Friday, October 31, 2003

Wicked Scandinavians

An interesting tidbit, via Marginal Revolution:

It is commonly known that Sweden and Norway stand among the top five nations for foreign aid per capita.

It is less commonly known that, in per capita terms, they are among the top five arms exporters in the world.

I've long known that Sweden was a major arms manufacturer, what with Saab and Bofors of gunmaking fame (now owned by Saab, by the way), but Norway as a big-time arms exporter? What could the Norwegians be selling on such a large scale? What makes the prominence of Sweden and Norway in the arms business particularly interesting is the highly sanctimonious tone both countries like to take about the foreign dealings of other nations; one rarely hears the trite phrase "merchants of death" applied to the Scandinavians.