The most militarized states (1/4 of the total) received almost 2/3 of America’s arms transfers (i.e., the 38 most militarized of 148 nations, plus Taiwan, which did not have a militarization ranking). This, of course, prompts a question about cause and effect: Do our arms sales contribute to increased militarization of other countries, or does the militarization encourage more business with the United States? Either way, our behavior is unconscionable. Over a quarter of all our arms sales goes to five “Non-Free” countries: UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Oman (Democracy Index calls three of them “authoritarian regimes,” and Iraq and Egypt “hybrids”). The U.S. share of global arms sales is anywhere from 31 to 75 percent of the total, depending on the source and method of analysis. Adding to our shame is that our #1 arms recipient through 2013 — India — has a median net worth of $1,000 and one of the highest Gini Coefficients (i.e., high inequality) in the world.
Weapons for ISIS — from US!
It has been reported that ISIS has confiscated large numbers of weapons from Saudi Arabia, which has become the Number 1 U.S. customer for arms sales, as well as the world’s Number 1 importer of weapons.
Where To Find Peace
A comparison of the Economist’s Democracy Index with the Global Militarization Index reveals that, on average, democracies are just as militaristic as authoritarianism/democratic “hybrids.”
Militarization Averages (1 = Most Militarized, 150 = Least Militarized):