- World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT) was published by the U.S. State Department in December 2015. The report covers the eleven-year period from 2002 through 2012, the most recent year for which final data for many parameters were available in 2015
The World Military Expenditures/WMEAT report responds to a statutory requirement that the U.S. Department of State annually publish detailed, comprehensive and statistical information and in-depth analyses regarding military expenditures, arms transfers, armed forces, and related economic data for each country of the world.
According to a congressional report, US arms sales increased by more than a third in 2014 alone… over the past five years, the US sold “major” weapons to at least 96 countries — just a hair under half the total number of UN member states.
Regional conflicts are increasingly fueled by weaponry and much of the weaponry, purchased with petrodollars, has exacerbated the conflicts.
The period cited in the WMEAT report coincides with the U.S. Obama administration policies of force withdrawal and, as such, augers future arms sales/transfers as the regional conflicts escalate and a new administration will direct U.S. policy in the region as of January 2017.
Strategic moves by Saudi Arabia into the Yemen conflict and their continued deep involvement in the Syrian war, with larger interests at stake with alliances involving Qatar and the UAE; and a deep struggle over competing energy futures/oil pipelines across the region; with US/Russian/Turkish/Iraq strategic moves and European/EU and NATO bringing forces into play as Europe’s energy supplies are at risk; and with an eye toward China’s newly expanded Eurasian goals in the region; and Iran’s new oil production and re-entry into the world economy with the end of sanctions, all the region’s conflicts are seeing fuel added and a flaring arms trade.
Overall, imports to the Middle East rose by 61 percent; Saudi Arabia and the UAE were the second and fourth-biggest global importers between 2011 and 2015. Elsewhere in the region, Qatar’s imports grew by 279 percent, while Egypt’s increased by 37. Weapons purchases by Iraq… rose 83 percent more during the past five years than between 2006 and 2011, continuing a steady flow that began following the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.