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Expanding defense budgets feed fears of Middle East arms race

A new report on arms-producing companies offers insight into the Middle East, where military experts say the armament race is likely to continue at an increasing pace.
Iraqi Army soldiers ride in tanks with Russian rocket launchers (TOS-1) as part of a parade marking the founding anniversary of the army's artillery section in Baghdad October 1, 2014. REUTERS/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud (IRAQ - Tags - Tags: MILITARY ANNIVERSARY) - RTR48K1C
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On Dec. 15, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released its report, “The SIPRI Top 100 Arms-Producing and Military Services Companies, 2013.” In addition to valuable data on global arms and military services sales, the report also offers interesting insight into the Middle East. At a glance, here are some of the facts:

The 2013 revenues of the 100 largest arms and military services companies totaled $402 billion. The primary customers of these companies were their own armies. The report, which does not cover China because of a lack of transparent data, notes that the decline in global arms sales that started in 2011 is continuing and the reductions in the US defense budget have played a prominent role in the trend.

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