[Ngo-lwg] U.S. Foreign Arms Sales Are Most of Global Market

Chuck Searcy chucksearcy at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 30 08:54:09 ICT 2012

Although this New York Times articles is not specifically about landmines or cluster munitions, it shows the enormity of the global arms market and the challenges we face in the continuing struggle to make countries like Vietnam safe.  (Less money for production, more money for cleanup would change the balance significantly.)  The problem is worldwide.  And the roles and responsibilities of various countries are quite clear.


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U.S. Foreign Arms Sales Are Most of Global Market


Published: August 27, 2012 

WASHINGTON - Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by major arms sales to Persian Gulf 
allies concerned about Iran's regional ambitions, according to a new 
study for Congress.

Overseas weapons sales by the 
United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than 
three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 
2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals. 

The American weapons sales total was an "extraordinary increase" over the 
$21.4 billion in deals for 2010, the study found, and was the largest 
single-year sales total in the history of United States arms exports. 
The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales 
overseas totaled nearly $31 billion.

A worldwide 
economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But 
increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations - 
Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman - to purchase American 
weapons at record levels.

These Gulf states do not 
share a border with Iran, and their arms purchases focused on expensive 
warplanes and complex missile defense systems.
report was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress. The annual study, written by 
Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr and delivered to Congress on 
Friday, is considered the most detailed collection of unclassified arms 
sales data available to the public. 

The agreements 
with Saudi Arabia included the purchase of 84 advanced F-15 fighters, a 
variety of ammunition, missiles and logistics support, and upgrades of 
70 of the F-15 fighters in the current fleet. 

Sales to Saudi Arabia last year also included dozens of Apache and Black Hawk 
helicopters, all contributing to a total Saudi weapons deal from the 
United States of $33.4 billion, according to the study.

The United Arab Emirates purchased a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, 
an advanced antimissile shield that includes radars and is valued at 
$3.49 billion, as well as 16 Chinook helicopters for $939 million. 

Oman bought 18 F-16 fighters for $1.4 billion.

In keeping with recent trends, most of the weapons purchases, worth about 
$71.5 billion, were made by developing nations, with about $56.3 billion of that from the United States. 

Other significant 
weapons deals by the United States last year included a $4.1 billion 
agreement with India for 10 C-17 transport planes and with Taiwan for 
Patriot antimissile batteries valued at $2 billion - an arms deal that 
outraged officials in Beijing.

To compare weapons sales over various years, the study used figures in 2011 dollars, with 
amounts for previous years adjusted for inflation to provide a 
consistent measurement. 

A policy goal of the United 
States has been to work with Arab allies in the Persian Gulf to knit 
together a regional missile defense system to protect cities, oil 
refineries, pipelines and military bases from an Iranian attack. 

The effort has included deploying radars to increase the range of early 
warning coverage across the Persian Gulf, as well as introducing 
command, control and communications systems that could exchange that 
information with new batteries of missile interceptors sold to the 
individual nations. 

The missile shield in the Persian 
Gulf is being built on a country-by-country basis - with these costly 
arms sales negotiated bilaterally between the United States and 
individual nations. 
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