by Amna El Tawil
The global arms trade marked a slight decline in 2015 to $80 billion from $89 billion back in 2014. However, even with this drop on the global level, the United States witness the increase in weapon sales.
In fact, last year about $40 billion of global weapon sales accounted for the US market which is more than double the orders recorded by France ($15 billion), its nearest rival in sales. The US and France both grew their market shares, by around $4 billion and $9 billion respectively.
According to the Congressional Research Service, Russia is experiencing a decline in arms orders that dropped to $11 billion in sales compared to $11.2 billion in 2014. On the other hand, China reached $6bn, double the previous year’s estimates. As far as 2016 goes, US arms exports will remain in line with the previous year’s sales.
The largest weapon buyers in 2015 were: Qatar, which signed deals for more than $17bn in weapons; Egypt, which agreed to buy almost $12bn; and Saudi Arabia, which spent over $8bn. Other major buyers include South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
Catherine A Theohary, a national security policy specialist and author of the Congressional Research Service study, wrote in the report: “Concerns over their domestic budget problems have led many purchasing nations to defer or limit the purchase of new major weapon systems.”
It is also important to mention that the United States also ranked first in the value of arms deliveries on a global scale at the $17 billion or about 37% of all shipments. This isn’t so surprising because it’s the 8th year in a row that the US leads global arms deliveries.
According to the Defense One, the outgoing administration brokered more arms deals than any administration since the Second World War.
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