|Arms expo visitors at IDEX in Abu Dhabi|
The world spends $1,000 Billion (or $1 Trillion) annually on the military. Of all the things governments spend their money on, weapons account for most of the spending by far.
After seeing images (like the one below) from the Middle East, of peaceful protesters being attacked by their governments with U.S. weapons, I decided to do a little research on Arab governments and their arms purchases.
This is some of what I found:
During Feb 20-24, 2011, amidst the bloodbath of the Arab revolutions, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) held its 10th International Defense Exhibition, where it sold weapons much like the ones being used by Arab tyrants against their people. It produced $5 Billion dollars in contracts from neighboring nations. These weapons will most likely end up being used on innocent civilians again. If you want to help prevent that from happening, sign this petition by Amnesty International to tell the US to stop weapons transfers to Bahrain, where civilians are being killed by such weapons.
|Interested buyer at IDEX|
According to the US Government Accountability Office, the United States sold $37 Billion in arms to Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and U.A.E.) from 2005 to 2009. On top of their previous spending, Gulf states have ordered $123 Billion (!!!) worth of U.S. weapons to be purchased over the next few years.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the Middle East accounts for 17% of the world's arms imports.
In 2009, the top six countries purchasing arms from the U.S. were:
- U.A.E. - $7.9 Billion
- Afghanistan - $5.4 Billion
- Saudi Arabia - $3.3 Billion
- Taiwan - $3.2 Billion
- Egypt - $2.1 Billion
- Iraq - $1.6 Billion
In 2010, the United States sealed its largest-ever overseas arms deal when Saudi Arabia purchased $60 Billion worth of arms. Saudi Arabia was also the top buyer of U.S. arms from 2005 to 2008, with its purchases totaling $11.2 Billion.