Lindsay: Global arms exports
Source: SIPRI via The Economist. * Large conventional weapons.
March 31st, 2012
12:00 PM ET

Lindsay: Global arms exports

Editor's Note: Dr. James M. Lindsay is a Senior Vice President at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of America Unbound: The Bush Revolution in Foreign Policy. Visit his blog here and follow him on Twitter.

By James M. LindsayCFR.org

Bashar al-Assad has accepted a six-point plan put forth by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan to “end” the crisis in Syria.  We’ll see how that goes. Russian president Dmitri Medvedev has vowed support for the plan. This marks a change of tone if not substance in Russian policy. Moscow vetoed a toothless UN Security Council resolution on Syria just last month, claiming it was another Western attempt at “regime change.”

Some critics argue that Russia’s opposition had a more base motive: a desire to continue selling weapons to Syria. Which leads to a question: Who are the market leaders in the international arms trade? Thanks to the Economist, we know the answer—and it’s not China. The United States and Russia top the charts of arms dealers, with Germany, France, and Britain far behind.

Not surprisingly, countries sell more to their friends. The number one destination for U.S. arms exports is South Korea. Germany sells a lot to Greece (and gives it a lot of money as well); France is cozy with Singapore, and Britain has a friend in Riyadh. Don’t expect the international demand for weapons to ease any time soon.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of James M. Lindsay.

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Topics: Arms Trafficking • Chart

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. SYRIA SENDING CHEMICAL WEAPONS TO HIZBOALLAH

    50 TRUCKS A DAY CROSSING FROM SYRIA TO HIZBOALLAH ECEVRY DAY SINCE MARCH 1 , ALL THE WEAPONS . CASH COME FROM IRAN AND SHIIA IRAQI GOVERNEMENT, AND THE HEAVY WEAPONS FROM RUSSIA SALE TO SYRIA , SYRIAN SENDING THE WEAPONS TO HIZBOALLAH AS A BACK UP PLAN TO BASHAR AL ASAD RUN, WHERE IS USA , UN AND NATO FROM THIS, THOSE WAR CRIMINALS KILLED MORE THAN 14,000 CIVILIANS TO DATE, WHY IS THE SILENT ....SYRIANS ARE STILL KILLING CIVILIANS DAILY, WHY THEY SEND WEAPONS TO HIZBOALLAH ALONG WITH CHEMICAL WEPAONS WE SEE IT ON THE GROUND EYES WITNESS SEE THAT THE TRUCKS GO AL BEQAA VALY AND SOUTH LEBANON , AND ANY BODY STOP THOSE TRUCKS WILL BE SHOT DEAD....SOME OF THE WEAPONS INCLUDE KATIOSHA ROCKETS, K47, HEAVY GUNS. ANTIAIRCRAFT WEAPONS, ANTI TANKS, MINES, LAND MINES , POISON GAS, AND SMALL UNMAN AIRCRAFTS. SCUDS ETC.....SYRIA MUST BE STOPED AND HIZBOALLAH MUST BE DEALT WITH , IRAN PREPARING THEM JUST INCASE THEY GET ATTACKED.

    March 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Reply
    • Rz

      Or......maybe you should get the heck out of there !!!

      April 1, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
    • David

      Stop copy and pasting this to every story you troll.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  2. j. von hettlingen

    India's spending on imported weapons was behind the 24% growth in the global arms trade over the last five years. Yet in an explosive letter leaked a few days ago, the country's army chief wrote that, "India’s tank fleet lacks ammunition, its air defences are “97 percent obsolete and its elite forces lack essential arms".

    March 31, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
    • George Patton

      I agree, j.von hettlingen. The danger here is that the right-wing thugs in Washington may want to take advantage of that weakness in order to further move into South Asia.

      March 31, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Reply
      • bogusboggs

        Duse, crawl back under your rock with the rest of the left-wing nutjobs.....

        April 3, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Lionel Mandrake

      You two geniuses have no life.
      No matter when I get here, you two morons are here already spouting islamic jihadist crap.
      Get a life!

      March 31, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Halt die Klappe!

        April 1, 2012 at 5:03 am |
      • Rz

        @jvh, pay no heed to habibi there. He's clearly an accident waiting to happen.

        April 1, 2012 at 5:55 am |
      • Marine5484

        It seems like anyone here who doesn't agree with this Lionel Mandrake is somehow an "Islamic Jihadist"!!! I guess that that includes me, too. I'm not, but I do see the proverbial "writing on the wall" as George Patton puts it!

        April 1, 2012 at 8:13 am |
      • Lionel Mandrake

        marine err abdul, we call it as we see it.
        You guys come to the free world and distort the truth in order to scare Americans into believing that the sky is falling.
        Your propaganda techniques are based on what you have said many times over many discussions that Americans are stupid. Well, little buddy, Americans are a lot smarter than your muslim brethren and you will not win. Go ahead, spew poison, pass misinformation, do your worst. It simply will not work.
        Yesterday, one of your muslim fiends stated the following about me:
        Eumir
        Frankly Habibi.... this is for commentary and Andrew does NOT need to give your snobby butt a reference. Please kill yourself.

        An you act as if you are sophisticated.
        What a joke!

        April 1, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  3. Patrick

    My life has been threatened too many times.
    I am never coming back here.
    The islamic agenda wins.

    April 1, 2012 at 6:57 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      You have been punked.
      April Fools!
      hehehehe...

      April 1, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
  4. John Smith

    Lionel Mandrake: The sky isn't falling, just your sky, the US. You are controlled by fear and paranoia, have and will continue to give away your rights in the name of 'safety', have and will continue to gut your taxpayers under the same ruse, have and will continue to "elect" criminals in to office, have and will continue to allow your capitalist nightmare do the actual governing and will follow each and every example of an empire into the dust of history. I am not siding with any group, but what you have neglected to include in your mindless tirade is that the terrorists have already won. The US is gutted, broke, fragmented and ruled by fear.

    April 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Reply
    • Rz

      Well Mr. Smith, there is always hope, even if it is for a miracle. Or a lot of them.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
    • Lionel Mandrake

      too too funny!

      April 2, 2012 at 6:15 am | Reply
  5. Zhao

    @ – Lionel Mandrake. These comments sections are just commentary....

    April 3, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • Patrick

      hot air with absolutely no foundation.
      Blah....blah......blah.....blah.

      can you feel the wind?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Reply
  6. krm1007

    With a majority of its population rotting in poverty India would do well to spend more on its alleviation rather than buying bullets.

    April 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  7. krm1007

    One can now understand why India is double crossing USA in Iran....THE RUSSIAN CONNECTION!!!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  8. outspoken

    weapons should be sold like toy like in USA !!

    April 4, 2012 at 4:40 am | Reply
  9. jas

    France and Germany top cients for arm sales between 07-11 was Greece.......and Germany is crying over debt loss to Greece.

    April 4, 2012 at 5:17 am | Reply
  10. Doesn't matter

    I am not sure where these numbers came from. We all know Billions of ARMS from US go to where ??????? one country that is a pain point for the whole world !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  11. سید ہارون حیدر گیلانی

    Reblogged this on SYED HAROON HAIDER GILANI.

    April 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
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