Monday, February 10, 2014

How a Businessman Became Chile's Top Arms Maker

Anyone wishing to understand Chile's military industry needs to know the story of Carlos Cardoen. He is the most successful weapons manufacturer the country has known. He built landmines, bombs, armored vehicles and other types of arms for Chile and several countries. In a TV interview last year, Cardoen explained his rise from maker of mining explosives into a major arms manufacturer. As he tells it, the pivotal moment came in the late 1970s, when Chile faced military threats from Peru and Argentina. A U.S. arms embargo had left Chile desperate for weapons, and the military turned to its industrialists to make the arms it could not buy in the market. Cardoen was one of those industrialists. In a matter of weeks, he developed an anti-tank mine using off-the-shelf materials, such as caps from oil barrels. Later, the Air Force asked him to develop a bomb that could be dropped by reconnaissance aircraft -- something described as a harassment weapon. That, Cardoen says in the interview (check starting about the 10th minute of the video), led to the concept of cluster bombs, which Cardoen patented in the U.S. It's debatable whether Cardoen actually invented the cluster bomb. The Germans used a bomblet-dispersion system during World War II, and cluster bombs were used in the Vietnam War. But Cardoen's bombs and other designs helped Chile stave off its hostile neighbors. He continued building up his arms business and became a supplier to Iraq during its war with Iran, which made him a controversial figure. Today, Cardoen is out of the weapons business. But for decades, Cardoen was the most successful weapons manufacturer in Chile, and a major part of a defense industry that today includes a number or private and government-owned companies.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cardoen, a very brilliant man. Especially his Cardoen helicopter (a modified Bell 206, also called by the press "bichito"). A very long story, which was ended by the U.S in the early 90's when he was linked with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War. I salute him.

Anonymous said...

Only sick human beings can describe this Death Entrepaneur as a brillant man. War obssesed bastards should look for medical treatment now. Sick minds that only expect destruction instead of progress are a very patetic individuals.

James G. said...

...Says the internet cowboy who, spouts vile vitriolic remarks behind the anonymity of the internet. Vile remarks that only show that that person has a hateful, confused and sadistic state of mind.

Anonymous said...

Says someone who doesn't know. And hey, there will be always your kind. There are progresses in both ways, Cardoen was one of the coin. While you should take upon medical treatment as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh James G, or whatever your name is, vile comment. Everyone is free to express, even vile people as you clearly put it. And you have a confused state of mind, if not hate and sadism as well hidden deep inside you, try to deny and you are nothing my "friend".

Anonymous said...

And by the way Anon 2 and James G, whoever you are, Cardoen was a small step of the current arms industry in Chile. Stay in the topic!, and get medical assistance ASAP.

James G. said...

"And you have a confused state of mind, if not hate and sadism as well hidden deep inside you, try to deny and you are nothing my "friend"."
<<< Did I bruise your ego? The best you can do is to try repeating what I said back to me. Yaknow what that tells me? It tells me that in addition to be confused and sadistic, you're also uncreative. :)

He tells me to seek medical assistance; I bet you must have been too frustrated and angry to think clearly when you wrote that! I am on topic actually, I was pointing out that your comment doesn't hold any water when it comes to the subject at hand. All nations have defense industries and all engage in free trade, what customers do with said weapons is NOT Cardoen's fault. I think your feeble attack have more to do with hatred and bigotry toward Chileans than they do about defense technology, which is the subject of the blog. Duh.

Anonymous said...

...ouch, nice burn.

Anonymous said...

Woah James, bigotry towards Chile, I have never mentioned bigotry. If you are getting that topic forward, then now you are mistaken sir. And yes, we may have differences, but I never expressed bigotry against Chile.

Anonymous said...

And by the the way James, if I, indeed offended you by accident, I have family and friends in the Armed Forces in Chile. There should be, IDK another form to identify an Anonymous, such as Anon 2, which is the real troll in the topic. I thought you referred to the first commentary which is mine, you know Anon 1.