A new report claims that in fiscal year 2019, the United States sold more than $55 billion worth of weapons around the world, even as arms sales to allies like Saudi Arabia were heavily criticized.
It is no secret that the United States is the largest exporter of arms in the world, and sales from 2019 have been consistent with previous years under the Trump Administration.
According to a new report, US foreign military deals in fiscal year 2019 totaled $55.4 billion dollars. This is slightly less than the $55.6 billion in deals from 2018, which was a 33 percent jump from $41.93 billion dollars in 2017.
When comparing the current figures to deal from previous administrations, reports noted that the Obama administration approved more than $278 billion dollars in foreign arms sales in its eight years, which was more than double the total of arms sales approved by the Bush Administration.
The weapons that are most commonly exported by the United States include combat aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, anti-tank missiles, naval gun systems and guided weapon systems.
The US regularly supplies weapons to at least 98 countries, which is around half of the countries in the entire world. And as the “War on Terror” has continued over the last 18 years, US arms sales to countries in the Middle East have increased significantly.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the US accounted for nearly half of the weapons imported by the Middle East between 2013 and 2017.
The director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency referred to arms sales as “a tool of first resort for US foreign policy,” and he said allies buy weapons from the US because Washington sells “the world’s most advanced defense systems.”
Army Lt. Gen. Charles W. Hooper went on to say, “Through the uniquely American approach to security cooperation, we also ensure our allies and partners have all the necessary training, education, and institutional capacity to effectively employ and sustain the equipment we provide.”
However, the sale of those advanced US weapons is creating concerns, as Saudi Arabia continues to top the list of countries that import arms from the US. This includes an 8-billion-dollar deal from this year that Trump signed an emergency declaration in order to achieve.
In addition to having a long history of human rights violations at home, Saudi Arabia has used the weapons it receives from the US to devastate the poorest country in the Middle East, in an ongoing war that has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world in Yemen.
With the latest deployment of thousands of US troops to Saudi Arabia, it does not appear that US arms sales will be slowing down, or that the close partnership between the countries will be breaking up anytime soon.