Arms trade hits highest level since Cold War: study

Demand from the Middle East and Asia has driven the transfer of arms to its highest level in decades, a study shows. The US and Russia produced more than half of the world’s arms in the past five years, it says.

Feb. 20, 2017

The worldwide arms trade rose to its highest level since the Cold War in the five years between 2012 and 2016, according to a study by a Swedish-based research institute released on Monday.

The volume of world arms trading increased by 8.4 percent compared with the 2007-2011 period, the study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

The United States remained the world’s top weapons exporter, supplying 33 percent of the arms traded abroad, ahead of Russia on 23 percent. Together with China (6.2 percent), France (6 percent) and Germany (5.6 percent), they accounted for almost 75 percent of global exports of heavy weapons.

The study showed the United States and France as the main weapons suppliers for the Middle East, and Russia and China for Asia.