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The Lords of War: Who are the world’s biggest arms dealers?
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The Lords of War: Who are the world’s biggest arms dealers?

With two world wars in our history, and flaring tensions in many countries, The Economist provides us with a clear ...

The Lords of War: Who are the world’s biggest arms dealers?

With two world wars in our history, and flaring tensions in many countries, The Economist provides us with a clear view of the biggest arms dealers in the world. In the following graphic, we can see the countries that bought and sold the most weapons in the period from 2009 to 2013, and compare these figures to those from the previous five years.

 

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which keeps track of the arms trade, business is booming: sales in the period from 2009 to 2013 have risen 14%, compared to 2004-2008 sales.

 

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As you can observe, The United States, Russia, Germany, China and France are the top five countries that sold the most weapons in the last five years, while India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia are the top five arms importers, for the same period.

 

America boasts 29% of total arms sales, exporting to Australia (10%), South Korea (10%), and the United Arab Emirates (9%). Russia has 27% of total international arms sales, with India, China and Algeria being the main recipients. China's sales tripled over the five-year period, with 2% in the 2004-2009 span, reaching 6% in the last five years. The country's sales surpassed France’s, and it's on its way to beating Germany as well.

 

Ukraine exports to China, Pakistan and Russia, but, as The Economist notes, with regional tensions erupting and growing, it would be no wonder if the country decides to keep some arms for itself.

 

India's arms sales have doubled over the last five-year period, from 7% to 14%, while China's have halved, from 11% to 5%, for the same period. Russia is India and China's biggest weapons supplier, while the United States isn't falling far behind, supplying 27% weapons to Pakistan, 60% to UAE, and 29% to Saudi Arabia.

 

With so many arms being traded, is it an understatement to say that humanity hasn't learned anything from the past? I'd say so.

 

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