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Increase in global arms sales driven by demand in the Middle East and Asia –SIPRI

Posted by feww on February 20, 2017

United States, Russia, China, France and Germany responsible for 74 percent of global arms exports

Middle East: Between 2007–11 and 2012–16 arms imports by states in the Middle East rose by 86 per cent and accounted for 29 per cent of global imports in 2012–16, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

  • Saudi Arabia was the world’s second largest arms importer with an increase of 212 percent.
  • Arms imports by Qatar went up by 245 per cent. “Over the past five years, most states in the Middle East have turned primarily to the USA and Europe in their accelerated pursuit of advanced military capabilities, despite much lower oil prices.

Asia: Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania increased by 7.7 percent and accounted for 43 percent of global imports in 2012–16.

  • India was the world’s largest importer of major arms, accounting for 13 percent of the global total.
  • India’s imports were far greater than those of its regional rivals China and Pakistan.
  • Imports by countries in South East Asia increased 6.2 percent.
  • Vietnam made a particularly large jump from being the 29th largest importer in 2007–11 to the 10th largest in 2012–16, with arms imports increasing by 202 per cent.

“While China is increasingly able to substitute arms imports with indigenous products, India remains dependent on weapons technology from many willing suppliers, including Russia, the USA, European states, Israel and South Korea.”

Arms exporters: United States

USA was the top arms exporter in 2012– 16, accounting for a one-third of global arms exports. “Its arms exports increased by 21 per cent compared with 2007–11.

  • Almost half of the US arms exports went to the Middle East.
  • US supplies major arms to at least 100 countries around the world—significantly more than any other supplier state.
  • Advanced strike aircraft with cruise missiles and other precision-guided munitions and the latest generation air and missile defense systems account for a significant share of US arms exports.
  • UK Government has also ignored calls to stop selling weapons to repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by UN bodies of potentially committing war crimes in its military operation in Yemen.

Britain is the second biggest arms dealer in the world

  • Two-thirds of UK weapons have been sold to Middle Eastern countries since 2010, said a report.
  • Britain has also sold arms to 39 of the 51 countries ranked “not free” on the Freedom House “Freedom in the world” report, and 22 of the 30 countries on the UK Government’s own human rights watch list.
  • Britain is now the second biggest arms dealer in the world, official government figures show – with two-thirds of the weapons fueling deadly conflicts in the Middle East.
  • The UK averaged second place in the global rankings on a rolling ten-year basis, making it Europe’s leading defense exporter in the period, said the UK Trade and Investment, a government body that promotes British exports overseas.
  • The Government has ignored calls to stop selling weapons to repressive regimes, including Saudi Arabia, which has been accused by UN bodies of potentially committing war crimes in its military operation in Yemen.

Russia accounted for a 23 percent of global exports. 70 percent of its arms exports went to four countries: India, Vietnam, China and Algeria.

China’s global arms exports almost doubled from 3.8 to 6.2 percent. It is now firmly a top-tier supplier, like France and Germany which accounted for 6 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

Other notable developments

  • Algeria was the largest arms importer in Africa.
  • The largest importers in sub-Saharan Africa—Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia—are all in conflict zones.
  • Colombia’s arms imports decreased by 19 percent, while Mexico’s arms imports grew by 184 percent.
  • Imports by states in Europe significantly decreased by 36 percent .
  • Imports by Azerbaijan were 20 times higher than those of Armenia in 2012–16.

The War Criminal
The war criminal Barack Obama “offered over $115 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia in 42 separate deals, more than any U.S. administration in the history of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The majority of this equipment is still in the pipeline, and could tie the United States to the Saudi military for years to come,” said a report.

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