Arms races and sales and Sunday reading…

From Reuters comes this piece on arms spending:

Demand for big-ticket U.S. weapons is expected to stay strong for at least the next few years, the trade group said in a 2012 year-end review and forecast released in December.
Fears resulting from China’s growing military spending (bolding mine…the US has about 4.8% spending to GDP ratio) should lead to enough U.S. sales in South and East Asia to more than offset a slowdown in European arms-buying, according to the forecast.

(Dan here:) The graph offers a year to year estimate of China’s spending to GDP ratio. What am I ┬ámissing?


The article continues…

The trade group, whose members include Pentagon suppliers Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co and Northrop Grumman Corp, did not put numbers to its 2013 forecast. Nor did the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which has overseen a boom in worldwide deals under President Barack Obama.

The security agency, in response to a Reuters request, said sales agreements with countries in the U.S. Pacific Command’s area of activity rose to $13.7 billion in fiscal 2012, up 5.4 percent from a year before. Such pacts represent orders for future delivery.

In 2012 there were about 65 notifications to Congress of proposed government-brokered foreign military sales with a combined potential value of more than $63 billion. In addition, the State Department office that regulates direct commercial sales was on track to receive more than 85,000 license requests in 2012, a new record.

Overall, the United States reached arms transfer agreements in 2011 totaling $66.3 billion, or nearly 78 percent of all such worldwide pacts, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. The 2011 total was swollen by a record $33.4 billion deal with Saudi Arabia. India ranked second with $6.9 billion in such agreements.

Rupert Hammond-Chambers, who consults for U.S. arms makers through BowerGroupAsia, an advisory with 10 offices in the region, predicted Southeast Asian defense budgets would expand steadily as a hedge against Chinese assertiveness in disputes in the South China and East China seas.

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