Thursday, December 22, 2016

From Jadaliyya: "US and European Arms Sales to the Middle East 2011-2014"

"In this brief study, we aim to assess the value of official weapons sales between arms producing countries and the Middle East between 2011 and 2014. The focus will be on trade with Jordan, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Turkey (JUQKKT)—countries that have close links with the Syrian armed opposition. We then compare arms sales revenues with the cost of hosting Syrian refugees seeking protection in arms-exporting countries[1]—while taking note that comparing earnings from the arms trade with hosting refugees does not address or assume away the immorality of weapons sales. We grouped weapons manufacturers and transfer countries under the “Friends of Syria” banner—in reference to the group formed in 2012 by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy composed of France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, Turkey, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt—and the rest under Eastern Europe.[2] The focus on Western countries does not imply they are solely to blame for the weapons trade. However, reliable data on arms exports from China, Russia, and Iran are not readily available. Though we do try to provide some plausible estimates based on available data. While this prevents us from including these in our calculations, it does not affect our main premise of the indirect but foreseeable link between Western arms transfer to the Middle East and the wave of refugees."