US was No. 1 in arms sales in 2015, selling $40 billion

Iran Press TV

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:55PM

The United States sold over $40 billion worth of weapons last year, maintaining its position as the world’s dominant arms supplier, according to a new congressional study.

US arms sales increased by around $4 billion in 2015 and represented about half of all weapons agreements globally, according to figures released by the Congressional Research Service, a public policy research arm of the US Congress.

France was far behind in second place at $15 billion in arms sales. Russia came in third with $11 billion. Next were China, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Britain and Israel.

The annual report, which was delivered to US lawmakers last week, is considered the most comprehensive assessment of global arms sales available in an unclassified form.

The total size of the global arms trade was worth about $80 billion in 2015, which was $9 billion less than in 2014, the study found.

Sales dropped “due, in part, to the weakened state of the global economy,” wrote Catherine A. Theohary, a national security policy specialist and author of the study.

“Concerns over their domestic budget problems have led many purchasing nations to defer or limit the purchase of new major weapon systems,” she added. “Some nations have chosen to limit their purchasing to upgrades of existing systems and to training and support services.”

According to the report, the largest buyers of weapons in the developing world last year were Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Pakistan, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.

A study released in November found that the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama approved over $278 billion in arms sales in its eight years, more than double the $128 billion approved by the George W. Bush administration.

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