International arms transfers level off after years of sharp growth

On March 15, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPRI) issued a new report on global arms transfers. It shows that international transfers of major arms stayed at the same level between 2011–15 and 2016–20. Substantial increases in transfers by three of the top five arms exporters—the USA, France and Germany—were largely offset by declining Russian and Chinese arms exports. Middle Eastern arms imports grew by 25 percent in the period, driven chiefly by Saudi Arabia (+61 percent), Egypt (+136 percent) and Qatar (+361 percent).

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The trend in international transfers of major arms, 1981–2020 (Table source: SIPRI)

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