Kingdom and the United States received $27.7 billion from nuclear-weapon-related contracts in 2020, of which $14.8 billion was new.
“Those companies then funded think tanks that research and write about nuclear weapons policies. At least twelve major think tanks that research and write about nuclear weapons in India, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States received collectively between $5 million and $10 million from companies that produce nuclear weapons.
“The CEOs of companies that produce nuclear weapons sit on their advisory boards and are listed as ‘partners’ on their websites.
“And to make sure the enormous budgets are approved to pay for these contracts, those same companies hire lobbyists. In 2020, nuclear weapons producers spent $117 million in lobbying on defence. For every $1 spent lobbying, an average of $236 in nuclear weapon contract money came back.
“Nuclear-armed states spent an obscene amount of money on illegal weapons of mass destruction in 2020, while the majority of the world’s countries support a global nuclear weapons ban. But the story doesn’t stop there. Companies, lobbyists and think tanks are complicit and deserve to be held accountable for their role in building and shaping a world with more than 13,000 life- ending weapons. We need to call on them to cut it out.”
The executive summary of the report then calls out the names of the countries, companies and think tanks complicit in effectively planning the world’s destruction.
Country Spending On Nuclear Weapons In 2020
The United States: $37.4 billion; $70,881 / minute
China: $10.1 billion; $19,149 / minute
Russia: $8 billion; $15,222 / minute
The United Kingdom: $6.2 billion; $11,769 / minute
France: $5.7 billion; $10,786 / minute
India: $2.48 billion; $4,567 / minute
Israel: $1.1 billion; $2,059 / minute
Pakistan: $1 billion; $1,968 / minute
North Korea: $667 million; $1,265 / minute
2020 Total: $72.6 billion; $137,666 / minute
2019 Total: $71.2 billion* $135,424 / minute
*Adjusted for inflation
Company defence contract awards and defence lobby spending in 2020
Aerojet Rocketdyne: Awarded: $132 million Spent lobbying: $2.3 million
Airbus: Awarded: $170 million Spent lobbying: $6.1 million
BAE Systems: Awarded: $10.8 billion ($72.5 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $5.6 million
Bechtel: Awarded: $2.9 billion Spent lobbying: $990,000
Boeing: Awarded: $50 billion ($105 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $15.6 million
Constructions Industrielles de la Méditerranée (CNIM): Awarded: $39.1 million Spent lobbying: $17,226
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory: Awarded: $443.5 million ($342.3 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $120,000
Fluor: Awarded: $3.9 billion Spent lobbying: $5.1 million
General Dynamics: Awarded: $39.4 billion ($10.8 billion for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $13.9 million
Honeywell International: Awarded: $14 billion ($41.6 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $7.4 million
Huntington Ingalls Industries: Awarded: $7.4 billion ($53 million for nuclear weapons); Spent lobbying: $5.2 million
Jacobs Engineering: Awarded: $2.6 billion Spent lobbying: $900,000
L3 Harris Technologies: Awarded: $5.6 billion ($60 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $200,000
Leidos: Awarded: $10.8 billion Spent lobbying: $2.4 million
Leonardo: Awarded: $728.8 million Spent lobbying: $86,644
Lockheed Martin: Awarded: $124.5 billion ($2.1 billion for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $15 million
Northrop Grumman: Awarded: 29.1 billion ($13.7 billion for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $13.3 million
Raytheon Technologies Corporation: Awarded: $27.5 billion ($450 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $15.2 million
Safran: Awarded: $12.3 million Spent lobbying: $382,211
Serco: Awarded: $896 million Spent lobbying: $420,000
Textron: Awarded: $1.8 billion ($3.2 million for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $5.1 million
Total: Awarded: $332 billion ($27.7 billion for nuclear weapons) Spent lobbying: $117 million
Think tank reported income from nuclear weapon producers
Atlantic Council: $835,000 – $1,724,998
Brookings Institution: $275,000 – $549,998
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: $50,000 – 199,998
Center for New American Security: $1,085,000 – $1,874,991
Center for Strategic and International Studies: $1,530,000 – $2,794,997
Fondation pour la recherche stratégique (FRS): amount not specified
French Institute of International Relations: amount not specified
Hudson Institute: $170,000 – $350,000
International Institute of Strategic Studies: $800,640 – $1,146,744
Observer Research Foundation: $71,539
Royal United Services Institute: $610,210 – $1,445,581
Stimson Center: $50,500
Total $5 – 10 million