Trump’s Plan for Selling Weapons to the Middle East

    Shimon Arad

    Security, Middle East

    Members of Saudi security forces take part in a military parade in preparation for the annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca

    While most Obama-era sales to the Middle East were fighter jets and helicopters, air defense systems and munitions top the list so far in the Trump presidency.

    The Trump administration has set its sights on expanding America’s substantial arms sales around the globe. The United States is already the world’s leading arms exporter, accounting for 34 percent of total arms exports in the world between 2013–2017 according to a recent release by the authoritative Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Arms sales constituted 6.2 percent of the value of all U.S. exports in the period from 2007 to 2014. During the Obama presidency, the administration approved more than $ 278 billion in foreign-arms sales, more than any administration since World War II. In the first year of President Trump’s administration, the United States signed arms-export deals in excess of $ 41 billion and notified Congress of potential deals that total more than $ 82 billion, though some of these were initiated under the previous administration.

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