Monday, August 27, 2012

Australia: US record arms sales

The Sydney Morning Herald

US weapons sales triple to hit record high, thanks to worried Gulf allies


Thom Shanker

WASHINGTON: Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high, driven by arms sales to Persian Gulf allies concerned about Iran's regional ambitions, according to a new study for Congress.

Overseas weapons sales by the US totalled $US66.3 billion ($63.78 billion) last year, or nearly 78 per cent of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.

The American weapons sales total was an ''extraordinary increase'' over the $21.4 billion in deals for 2010, the study found, and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of US arms exports.
The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totalled nearly $31 billion.

A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations - Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman - to purchase American weapons at record levels.


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