NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Developing Countries Purchasing Fewer Arms

August 8, 2002

The global economic slowdown curtailed arms purchases by developing nations during 2001, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. The study, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1994-2001," was published this week.

  • Global arms sales overall -- including weapons deals in developing and developed countries -- also dropped significantly last year, decreasing from the previous year for the first time since 1997.
  • The U.S. remains the world's leading weapons supplier, followed by Russia, whose sales to Iran continue to concern American officials.
  • Israel was the largest buyer of weapons last year among the countries categorized in the study as developing nations.
  • The total value of all arms transfer deals worldwide, agreements for weapons signed by developed and developing nations was $26.4 billion last year -- a significant drop from slightly more than $40 billion in 2000.

Developing nations signed almost $7 billion worth of arms-supply contracts with the U.S. last year -- 43.6 percent of all contracts.

Source: Thom Shanker, "Global Arms Sales to Developing Nations Are Tumbling, Study Finds," New York Times


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