The global arms trade is booming | The Economist
The global arms trade has reached its highest point since the Cold War.
We reveal which countries are buying up weapons and explain why.
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We are in the midst of the biggest arms race since the Cold War.
In 2016 World military spending accounted for 2.2% of Global GDP; more than the total GDP of sub-Saharan Africa.
In the past five years, the volume of weapons traded globally has reached its highest level since 1991.
Why is the global arms trade booming?
Since its intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, America no longer wants to be the World's policeman so other countries are increasingly investing in their own security by buying more arms. Saudi Arabia is now the World's second-largest arms importer in part because it can't rely on Western powers like it used to.
Saudi arms imports have grown by 212% in the past four years.
Increasing instability in many regions of the World means countries are also buying more arms to defend themselves.
Turkey's arms imports have increased by 42% to fight Islamic State in Syria.
Nigeria and Cameroon are among the top five arms importers in sub-Saharan Africa because of the ongoing battle to defeat Boko Haram.
The Global boom in arms sales is also driven by a lack of regulation.
In 2014 a UN-brokered arms treaty came into force but China and Russia have not signed it and it has yet to be ratified by America.
Together these three countries account for more than 60% of arms exports Worldwide.
In Asia and the Middle East there are no arms treaties at all.
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