America Exporting War

An analysis by Catherine Theohary for the Congressional Research Service looks at official and unclassified data on conventional arms transfers to developing nations around the world by the United States over the years between 2008 and 2015.   As well, it compares the value of the American arms transfers to those made by other nations and provides us with a ranking of which nations were the greatest beneficiaries of this “generosity”.

The total value of all conventional arms transfer agreements (representing orders for future delivery) to both developed and developing nations in 2015 was $79.9 billion, down from $89 billion in 2014.  Here is a graphic showing the value of arms transfer agreements going back to 2008, showing the split between developed and developing nations:

As you can see on the graphic, arms sales to developing nations are very important to the arms industry.  Over the years between 2008 and 2015, conventional arms transfer agreements (which represent orders for future delivery) to developing nations comprised 80.24 percent of all international arms transfer agreements with the level hitting 81.7 percent in 2015.  Actual arms deliveries to developing nations comprised 72.69 percent of the total value of all such arms deliveries in 2015.

Let’s look at the volume of arms that are being sold to developing nations.  In 2015, the total value of arms transfer agreements to developing nations was $65.2 billion, down from $79.3 billion in 2014.  In total during 2015, $33.6 billion of conventional arms were actually delivered to developing nations.  Here is a table showing the total value of worldwide arms transfer agreements to developing nations by supplying nation for the periods between 2008 to 2011, 2012 to 2015 and for 2015 alone:

Over the period between 2008 and 2015, arms sales to developing nations comprised most of the total transfer value for all supplying nations.  As well, in constant 2015 dollars, the United States is, by a wide margin, the largest seller of conventional arms to developing nations over the study period with total sales (arms transfer agreements) of $208.47 billion compared to $86.12 billion for second place Russia and $51.83 billion for France as shown on this table:

Here is a table showing the number of each type of weapons that have been supplied to developing nations over the periods between 2008 to 2011 and 2012 to 2015:

Now, let’s look at the value of United States conventional arms transfers to developing nations.  This is particularly pertinent given that Saudi Arabia appears to be using weapons, including U.S.-made cluster bombs, against the Houthis in Yemen.   The total value of U.S. arms transfer agreements with developing nations decreased to $26.7 billion in 2015 from $29.7 billion in 2014.(page 7)  Despite that, the United States market share value of all such agreements with developing nations rose to 40.99 percent in 2014 from 37.48% in 2014.  In 2015, key agreements were reached with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and South Korea.  These sales included very expensive major weapons systems as well as upgrades and support of systems that had previously been sold.  

Fortunately, thanks to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency website, we are able to clearly ascertain what equipment was sold to each nation by the U.S. defense industry.  Since the study covers only the period to the end of 2015, let’s look at what was sold to Middle East nations in 2016 by nation with the value of the agreements in U.S. dollars:

1.) Iraq:

– F-16 weapons, munitions, equipment and logistics – $1.95 billion

– Hellfire missiles – $800 million

– KA-350 aircraft – sustainment – $350 million

– AC-208 aircraft sustainment, logistics and spares support – $181 million

– AC-208 aircraft, training and support – $65.3 million  

2.) Oman:

– TOW 2B missiles – $51 million

– continuation of logistics support and equipment – $260 million

3.) Jordan:

– repair and return of F-16 engines, sustainment and support – $115.1 million

4.) United Arab Emirates:

– AN/AAQ-24(V)N Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures – $225 million

– Hellfire Category III missiles – $476 million

– munitions sustainment and support – $785 million

– exercise participation support – $70 million

– Apache AH-64E helicopters – $3.5 billion

5.) Saudi Arabia:

– support services – $200 million

– MK15 Phalanx Close-In Weapons Systems – $154.9 million

– Saudi Abrams Battle Tanks and Hercules Armed Recovery Vehicles – $1.15 billion

– CH-47 F Chinook cargo helicopters – $3.51 billion

6.) Qatar:

– RIM-116C Rolling Airframe Missiles – $260 million

– Javelin Guided Missiles – $20 million

– Mk-V Fast Patrol boat – $124.02 million

– F-15QA aircraft – $21.1 billion

– spare C-17 engines and equipment – $81 million

– continuation of logistics support services and equipment – $700 million

7.) Kuwait:

– F/A-18 services and support – $420 million

– field radar system – $194 million

– F/A-18 Super Hornet Aircraft – $10.1 billion

– Joint Direct Attack Munition Tail Kits – $37 million

– recapitalization of M1A2 tanks – $1.7 billion 

8.) Egypt:

– Harpoon Block II Encapsulated Missiles – $143 million

– Sentinel Radars and related equipment and support – $70 million

– Common Missile Warning System for Apache, Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters – $81.4 million

9.) Tunisia:

– Kiowa Warrior Aircraft equipment – $100.8 million

10.) Israel:

– excess Sea-Hawk Helicopter equipment and support – $300 million

11.) Morocco:

– TOW 2A Radio Frequency Missiles – $108 million

As you can see, exporting their products to the developing nations of the world, particularly the Middle East, brings in significant revenue to America’s military-industrial complex not to mention corporate tax dollars to Washington.  While these sales definitely lead to military instability in the region, they do keep thousands of Americans in jobs!

Click HERE to read more.

 

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