Almost half of USA arms exports go to Middle East

Almost half of USA arms exports go to Middle East

Kerry Wise
March 13, 2018

But with New Delhi showing increasingly more affinity to the U.S., the import from America rose by a whopping 557% between 2008-12 and 2013-17, said the latest report from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute that keeps an eye on the global arms trade. Extending its lead as the world's biggest arms exporter, the USA accounted for 34 percent of total arms exports.

Russia, the world's second-biggest exporter, saw a decrease of 7.1 per cent in its overall volume of arms exports; United States exports were 58 per cent higher than those of Russia.

About a large portion of USA arms trades in the course of recent years have gone to the war-stricken Middle East, with Saudi Arabia merging its place as the world's second greatest merchant, a report has appeared.

According to SIPRI estimates, global arms deals have increased by 10% between 2013 and 2017. The SIPRI report notes that while European Union member-states and the U.S. have imposed arms embargoes due to the use of force against the Rohingyas, China is the main weapons supplier. The country that accounts for the maximum arms import of India is Russian Federation with 62 per cent.

Weapons imports to the Middle East and Asia have boomed over the past five years, fueled by war and tensions in those regions, a new study showed on Monday.

"Widespread violent conflict in the Middle East and concerns about human rights have led to political debate in western Europe and North America about restricting arms sales", said Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher with the Sipri's arms and military expenditure programme.

France, Germany and China were likewise among the main five exporters.

SIPRI, an independent institute, monitors arms deliveries by volume over periods of five years in order to iron out short-term fluctuations.

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Some 31 percent of major weapons exports in the region was received by Saudi Arabia, according to report. Much of American exports include military and transport aircraft.

The largest exporters of arms are the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China (they provided 74% of total world export of arms for the last 5 years).

"China, by contrast, is becoming increasingly capable of producing its own weapons and continues to strengthen its relations with Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar through arms supplies", said Wezeman.

Pakistan and China's arms imports have reduced in the same period.India's arms imports accounted for 12 per cent of the arms transfers in the world.

With the decline in U.S. military aid, Pakistan's arms imports from China rose from 45% of its total weapons imports in 2008-'12 to 70% in 2013-'17.

Arms imports by Egypt-the third largest importer in 2013-17-grew by 215 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. India's arms imports from the United States saw a more than six-fold jump. While it was the world's fifth largest arms importer in 2013-17, China has also emerged as the fifth largest arms exporter, with exportsrising by 38% between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

Australia was the sixth largest arms importer globally in 2013-17.