Caterpillar Campaign FAQs: CAT Company Structure, Manufacturing and Sales Practices
Here in Portland, we've began developing a campaign to urge Caterpillar, the manufacturer of bulldozers used to demolish homes in Palestine, to end sales to the Israeli military. Through the course of our work, we've had some questions. I'd like to offer up what we've discovered so that other campaigns can access this information easily and quickly.
How does CAT sell bulldozers to Israel?
According to a legal memo published by the US Campaign to End the Occupation, "Caterpillar has been selling their bulldozers to Israel through the United States Foreign Military Sales Program. Caterpillar alleges that the US provides Israel with military aid earmarked for Caterpillar bulldozers."
How do CAT's bulldozers become "weaponized"? How does the Israeli military modify their product?
The Caterpillar D9 bulldozer is a track-type tractor ready for agricultural and construction purposes, but easily modified. Once supplied to Israel, the Israeli Military
Industries, a state-owned Israeli arms manufacturer, and Israeli Aircraft Industries’ Ramta Division adds bullet proof glass, machine gun mounts, smoke projectors, and grenade
launchers. The front blade is more than 6 feet high and 15 feet wide. On the bulldozer’s back is called the ‘ripper’ and can penetrate five feet and five inches into the ground. Once again, this information comes from a legal memo published by the US Campaign to End the Occupation.
Does CAT have dealers or suppliers in Israel?
As near as I am able to tell, no. On their website, Caterpillar writes, "Caterpillar products and components are manufactured in 50 U.S. facilities and in over 60 other locations, in 23 countries around the globe," but Saudi Arabia and The United Arab Emirates are listed as their Middle East locations, not Israel.
Where are the D9 and D10 bulldozers manufactured?
I've still been unable to find the answer to this question. Caterpillar suppliers are located around the world, though not in Israel.
What is the relationship between the local Caterpillar dealership in our town and Caterpillar Inc.? The dealer said that it's a separate company? Is that true?
We are still investigating and evaluating the relationship between a Caterpillar dealer and Caterpillar Inc. This is what we are sure of: yes, a dealer is a separate company from Caterpillar Inc. However, they certainly do facilitate Caterpillar's work. You can read what Caterpillar Inc. says about their dealers here. To quote Caterpillar Inc.:
Your local dealer knows your industry and what Caterpillar can do for you, arranges our financing and insurance, provides service and support after the sale, nearly always has any replacement part you'd need on hand. We've been developing our dealer relationships over decades, and we trust them with the most important aspects of our business. Quite frankly, we couldn't do this without them. And we're not about to try. (Emphasis mine.)
Have the D9 or D10 bulldozers been used in other wars or conflicts?
Yes, that seems to be the case. Several sources point towards in the United States using the D9 in the current occupation of Iraq. According to Israeli-Weapons.com, "The United States Army has purchased several armor kits from the IDF and used them to produce similarly equipped D9s. These have been used to clear destroyed vehicles from roads, to dig moats, erect earthen-barriers and construct field fortifications. It was also used to destroy a house which hosted snipers who shot at an American base..." The reliability of this particular source, in my mind, may or may not be questionable.