Global Arms Sales Show Decline, but Upswing Could Come Soon

Arms Control Today, May 1994 | Go to article overview

Global Arms Sales Show Decline, but Upswing Could Come Soon


According to the 1991-1992 annual report recently published by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA), the global arms trade is undergoing a fundamental shift. And while it is no longer a surprise that the United States has vastly outstripped the former Soviet Union as the world's most prolific arms exporter, the 22nd edition of World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT), which includes data from 1991, shows in sharp profile how the end of the Cold War and the Gulf War affected the proliferation of conventional weapons worldwide.

The overall arms sales agreements throughout the world have plummeted dramatically in recent years, from a record high of $71 billion in 1985 to $32 billion in 1991. Based on preliminary figures for 1992, WMEAT reports that the actual delivery of arms dropped to an estimated $20 billion.

DECREASES EVERYWHERE

Every major region was effected by this trend, with Africa showing the greatest decrease. Arms imports to the Middle East declined in the late 1980s, but still command 41 percent of total arms imports, making it the world's largest arms buying region. In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia became the leading arms importer in 1989 and increased its lead in 1991 when it purchased $7 billion in weapons equipment--64 percent of all purchases in the region. Europe and East Asia are the next largest arms-importing regions, accounting for 14.6 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

As the current decade progresses, most analysts project the worldwide decline in arms markets will most likely continue in some regions and slightly reverse in others. A continued decline is particularly likely to be felt in Eastern Europe and in the developing world, where many states are increasingly unable to finance large arms procurement.

Nonetheless, some analysts expect the demand for weapons to grow in South America. Defense industry officials think the improving economic conditions in that region will continue, prompting states to modernize their military infrastructures, especially with such items as helicopters, light tanks and tactical aircraft. Chile is also reportedly hoping to replace at least two of its submarines.

According to WMEAT, it is unlikely that arms exports to the Middle East will reach the volumes of the mid-1980s ($31 billion in 1984), but the region seems likely to maintain its position as the preeminent arms importing region despite the efforts by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization to reach a peaceful settlement. In addition to Saudi Arabia, countries such as Egypt, Israel, Kuwait, Iran and the United Arab Emirates are all active buyers of sophisticated weapons and have long-term purchasing plans.

MOUNTING SALES TO EAST ASIA

East Asia is another region that experts project to be an active market for arms sales well into the 1990s. The rapidly expanding economic prosperity in the region is promoting states to upgrade or replace aging hardware with weapons that are increasingly available at cheap prices. China, Taiwan and South Korea drive the arms market in Northeast Asia and Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are significant buyers in Southeast Asia.

In terms of weapons exporters, the WMEAT report says sales by the Soviet Union, which led the world throughout the 1980s, declined significantly in the latter years of the decade. The most dramatic decrease occurred in 1991, when Soviet arms exports fell by 55 percent from the previous year. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Global Arms Sales Show Decline, but Upswing Could Come Soon
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.