Making Arms, Wasting Skills

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(328)

Steven Schofield, Campaign Against Arms Trade, £3

This new booklet is a timely investigation into the nature of the arms manufacturing industry and its centrality to modern imperialism.

The report argues that Britain has become a world leader in peddling death and instability. The US is happy to allow BAE to grow, especially into the US market. Meanwhile, the US develops, sells and uses weaponry of a higher technological level. In return for subservience, Britain, and others, can also get the latest in warfare technology.

In response to those who defend the arms industry in order to defend jobs, the report shows that jobs lost in arms production could be moved elsewhere. For example, Britain could become a world leader in renewable energy and environmental reconstruction. One suggestion is that Britain could play a benevolent role on the international stage - not a credible scenario when every imperial adventure is already paraded as "humanitarian".

While this booklet lacks an agency for the changes it suggests, and appeals perhaps too much to the logic of capitalism, it remains a valuable and comprehensive resource for anyone challenging the arms manufacturers through divestment programmes, and indeed anyone wishing to understand better the importance of this trade in death.