The nuclear agreement concluded last week between Iran and six big powers, the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, is threatening to trigger a new Middle East military build-up – not with nuclear weapons but with conventional arms, including fighter planes, combat helicopters, warships, missiles, battle tanks and heavy artillery.
When the United States sells billions of dollars in sophisticated arms to Arab nations, they are conditioned on two key factors: no weapons with a qualitative military edge over Israel will ever be sold to the Arabs, nor will they receive any weapons that are not an integral part of the U.S. arsenal.
The escalating military conflicts in the Middle East – and the month-long aerial bombings of Yemen by an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia – have triggered a new arms race in the politically-volatile region.
The ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen have helped spiral arms sales upwards to the Middle East, according to a study released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
In a satirical piece titled 'An Unserious Look at the Year Ahead' in the Wall Street Journal last week, Hugo Rifkind predicts the price of a barrel of oil will fall so low that people across the world would start buying oil for the barrel - and throw the oil out.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has relentlessly advocated drastic cuts in global military spending in favour of sustainable development, will be sorely disappointed by the latest findings in a report released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
For the second year in a row, the world is spending a little less on the military. Asia, however, has failed to get the memo. The region is spending more at a time when many others are spending less.
The Middle East continues to be one of the world's most lucrative arms markets, with two Gulf nations - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - taking the lead, according to a new study released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Russia, which is at loggerheads with Washington over the spreading political crisis in Ukraine, is threatening to undermine a longstanding military relationship between the United States and one of its traditional allies in the Middle East: Egypt.
The United States is the world’s leading arms trafficking nation, with $60 billion in arms transfer agreements last year alone. In 2011, U.S. companies and the U.S. government controlled over three-quarters of the international weapons trade.
The multi-billion-dollar Middle East arms market - bolstered by hefty purchases by oil-blessed Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Qatar - has always been one of the biggest bonanzas to the U.S. defence industry.
U.S. Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel announced Monday that Washington is going forward with a controversial sale of eight attack helicopters to the Indonesian government, despite concerns that the gunships will be used for internal repression.
The spreading economic crisis is taking a bite out of Western military spending - even as the world's developing nations, along with Russia and China, boosted their arms expenditures last year.
U.S. weapons sales around the world have massively expanded over the past year, setting several records. Agreements for foreign arms sales in 2011 totalled around 66.3 billion dollars – three times higher than the previous year and constituting an "extraordinary increase", according to the Congressional Research Service.