dglobalnews.com Global Arms Sales Hit Highest Level Since End of Cold War
Published: Tue, February 21, 2017
Markets | By Armando Jensen

Global Arms Sales Hit Highest Level Since End of Cold War

Global Arms Sales Hit Highest Level Since End of Cold War

The arms market has been bustling these past five years, with weapons trade at its highest since the Cold War era.

Of all the weapons the US exported in the last five years, 47% ended up in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, the UEA, and Turkey being the buyers. About 47% of all U.S. weapons exports made in the five-year period end up in these areas.

It was followed by Saudi Arabia, which saw a huge increase compared to the previous five years.

The Pentagon sold over $33 billion in military-grade weapons, materiel and equipment to partner nations across the globe in 2016, which is $13 billion less than what the United States had sold in the previous years, according to a Defense Department report in November.

The Middle East nearly doubled its imports compared with the 2007-2011 period, taking a 29 percent share.

"Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the United States and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities", said Dr Wezeman.

"Despite low oil prices, countries in the region continued to order more weapons in 2016, perceiving them as crucial tools for dealing with conflicts and regional tensions".

Governments around the world spent $1.57 trillion on "defence" purchases in 2016, according to Jane's Defence Budgets.

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On the other side of the counter, India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE were listed as the world's largest importers of arms, with India accounting for 13% of all buys, a majority of which are purchased from Russian Federation. Aude Fleurant, the director of SIPRI's arms and military expenditure program said, "The US has delivered a lot of weapons in 2016, both very expensive weapons and strategically important weapons - missile systems, surveillance and navigation technology".

The United States remained the world's top weapons exporter, supplying 33 percent of the arms traded overseas, ahead of Russian Federation on 23 percent.

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Arms imports to Europe, Africa and the Americas all fell, though the study authors point out that individual trading volumes varied widely.

The study showed the United States and France as the main weapons suppliers for the Middle East, and Russian Federation and China for Asia.

China (6.2%), France (6%) and Germany (5.6%) made up the top five and accounted for almost three quarters of total arms exports.

However the agency's three to five year economic forecast of its foreign weapons sales did sync up with Monday's SIPRI report. Among Russia's main partners, there are India (38 % of Russian exports), Vietnam (11%) and China (11 %).

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