Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781783605651 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783605668 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only


Seven Myths that Sustain the Global Arms Trade

Collected by Paul Holden


Collected by Paul Holden

Distributed for Zed Books

192 pages | 5 x 7 3/4
Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781783605651 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783605668 Published February 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Although there is often opposition to individual wars, many people continue to believe that the arms industry is necessary in some form: to safeguard our security, provide jobs, or stimulate the economy. For these reasons, not only conservatives, but many progressives and liberals, are able to rationalize supporting it. But is the arms industry truly as essential as we’ve been led to believe?   Indefensible puts forward a devastating challenge to this conventional wisdom, debunking many myths about the industry that has somehow managed to normalize the existence of the most savage weapons of mass destruction ever known.
Editor Paul Holden, who himself has written extensively about arms deals, has compiled the essential handbook for those who want to counter the arguments put forth by the industry and its supporters. Deploying statistics, case studies, and irrefutable evidence to demonstrate how the arguments in favor of the arms trade are fundamentally flawed, both factually and logically, the contributors to this volume clearly show that far from protecting us, the arms trade undermines our security by fanning the flames of war, terrorism, and global instability.
Bringing together a range of distinguished experts and activists, including Andrew Feinstein, author of After the Party and The Shadow World, Indefensible not only reveals the complex dangers associated with the arms trade but offers positive ways in which we can combat the arms trade’s malignant influence, reclaim our democracies, and reshape our economies in the interests of peace and human well-being.
Acronyms and abbreviations
Indefensible: Setting the scene
Section 1: There is No Problem
Myth 1: Higher defense spending equals increased security
Myth 2: Military Spending is driven by security concerns
Myth 3: We can control where weapons end up and how they are used
Myth 4: The defense industry is a key contributor to national economies
Myth 5: Corruption in the arms trade is only a problem in developing countries
Myth 6: National security requires blanket secrecy
Section 2: The Arms Trade Can’t Be Beaten
Myth 7: Now is not the time
Conclusion: Change is possible
Review Quotes
Nick Turse, author of Kill Anything that Moves
“A ground-breaking effort in myth-busting, bringing together the foremost scholars on the global arms trade to untangle the web of lies surrounding this deadly industry. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the players who make modern warfare and all its attendant suffering possible."
Nicholas Gilby, author of Deception in High Places: A History of Bribery in Britain’s Arms Trade
“Holden and his colleagues’ measured, succinct, and cogent analysis of the shallowness of conventional wisdom is invaluable. This excellent book deserves the widest possible readership.”
Andrew J. Bacevich, author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East
“Bristling with facts, figures, and incisive case studies, Indefensible shines a bright light on the dark underbelly of the global arms trade. Cynicism, corruption, and sheer stupidity have produced a world awash with weapons. Holden and his collaborators show how we got into this mess and offer a way out.”
Wendela de Vries, Dutch Campaign Against the Arms Trade
Indefensible not only explains what is wrong with the arms trade, but also provides us with the tools needed for change.”
Ana Gomes MEP, Member of the EU Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs

“Debunks the myths commonly used to defend the indefensible. The author helps us to recognize those myths on the basis of a breathtaking, well-researched array of cases, and leads us to the conclusion that change is not only needed, but is actually possible.”

Anna Macdonald, Control Arms

“Essential reading for all those who believe that there are alternatives to the incessant cycle of wars and conflict. It is a calm and systematic analysis, which leaves the reader in no doubt that the arms trade can and must be challenged.”

Arms Control Today
“In an unflinching assessment of the arguments that support the global trade in conventional weapons, Holden holds this new book up to its title, finding such myths to be indefensible.”
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