Military spending in North America saw its first annual increase since 2010, while spending in Western Europe grew for the second consecutive year.
World military expenditure rose for a second consecutive year to a total of $1686 billion in 2016—the first consecutive annual increase since 2011 when spending reached its peak of $1699 billion.* Trends and patterns in military expenditure vary considerably between regions. Spending continued to grow in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe and North Africa. By contrast, spending fell in Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East (based on countries for which data is available), South America and sub-Saharan Africa.
As Rep. Adam Schiff, minority leader of the House Intelligence Committee, said, U.S. support would be perceived “as an indicator of our willingness to push back against Iranian efforts to increase hegemony in the region [and] that may influence how comfortable they are with a nuclear agreement,” adding, “it is very important for the U.S. to have Saudi Arabia’s back when it comes to Yemen.” One anonymous Pentagon official put it coldly: “If you ask why we’re backing this … the answer you’re going to get from most people — if they were being honest — is that we weren’t going to be able to stop it.”
In addition to providing Saudi Arabia with intelligence and flying refueling missions for its air force, the United States has enabled the bombing campaign by supplying $20 billion in weapons over the past 18 months. In total, President Obama has sold more than $115 billion in weapons to the Saudi kingdom – more than any other president.
27 U.S. Senators Rebel Against Arming Saudi Arabia
The Medact Arms Control Group:
Open letter to the Secretary of State of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Sajid Javid. BIS are in charge of licensing arms sales.
STOP FUELLING THE YEMEN CONFLICT
End all UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia
It is now over a year since the recent outbreak of armed conflict in Yemen began, forcing 2.4 million people to flee their homes, and leaving over 22 million people in need of humanitarian support. The conflict has killed over six thousand people, and left the health care system on its knees.
Humanitarian agencies are struggling to respond and the country stands on the brink of famine. A senior representative of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has described the current level of humanitarian assistance in Yemen as a “drop in the ocean.”
The Arms Trade Treaty won’t mean an immediate end to controversial arms deals like Canada’s $15 billion sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia, says the United Nations disarmament chief.
Kim Won-soo, the UN’s High Representative on Disarmament Affairs, offered that assessment in an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press following his Monday meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion. Continue reading
The six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have received weapons including ballistic missile defense capabilities, attack helicopters, advanced frigates and anti-armor missiles, according to David McKeeby, a spokesman the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.
“Consistent with the commitments we made to our Gulf partners at the Camp David summit last May, we have made every effort to expedite sales. Since then, the State and Defense departments have authorized more than $33 billion in defense sales to the 6 Gulf Coordination Council countries,” McKeeby told Defense News.
The European Parliament has voted in favour of an EU-wide embargo on selling arms to Saudi Arabia.
A resolution calling for a ban on all weapons sales to the country was passed by 359 votes to 212, with 31 MEPs abstaining.
The non-binding motion calls on member states to stop selling weapons to the country, which is currently conducting a widely-criticised military operation in neighbouring Yemen marked by high civilian casualties.