U.S. Is No. 1 in Arms Sales to Developing Nations
Posted on Oct 1, 2007
Of all the ways to stand out on the world stage, this news about America’s global leadership surely does not represent the best possible distinction it could have earned: According to a congressional study released Monday, the U.S. beat out Russia and Britain to become the top seller of weapons to developing nations such as India and Pakistan in 2006.
The New York Times:
The report, “Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations,” was produced by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, and presents a number of interesting observations linking arms sales and global politics. For example, Russia has been a major supplier of weapons to Iran in past years, including a $700 million deal for surface-to-air missiles in 2005.
But anxieties over Iran’s nuclear program can be seen as having deterred Moscow from concluding significant new conventional arms deals with Iran in 2006, deals that could be viewed as overly provocative while the Security Council debates new sanctions on Iran.
At the same time, though, Russia continues to nurture an arms-trade relationship that is deeply disturbing to the Bush administration, by signing weapons deals with oil-rich Venezuela and its anti-American leader, Hugo Chávez.