A New Record: $66.3 Billion in US Arms Sales Abroad in 2011

Obama Claims 78 Percent of World's Market

by Jason Ditz, August 26, 2012

Heavily backed by the US government, US arms makers are a serious growth industry, not only providing weapons to America’s own enormous military for its assorted adventures, but capturing the vast majority of the foreign arms market on the planet as well.

The new figures released in a study for Congress show several records being smashed in 2011, with the US selling $66.3 billion in weapons abroad, a record itself, but also by far the largest single year increase ever, over the $21.4 billion in 2010.

The sales amounted to about 78 percent of all foreign arms sales on the entire planet. The second place arms dealer nation is Russia, which sold less than $5 billion themselves.

Much of the arms sales were to Saudi Arabia and other members of the GCC, which have been heavily increasing their military spending in recent years, nominally to “combat Iran.” The Saudi deals alone amounted to $33.4 billion, which by itself would have been the record for single largest year of arms sales by any nation.

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