They say the Cold War is over, but Russia and the U.S. remain the leading supplier of weapons to countries around the world as well as the two biggest military powers. Lately, tensions have been pretty high, too.
The U.S. supplies much of NATO and Middle Eastern allies like Turkey, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.
Russia supplies many BRIC nations, as well as Iran, much of South East Asia and North Africa.
We took numbers from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute for 2012-2013 to see who the two rivals were supplying with weaponry. The U.S. dealt to 59 nations that Russia doesn’t sell or send weaponry to, while Russia dealt to just 16 nations that don’t receive U.S. arms. Fifteen countries recieved weaponry from both the U.S. and Russia, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
The country that recieved the highest dollar amount of U.S. weaponry was the United Arab Emirates, with more than $US3.7 billion in arms received over that period. Russia dealt the greatest value of weapons to India, sending more than $US13.6 billion.
Overall, the U.S. sent more than $US26.9 billion in weaponry to foreign nations while Russia sent a total exceeding $US29.7 billion in weaponry around the globe.
Interestingly, the U.S. actually recieved roughly $US16 million worth of weaponry from Russia. This was part of a $US1 billion helicopter deal the two nations made, so that the U.S. could supply Afghan security forces with equipment they were already more familiar with.
Importantly, SIPRI’s totals don’t measure the cost of the transaction but the cost of the weapons’ production. The numbers are listed as the production value of the weapons sold rather than the amount they were actually sold for. In addition, SIPRI does not track the transfer of certain small arms.
SIPRI gives several examples to explain their chosen method. In 2009, 6 Eurofighters valued at $US55 million each were delivered by Germany to Austria. Therefore the delivery was valued at $US330 million, even though the actual transaction likely netted a much higher total. For comparison, when the New York Times listed the total of weapons sold by the U.S. at $US66.3 billion in 2011, SIPRI came up with a much lower total based off of production cost of $US15.4 billion.
You can read the full explanation of SIPRI’s calculations here.