[QODLink]
Americas
US arms sales shoot to record levels
Congressional report shows that arms exports tripled from previous year, with Gulf Arab states the main customers.
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2012 12:02

US weapons sales more than tripled in 2011, reaching a record high, according to a new congressional report.

The country sold $66bn worth of arms last year, up from $21.4bn in 2010. The previous record had been $31bn in 2009; global arms sales declined slightly after that because of the economic crisis.

America's largest customer was Saudi Arabia, which purchased more than $33bn worth of weapons from the US, including dozens of F-15 fighter jets, missiles, and other materiel.

The United Arab Emirates and Oman also both spent billions, purchases driven in part by fears over Iran's regional ambitions. The Obama administration has touted these deals as a major stimulus for the US economy, saying the Saudi arms sales alone would generate some 75,000 new jobs.

The US also arranged several multi-billion dollar deals with Asian nations, including an agreement with China to sell transport planes worth more than $4bn.

All told, the US sold 78 per cent of the world's arms in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8bn in arms sales.

The report was prepared by the Congressional Research Service, which conducts studies for US lawmakers.

187

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
Residents count the cost of violence after black American teenager shot dead by white Missouri police officer.
EU's poorest member state is struggling to cope with an influx of mostly war-weary Syrian refugees.
Study says tipping point reached as poachers kill 7 percent of African elephants annually; birth rate is 5 percent.
Zimbabwe's leader given rotating chairmanship of 15-member nation bloc a year after he won disputed presidential polls.
join our mailing list