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Yankee Military Dollars Trade Up in Global Defence Markets

In the cagey and competitive world of defence spending, the US still stands alone as the key trendsetter. American global dominance in the arena means that all the world’s major military spenders make their decisions with due deference to which direction the stars and stripes are waving. In Germany, the decision to focus on heavy lift capability through the A400M project was taken with at least one eye on the apparent gap left by the US’ strong emphasis on conventional capabilities. In China, defence policy is, nearly without exception, formulated in response to Washington; a recent aerospace conference in Zhuhai boasted a larger-than-life diorama showing a US aircraft carrier patrolling the Yangtze. The importance of the US to global defence purchasing means that sensible predictions about the US’ likely medium-term decisions are a vital tool for policymakers and defence executives alike.

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