Fears of Russia, China, and Iran have spurred arms purchases around the world

Last Updated on March 18, 2024 5:14 am

A world torn by war. Russian invasion of Ukraine and Israeli invasion of Gaza. All in all, there is a dire situation. Countries are busy enriching their weapons stockpile for self-defense. Among these, Europe, the Middle East and Asia have seen the highest increase in arms purchases over the past five years. This has been reported in a recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

According to the report, arms purchases in Europe have increased due to the Ukraine war. European countries bought twice as many weapons between 2019 and 2023 as compared to 2014 and 2018. Ukraine has been the leading arms buyer in Europe for the past five years. At this time, Ukraine ranks fourth among the top countries in the world in arms procurement.

In the last five years, Asian countries accounted for the largest number of arms exports, accounting for 37 percent of the world’s total arms exports. US allies Japan, Australia and India have bought the most arms in Asia. According to SIPRI senior researcher Peter Wegeman, the main reason behind this is China’s ambitions in Asia.

For example, during this period, Japan increased its arms imports two and a half times. Along with other weapons they bought 400 long range missiles. They are capable of hitting North Korea and China.

US allies Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have bought the most weapons in the Middle East. The amount is 30 percent of the world’s total arms imports. Peter Wegeman said, “It is not just fear of Iran that is happening. It is actually a wartime situation. Saudi Arabia has used these weapons in operations in various countries including Yemen in the past 10 years.

Regional rivalry is also a reason behind this arms trade. For example, in 2017, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates imposed sanctions on Qatar. Doha has quadrupled its arms imports since then. The country has imported weapons from USA, UK and France.

Professor of History of the American College of Greece, Konstantinos Philis, said that the insecurity of the allied countries of the West works on whether the United States will come forward if there is an attack on them. According to the countries, if they themselves are not strong militarily, then no one will come to their rescue.

And in this opportunity, the United States has exported the most weapons. 42 percent of arms sales from 2019 to 2023 went from this country. On the contrary, sales have decreased in Russia. In this, France has occupied the second place of Russia in the list.

Analysts say that regional conflicts have created security risks. That is why countries have focused on their weapons stockpile.

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