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Visualizing The Militarization Of The Middle East

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The global arms trade is huge.







While it’s hard to pin down an exact value of arms transfers, VisualCapitalist's Jeff Desjardins notes the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that the number was at least $76 billion in 2013, with the caveat that it is likely higher.


The volume of transfers have been trending upwards now for roughly 15 years.


Volume of Arms Transfers


Courtesy of: SIPRI


But where are these arms going?



The answer, as VisualCapitalist's Jeff Desjardins explains, is that they are increasingly going to militarize the Middle East, which has increased imports of arms by 61% in 2011-2015, compared to the previous five year period.


The Syrian Civil War now entering its sixth year, and it’s clear that conflict is stopping no time soon in the Middle East. As a result of this and the various proxy wars, complicated relationships, and a continuing threat from ISIS, neighboring countries in the region have loaded up on arms.


That’s why Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE have increased imports of arms by 275%, 279%, and 35% respectively compared to the 2006-2010 time period. Saudi Arabia is now the second largest importer of arms in the world.


Rounding out the Top 20 largest arms importers are other countries in the general region, such as the UAE, Turkey, Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, India, and Iraq:



Courtesy of: SIPRI


How are these arms flowing to these countries?



Here’s a diagram showing the top three suppliers to each of the biggest arm importers:




Original graphics by: MEE and AFP












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