Arms sales to overseas partners are a major tool of U.S. foreign policy, but getting a clear picture of what deals are worth is not easy. The number that usually gets cited in media accounts is the congressional notification figure, but that amount usually is much bigger than the price that ends up being negotiated between Washington and foreign governments. In addition, much of the negotiated amount is “government furnished equipment” or services performed by the government itself, so the companies making weapons that are exported may only get half of the revenue that publicly-reported figures suggest. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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