Via Vice News
As violence escalates across the Middle East and North Africa, the United States remains the largest exporter of weapons to the region, and private US defense companies and contractors have opened local offices as the demand shows no sign of abating.
VICE News traveled to this year's International Defense Exhibition and Conference in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi to examine the competition between arms manufacturers vying for a greater portion of the lucrative market.
From Abu Dhabi we traveled to Iraq, where US weapons have fallen into the hands of non-state actors such as the so-called Islamic State militant group, Kurdish Peshmerga, and militias aligned with the Iraqi government. Rather than block sales, the US government and others actively promote them â€” ensuring there will be enough arms to fuel the region's wars and revolts for years to come.
At the show, Vice News reporter spoke with a representative from Oshkosh Defense.
BILL MOONEY, VP FOR MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA, OSHKOSH DEFENSE: [The middle east] is a very important region to our business, and this event is important not just for the region but for our global business. The UAE is an important customer for us and there is a reason OshKosh has established its headquarters here in Abu Dhabi, a forward presence close to our customer, both to hear from them what their requirements are and to provide Oshkosh products to meet those solutions.
VICE NEWS REPORTER: I kind of couldn't help but think that the instability [in this region] is good for business.
BILL MOONEY: Well we would certainly never wish for instability for any of our partners, but we have to recognize that we do live in a world of challenges. We have challenges in the Western hemisphere and they certainly have their share of challenges in this hemisphere.