Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.
China doesn’t even show up as a blip on the screen. The Post buries in the piece that China is “the sixth-largest arms exporter in the world.”
So dominant is the United States in worldwide arms trafficking that—get this!—US arms sales to a single country, Saudi Arabia, totaled $33.4 billion last year. That amount surpassed the entire total of US arms sales to all countries in the world in 2009, $31 billion. A commentary by a Wall Street analysis site notes happily: “The news confirms how critical defense, airplane, and agricultural exports are to the overall American trade balance.”
The vast surge of American military industrial–complex exports is driven, in large part, by the bugaboo of Iran, so perhaps Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu ought to get a commission for doing most of the scaremongering. Not only Saudi Arabia but the other anachronistic kings, emirs and sheikhs are gobbling up US weapons at a record pace.
But it’s important to scare people about China, too, at least so that the countries surrounding that bugaboo nation will start gobbling American arms, namely, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, the Philippines, Japan, et al. In the meantime, however, the United States plans to vastly expand its missile-defense system in the Pacific, regardless of the cost and regardless of the fact that it will spur a regional arms race with China.