Since September 11, 2001, annual U.S. weapons exports have tripled to
over $32 billion. The customers (174) include nearly all the worlds nations.
Most of the sales (by dollar terms) go to Arab nations in the Persian Gulf.
There, the growing fear that Iran will resume its historical role of regional
superpower, and attempt to take over the oil rich nations on the west coast of
the Gulf, has triggered massive armaments purchases. So far, Iran has occupied
some disputed island in the Persian Gulf, and claims it should control southern
Iraq and eastern Arabia, because of the Islamic shrines located in those
places. This has caused the Arabs to ready for war.
this period, most of the chaos in the world was still armed by Cold War
surplus, sold cheap by former communist nations after 1991. In addition, China
and Russia continue to be the suppliers of last resort for outlaws. North Korea
and Iran will also sell to anyone. It's recently been revealed that China has
been the primary exporter of nuclear weapons technology (to North Korea and
Pakistan, both of whom passed it on, for a price).
are sought because they are combat proven, and U.S. suppliers have a track
record for good service. U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been
witnessed firsthand by Arab military men (unofficially) and they have reported
on the effectiveness of U.S. equipment. Several Arab countries have quietly sent special operations units to
Afghanistan, and individual military observers and operatives to Iraq.