The Obama years have been a boom time for America’s weapons makers. Since 2009, the United States has approved arms deals worth some $200 billion—more than under any other presidency. The deals include sending Apache helicopters to Qatar, “bunker buster” bombs and cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia, and Hellfire missiles all over the place. Predicting an increase in weapons sales fueled by the war against ISIS, an unnamed American weapons manufacturing executive told Reuterslast year: “Everyone in the region is talking about building up supplies for 5 to 10 years. This is going to be a long fight. It’s a huge growth area for us.”
The United States currently controls more than half of the global arms market. Its top five customers are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Iraq, and Israel. By comparison, Russia, the next biggest global weapons supplier, controls just 14 percent of the market.