War Profiteers

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WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair
WRI activists disrupting the welcome dinner at the ADEX arms fair

Economics is one of the key causes of war - wherever there is a military conflict, someone is profiting from it. We call this "war profiteering".

WRI looks at war profiteering in a broad sense - we consider all companies and initiatives that benefit financially from military conflict as war profiteers, in some sense. This includes the arms trade and companies profiteering for the privatisation and outsourcing of the military, but also those extracting natural resources in conflict zones, financial institutions investing in arms companies, and many others.

WRI publishes a quarterly magazine called War Profiteers' News (in English and Spanish), and organises events to bring campaigners and researchers together to share strategies against war profiteering. In 2017 we will gather members and friends of the WRI network in London, for a seminar called “Stopping the War Business”. Campaigners will share experiences and strategies of countering the arms trade and other war profiteers. The seminar will take place at the same time  as the DSEI arms fair, where we will also take nonviolent direct action together. In 2015, we organised a similar event in Seoul, South Korea, which took place at the same time as the ADEX arms fair.

Société d'Application des Procédés Lefebvre (SAPL) is a French company that specialises in the manufacture of weapons and equipment for use by law enforcement, including “non-lethal” weapons, ammunitions, aerosols, shields and silencers. They also provide training in the products they manufacture. 60-70% of SAPL’s income comes from the French government, but SAPL also exports to a number of other countries. In 2022, the company reported income of €2.7m.

Cheddite is a French-Italian company with headquarters in Livorno, Italy and Bourg-lès-Valence, France. They are one of the world’s largest manufacturers of empty shot gun shells and primers.

CONTENT WARNING: this article makes references to sexual violence, torture, and other details that some readers may find upsetting.
The Wagner Group is a Russian paramilitary organisation founded in 2014 by former GRU officer Dmitry Utkin and businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, and has been described as “one of Russia’s most influential foreign policy tools”. Since its founding, Wagner Group has become known for its readiness to use extreme levels of violence and brutality during its operations.

Accuracy International (AI) is a British company based in Portsmouth, specialising in the production of high-end, hand built, precision sniper rifles and associated equipment. Weapons manufactured by AI have been used extensively in conflict zones, including states accused of human rights abuses.

CNO Tech is a South Korean arms company, who manufacturer a range of equipment of weapons for military and law enforcement use, including single and multi-shot “riot” launchers...

A new database of Israeli military and security exports – www.dimse.info - has been launched. The new database, developed by the American Friends Service Committee, is a tool for journalists, academics, campaigners, and other civil society actors critical of Israel’s arms export and its effect on human rights around the world.

According to a new report published by Centre d’Estudis per la Pau to analyse the way banks, pension funds and insurers are funding the arms industry, the total financing to the arms industry by financial institutions operating in Spain reached nearly €11,969 million between the years 2014 and 2019. The largest armed banks operating in Spain are again BBVA, Santander, ING, Deutsche Bank, Banco Sabadell, Bankia and Caixabank.

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