Published: Tue, March 13, 2018

Almost half of USA arms exports go to the Middle East

Almost half of USA arms exports go to the Middle East

The volume of global transfers of major weapons in 2013-17 was 10 per cent higher than in 2008-12.

"The tensions between India, on the one side, and Pakistan and China, on the other, are fuelling India's growing demand for major weapons, which it remains unable to produce itself", said Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher with Sipri's arms and military expenditure programme.

Around 35% of China's arms supplies went to Pakistan between 2013 and 2017, followed by 19% to Bangladesh. Imports from the country increased by as much as 557 per cent, making America the second largest arms supplier to India.

The study said that there has been significant increase of 24 per cent in India's weapon import between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

However, the rise in arms import from the U.S. has been significant during the 2013-17 period. While it was the world's fifth largest arms importer in 2013-17, China has also emerged as the fifth largest arms exporter, with exportsrising by 38% between 2008-12 and 2013-17. The study said, "Pakistan accounted for 2.8 per cent of global arms imports in 2013-17".

The five big exporters - USA, Russia, France, Germany and China -together account for 74% of all arms exports in 2013-17.

According to SIPRI estimates, global arms deals have increased by 10% between 2013 and 2017.

The Middle East received nearly half of the USA arms exports from 2013 to 2017, it said.

The United States cemented its position as the world's top arms exporter during the five-year period ending 2017, selling about a third of the world's weapons. India also held 12% of the world's total arms purchases from 2013 to 2017.

"Deliveries to Algeria and China, for example, continued throughout 2013-17 but were at lower levels than the previous five-year period", it added.

The report noted that Russian export of major weapons saw a decrease of 7.1 percent during the same period of time due to lower deliveries to its main recipients. "We don't know if what we see is the tip of the iceberg or most of the iceberg when something is found", he says, noting that serious, reputable shipping companies are unlikely to be involved in taking such risks.

Weapons reportedly seized by Syria's armed forces during a military operation against ISIS in the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, on November 5.

Nigeria's arms imports grew by 42 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. Venezuela's arms imports fell by 40 percent between the two periods.

Imports by states in Europe decreased by 22 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17.

It said Tokyo turned to the U.S. for several types of advanced weapons between 2013 and 2017, including the first batches of a total of 42 combat aircraft.

France, Germany and China were also among the top five exporters.

Indonesia increased its arms imports by 193 per cent between 2008-12 and 2013-17. The UK is the sixth biggest weapons exporter.

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