Selling War: The World's Biggest Exporters Of Weapons

Tyler Durden's picture

One glance at the following chart prepared by the Economist, showcasing the world's largest importers of weapons, and more importantly, exporters, and one could almost imagine why both the US and Russia have an interest in a "contained" (or not so much) regional war...

Some more insight:

Five countries—America, Russia, Germany, China and France—accounted for three-quarters of international arms exports over the past five years. China tripled its share in that time, overtaking France. It is on track to surpass Germany to become the third-largest arms dealer. Business is brisk. Overall, sales between 2009 and 2013 were 14% higher than the previous five-year period, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks the arms trade. China sells to 35 mainly low- and middle-income countries, but is also a big importer (two-thirds of its weapons come from Russia). America exports to over 90 nations, with aircraft making up most of its sales. Russia exports more ships than any other country. Its weapons exports have significantly increased, thanks in part to being India's biggest supplier, accounting for three-quarters of its arms purchases. As for Ukraine, it exports more weapons than Italy or Israel. But with regional tensions flaring, it may choose to keep some of those arms for itself.

Source: Economist

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rtalcott's picture

Interesting...Russia's top customers and the US top customers.

So What's picture

"I can't help suspecting that the only true manifestations of our innermost being are war and insanity, those two absolute nightmares."
Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

DeliciousSteak's picture

Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war.


Anusocracy's picture

Government, here to waste as much productive labor as possible.

And still remain in control.

Wizard of Ozman's picture

Its easy to sell weapons when you hand some of your biggest customers Billions a year.

macholatte's picture


What happens to USA export calculations & GDP if you deduct weapons, food and scrap metal?


Change means movement. Movement means friction. Only in the frictionless vacuum of a nonexistent abstract world can movement or change occur without that abrasive friction of conflict.

Saul Alinsky



Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

Dwight D. Eisenhower




svayambhu108's picture

Ukraine 3rd place as an exporter to China, hmmm

Oh regional Indian's picture

As if the reason for India's great strides (!!!!) were not too few, here is another.

Big big bloat in the armed forces. And they want more and more, always a shortage of officers....

Rigged game...

Fvckd India...

Oldwood's picture

Given our government's primary agenda is our dependency, it is only neccessary to destroy all excess productivity that would enable our independence and self sufficiency. Poverty of the mind is all the chains they need to hold us.

MontgomeryScott's picture

"Given our government's primary agenda is our dependency, it is only neccessary to destroy all excess productivity that would enable our independence and self sufficiency. Poverty of the mind is all the chains they need to hold us."


The sharing of technological breakthroughs in the methods of murdering massive amounts of people is dependent upon the trade (and percieved value) of what most do not understand fully: FIAT currencies.

FURTHER: The dependency upon 'governments' to provide 'basic neccesities' that are sold in their minds as a 'safety net' (in case your job is outsourced to a poorer nation; for example) is based upon the false premis that the 'government' (wherever you are) has a 'credit score' and can 'BORROW' these same FIAT currencies in order to supposedly 'create' wealth (like welfare, government jobs, or so-called 'private sector jobs' like repairing broken glass after a riot, earthquake, or other disaster).


I wonder WHO managed to print (digitize) all this 'money, anyway? 'MONEY' to murder, 'MONEY' to defend the homeland', 'MONEY' to appease the masses? 'MONEY' to buy the votes that keep the politicians who pass the 'laws' that protect those who print the 'MONEY' in the first place?


It's like a parasite that has consumed it's host, and starts to eat members of it's own body due to an avourous hunger, sometimes. Bear-Stearns, perhaps?

Like the dream of the ages, the Philosopher's Stone...

THERE WAS a time when this video garnered 37 MILLION views, you know. That was way back in 2008.

CrashisOptimistic's picture

China sells to 35 mainly low- and middle-income countries, but is also a big importer (two-thirds of its weapons come from Russia).


There is only one thing you cannot do with a bayonet, and that is sit on it. -- Napoleon Bonaparte 


The bigger your investment in an army, the more you pay to feed them, the more you watch them consume the budget -- you simply have to get a return on your investment.  Lo the poor Vietnamese, Filipinos and Japanese.

lakecity55's picture

Bangladesh General: "I say, these AKs of your do not have removable magazines."
Chinese Arms Rep: "They come fully loaded. Barrel is plastic. After 1 use, you throw away. Let me show you new AK transport vehicle to resupply troops."

kchrisc's picture

Actually, it would seem that their are two "types" or "species" of humans: Empaths, normal people, and sociopaths that have no empathy and desire only self-aggrandizement, adulation, power and money.

Said sociopaths only desire to seize power from the empaths and use it to heighten their wealth, self-aggrandizement, adulation, and of course, seize more power to the detriment of their empath victims. What better way to accomplish all four than war--War where they gain and the empahts pay.

My point being, people, empaths, don't go to war, sociopaths SEND them to war for the sociopaths' gain--War is not a problem of mankind but a problem imposed upon mankind by the sociopaths within.


"My guillotine likes to eat three course meals: pol, crat and some bankster for desert."

Cathartes Aura's picture

perhaps there are sub-types, or "degrees of"?

doesn't really seem so cut and dried,

people, empaths, don't go to war, sociopaths SEND them to war for the sociopaths' gain

when one factors in the voluntary military war-riors in some nationstates.

hatred is cultivated in infinite small versions of "us vs. them" - between nations, between religions, between family members, all humans really.

hatred, and anger - both lack empathy.

kchrisc's picture

How large would the "voluntary military" be in an unfettered and thriving economy?!

The “voluntary military” is nothing more than another form of self serving welfare and is Unconstitutional to boot (Artice 1, Section 8).


"My guillotine volunteered."

Cathartes Aura's picture

I understand what you're pointing to - but continuing with the "empath" label,

at what point does an empath uni-form up to go kill others based on the "economy"? 

and does that uni-form earn them the sociopath label, as well as the "job 'n' benefits"?

just trying to point out, it's not so very easy to apply black 'n' white labels to human history, which has so many shades of grey. . .

but I will add - cultures seem to be "selecting" for sociopathy, which IMO is de-volving away from empathy, *nods*


kchrisc's picture

Good question and the answer was sneakily signed into "law" by Obama on December 31, 2011. That is NDAA.

See, not more than 4% of any population is sociopathic. Therefore in order to subdue or oppress a people, the sociopaths will have to depend on empaths for most of the work--guard, etc. The only way to do that is to have a legal framework in place that justifies their orders.

They will say, "Go and round them up, and here is the legal basis for such an order." And an empath, also motivated by other things like fear, etc., will go and follow his orders and hide his conscience behind the legal basis claimed by his masters.

That is why NDAA was so alarming for me. They had put other legal structures in place before, but this was the most blatant and clear of what lies ahead, They know that they will soon have to more openly oppress us, the American people, and want a legal framework in place to ease their effort.

Remember the legal gymnastics they went thorough in creating a legal "justification" for torture during Bush Jr.'s tenure? That wasn't to protect themselves so much as to provide the legal cover for the consciences of any empath participants--guards, etc.

As for NDAA again, ask yourself, "If they were already doing whatever they wanted anyways, why a legal code authorizing it?!"

And remember, Nazi Germany maintained a large and thriving legal system right up to the end. Like frosting on a turd.


"That's not American women and children private, that there be 'terrorists'." Get 'em behind the barbed wire or shoot 'em."

Cathartes Aura's picture

well, I think we may each be defining "empath/empathy" differently - I don't believe that amrkns (or other loyalists to their national military stories) are majority empaths, even prior to "NDAA/2011". . .

irrespective of all that is taking place, humans appear to have very little respect/concern/empathy with their environs overall, and I have my doubts that this situation will reverse itself were another "leader" to take over from the current figurehead.

thanks for the exchange though!


TBT or not TBT's picture

People don't kill people, weapons do? I am most worried about who has them.

kchrisc's picture

Weapons don't kill people, people kill people, and if one looks at history, especially the 20th. Century, one will see that that person more often or not has a uniform on.


"Guns don't kill people, mostly people in uniform do."

Conax's picture


Guns don't kill people, husbands that come home early do.

BrosephStiglitz's picture

It's somewhat odd that the US is a major exporter AND importer.  Suggests it is both simultaneously fobbing off outdated, or run-of-the-mill military tech. abroad and importing high technology/niche military applications from Europe.

Either that or it is possibly trying to shore up Europe's economy a little.  Who knows?

Bad Attitude's picture

Some of that import/export activity you notice is the result of co-development, co-manufacturing, and offset agreements. Advanced weapon systems are so expensive that sharing of costs is the only way to make the deal come together.

hot sauce technician's picture

Exactly. Like the Arrow missile defense system - US dollars, Israeli R&D. Iron Dome too.

edit: Stuxnet also?

tnquake's picture

Would like to see a graphic on the US Gov departments stockpiling weapons and ammo!


kchrisc's picture

I guess that that squirrel got his nut and then some.

holdbuysell's picture

It would be helpful if they showed the amounts in dollars and not just as a percentage.

Otherwise, how can we tell what the hit to the GDP and the deficit is if this activity were curtailed?

Edit: put another way, what percentage of US GDP does this export activity comprise?

Stuck on Zero's picture

I think it's clear.  As a percentage of GDP Russia is the largest exporter of weapons by far.

813kml's picture

I got into some Shkval torpedoes during the 4th of July sale, makes my bass boat more intimidating.

lakecity55's picture

I got a great deal on Russian RPGs at the last gun show.

The shoulder-fired SAMs were a bit too pricey. I hope the cost comes down.

My friggin' neighbor bought a T-72. He drives the damn thing all around the neighborhood showing off.

BrosephStiglitz's picture

"AK47.  The very best there is. When you absolutely, positively have to kill every last motherf*cker in the room, accept no substitutes."

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

Day old stale "rest easy" no news is good news...

And a nice little video to go with that news...  Congratulations to John Kerry and President Remus.

If they want to start a genunine "flashpoint" to WWIII this one would certainly achieve those type of goals!

To Russia!...

When the American Neocons get it started lob your largest number of warheads at D.C. with Langley and the Pentagon as the target(s)...  I want to see the Washington Metro area separated from the rest of the continental United States... Oh roughly 100 nautical miles will do!

Colonel Klink's picture

What a horrible graphic.  Couldn't have used something a little more intuitive?

DerdyBulls's picture

Agreed. I use graphics and models in my work. The best graphics can be understood almost instantly, in at least 3-5 seconds. This one is set up terribly. I'd wager an inferiority complex sits behind it. "It must difficult to understand to show how brilliant I am." Simplicity is the best practice. I'd bet an economist from the London School consulted on this. I'll take Hazlett and never look back. Simple brilliance written with clarity. 

The wheels on the bus are going to fall off's picture

Why is UAE shitting its pants all of a sudden and going on a military surge.........compared to the other worlds countries it is miniscule....

Bloody Muppet's picture

"Why is UAE shitting its pants"


Iran, mostly, although Syria, Pakistan etc are all pretty close.

Uncle Remus's picture

House of Saud days are numbered.

sessinpo's picture

Uncle Remus       House of Saud days are numbered.


On a long enough time line, aren't all are days numbered?

caustixoid's picture

UAE sees regimes going down all around it and realizes that it better be a good boy and recycle those petrodollars. 

TBT or not TBT's picture

Red lines, hash tag diplomacy, US abandoning Iraq Afghanistan and Syria to the mullahcracy of Teheran, Arab Spring. Stuff like that.

kchrisc's picture

If you knew the Petro$ was soon to be toast and wanted to get into "hard assests" and quickly get rid of as many of your TP-dollars as you could, weapons would be one avenue.

Matt's picture

I wonder what the UAE does with 4% of all the arms manufactured each year. I'm sure they store and use them responsibly, and do not re-export those weapons to other countries or to groups of people.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Same thing Belgium does with its treasuries. Stockpile. Bean bullets and treasuries, bitchez.

lakecity55's picture

Of course!

I bet they signed some serious documents to promise not to re-export them!