SIPRI: Global Arms Trade Highest since Cold War

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said on Monday that more weapons were delivered between 2012 and 2016 than any other five-year period since 1990. Saudi Arabia, which leads a military intervention in Yementhat has cost hundreds of civilian lives, was the world’s second largest importer after India, increasing its intake by 212%, mainly from the US and the UK.

Asia was the main recipient region in the world as India dwarfed regional rivals, China and Pakistan, by accounting for 13% of the global imports. While India received most of its arms from Russia, the Saudis relied heavily on US arms. US and Russia together supplied more than half of all exports. China, France and Germany were also among the top five exporters.

Vietnam, in particular, dramatically increased imports by 202%, which puts it in the list of 10 largest importers compared to its hitherto position in the 29th place.

“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,” Wezeman said. …

China solidified its position as a top-tier supplier by increasing exports by 6.2% compared to 3.8% in the period between 2007 and 2011, while Germany decreased its exports by 36% between the same period. Algeria was the largest importer in Africa.

The US’s main three customers were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey. Saudi Arabia was particularly a lucrative market for the UK, which sold almost half of its total weapons to the monarchy.

“The USA supplies major arms to at least 100 countries around the world — significantly more than any other supplier state,” said Aude Fleurant, director of the Sipri’s arms and military expenditure programme. “Both advanced strike aircraft with cruise missiles and other precision-guided munitions and the latest generation air and missile defence systems account for a significant share of US arms exports.”

Global arms trade reaches highest point since cold war era