Even as the US economy, the world's largest, has been bogged down since beginning 2008 with the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, it still managed to increase it global arms sales by nearly 50 per cent in 2008, the New York Times (NYT) reported yesterday.
Although recession reduced 2008 global arms sales by 7.6 per cent compared to 2007, the US cornered 68.4 per cent of the $55.2 billion global weapon sales market in 2008 as it signed weapons agreements worth $37.8 billion in 2008, up from $25.4 billion in 2007.
Citing a report from the US Congressional Research Service, titled Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, The NYT, said that the US expanded its role as the world's leading weapons supplier against worldwide trends even though 2008 global arms sales was the lowest for international weapons agreements since 2005.
The US emerged as the top weapons supplier in 2008 by signing weapons agreements worth $37.8 billion in 2008, or 68.4 per cent of all business in the global arms bazaar, Italy was a distant second, with $3.7 billion, pushing Russia, surprisingly, to the third spot with weapon sales of $3.5 billion - far below its 2007 sale of $10.8 billion.
The increased US weapons sales was attributed to "major new orders from clients in the Near East and in Asia" as well as the continuation of significant equipment and support services contracts with its clients globally, the NYT said.
Developing nations bought weapons worth $42.2 billion in 2008- a marginal increase from the $41.1 billion in 2007. The US signed weapons agreements worth $29.6 billion or 70.1 per cent of all such deals with the developing world in 2008.