International Arms Sales

September 2, 1970

Report Outline
National Policies and Arms Selling
Past Arms Traffic and Control Efforts
Arms Crises in World Trouble Spots
Special Focus

National Policies and Arms Selling

Billish Market for World Exports of Weaponary

World trade in military weapons is a booming business for a growing number of industrial countries. The United States and Soviet Russia long have dominated the tie Id. but not so completely now as in the past. A dozen nations or more, including the two super powers, have found that there is profit as well as potential political gain in the export of arms. As the Cold War ideology wanes, the balance of payments becomes a goal at least as attractive as the balance of military power. Arms sales, rather than grants, are the order of the day—with some notable exceptions.

Almost all of the arms-exporting nations find the market especially fertile in Africa. Asia and Latin America, though by no means is it confined exclusively to those continents. Experts estimate that international arms sales by all countries will exceed $5 billion this year—perhaps 40 per cent accounted for by the United States—in contrast to $2.5 billion a decade ago. They further project that the present value of arms sales will double again within five years.

It is easy to understand why the market for military weaponry was extremely bullish in the year 1970. “At a conservative estimate, about one-quarter of the sovereign states on the planet Earth were engaged in inter- or intrastate conflict involving the use of regular armed forces as the 1970s began,” a student of arms policies wrote. “Add to this impressive figure those states that have used military power either to enforce or to protect their interests over the past decade and those that are preparing for highly probable conflict in the near future, and the total number of countries rises to over seventy, or more than half the sovereign states in the world.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Arms Sales and Trafficking
Jun. 19, 2012  Small Arms Trade
Dec. 09, 1994  Arms Sales
Apr. 17, 1987  Third World Arms Industries
May 04, 1979  America's Arms Sales
May 07, 1976  World Arms Sales
Sep. 02, 1970  International Arms Sales
Apr. 28, 1965  Traffic in Arms
Sep. 09, 1936  Government Manufacture of Munitions
May 11, 1933  Arms Embargoes and the Traffic in Munitions
Apr. 27, 1925  Conference for Control of the International Traffic in Arms
Arms Control and Disarmament
Regional Political Affairs: Russia and the Former Soviet Union