US Arms Sales Shifting from Middle East to Europe

U.S. arms sales offers to the Middle East totaled $78.8 billion in 2018 which is down from $102 billion in offers during the Obama administration peak in 2010.

There was a sharp shift in the regional breakdown in U.S. arms offers between 2017 and 2018. Europe and Eurasia was the top recipient region in 2018, with 54.8% of all U.S. arms offers, up from 29.5% in 2017. Offers to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) dropped from 36.6% in 2017 to 21.9% in 2018.

The top five recipients of U.S. arms offers in 2018 were Italy ($11.4 billion), the United Kingdom ($7.3 billion), Japan ($7.2 billion), Belgium ($6.6 billion), and Saudi Arabia ($4.5 billion).

The top five arms exporters, based on deals of $500 million or more, were Lockheed Martin, which was involved in deals worth $25 billion; Boeing, $7.1 billion in deals; Raytheon, $5.5 billion in deals; Northrop Grumman had one deal worth $2.5 billion; and BAE , which had a $1.3 billion deal.

There was a sharp change in the types of weapons offered for sale in 2018 versus 2017. In 2017 the top category was bombs and missiles, accounting for 52.9% of the value of all offers that year, followed by aircraft and aircraft engines at 33.3%. In 2018 the categories flipped in importance, with aircraft and engines accounting for 60% of sales, while bombs and missiles came in it at a 27% share. The surge in aircraft sales in 2018 was driven by major deals for export of F-35 aircraft and components to European allies – over $17 billion to Italy, Belgium Norway combined.

SOURCES- Trends in Major U.S. Arms Sales in 2018: The Trump Record – Rhetoric Versus Reality – Center for International Policy

Written By Brian Wang,

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