Figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a monitoring group, showed that even as the total trade in weapons grew by 14 percent between 2011 and 2015, the two largest exporters, Russia and the US, managed to capture even greater portions of the pie. American exports made up a full third of the global trade, up from 29 percent between 2006 and 2010.
According to a congressional report, US arms sales increased by more than a third in 2014 alone, to $36.2 billion from 26.7 the year prior. SIPRI reported that over the last five years, the US sold “major” weapons to at least 96 countries — just a hair under half the total number of UN member states.
Russia meanwhile captured a quarter of all exports in SIPRI’s most recent assessment, up from 22 percent in the previous reporting period.
In line with longstanding security alliances in the Gulf, the US sent nearly 10 percent of its total exports between 2011 and 2015 to Saudi Arabia, and a further 9.1 percent to the United Arab Emirates. Both countries are members of the coalition that has intervened militarily in Yemen for nearly a year, largely with American-supplied aircraft and munitions. According to the Congressional Research Service, the US sold them more than $90 billion in armaments and weapons systems since 2010.