NATO gives Raytheon billions for new missiles, gives old stocks to Ukraine
Patriot missile systems built by U.S. weapons maker Raytheon. | AP

LONDON—NATO will help buy 1,000 U.S.-built Patriot missiles to equip European member states and allow them to hand more of their existing weaponry to Ukraine, the alliance said yesterday.

The military alliance’s Support & Procurement Agency will give support to Germany, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain to buy the missiles, with the cost of the contract estimated at $5.5 billion. All that money will go to purchase products from the Raytheon corporation, boosting the profits of the military-industrial complex.

NATO Seretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that “Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukrainian civilians, cities, and towns show how important modern air defenses are. Scaling up ammunition production is key for Ukraine’s security and ours.”

NATO’s military committee chairman, Admiral Rob Bauer of the Netherlands, warned in October that member states were running out of ammunition to supply Ukraine in what has become a protracted war of attrition against Russia along a 620-mile front line in the country’s east.

Many Western states, over decades of neoliberalism, have outsourced manufacturing to the global South, weakening their ability to rapidly ramp up war production as Russia has. The need to prioritize building up its own military was cited by Poland in September as a reason it would stop supplying weapons to Ukraine, while the continued supply of funds for Kiev’s war effort has been held up for internal political reasons in both the European Union and the United States.

Ukraine resumed shelling of the Russian border town of Belgorod yesterday, following a heavy bombardment last Saturday that killed 25 people, including five children. But the Russian Defense Ministry said it had shot down all Ukrainian missiles.

Morning Star

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Roger McKenzie
Roger McKenzie

Roger McKenzie is the International Editor of Morning Star, Britain’s daily socialist newspaper. He is the author of the book "African Uhuru: The Fight for African Freedom in the Rise of the Global South" published by Manifesto Press.