Countries Buying the Most Weapons From the US Government

March 18, 2019 by Thomas C. Frohlich

Source: ewg3D / Getty Images
The United States is notably not just by far the world’s largest military force, but also by far the largest supplier of arms.

As the source of approximately 36% of the world’s military exports, the United States is by far the largest exporter of weapons, according to the latest report on major arms export volumes published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on March 11.

The U.S. has been both the largest exporter of military supplies and the country with the largest military expenditure since the SIPRI started its database in the early 1990s. The U.S.’s outsized share of world arms exports has also increased over the past five years since the previous five-year period through 2013, when 30% of world arms exports came from the United States.

This increase, however, is largely due to deliveries, mainly of F-35 combat jets, over the past five years, said Aude Fleurant, director of the arms and military expenditure programme with SIPRI, in an email to 24/7 Wall St. While the United States will almost certainly remain the dominant exporter of weapons, the large increase in arms exports was due primarily to the nature of cycles and transfers.

The United States supplies arms to at least 98 nations, and it is the largest supplier to 20 of the 40 largest arms importers in the world. These arms include ammunition such as missiles, various aircraft, submarines, surface ships, anti-submarine weaponry, tanks, armoured vehicles, as well as electronics such as radar, sonar, and guiding systems.

The United States selects its clients based on well-established partnerships, as well as for strategic reasons related to the leverage it could gain during conflicts. Of the 25 countries buying the most weapons from the U.S., 10 are either NATO member nations or part of other alliances formed with the United States since the Cold War.

“The US transfers to these countries are meant to ensure allies security, as arms transfers from the US brings with it security guarantees, which basically entail diplomatic and military assistance in case of troubles,” said Fleurant.

Click here to see the countries buying the most weapons from the U.S. government.

Methodology

To identify the countries buying the most weapons from the U.S. government, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the total value of arms exports from the United States over the decade 2008 to 2018 delivered to the 183 countries available in SIPRI’s Arms Transfers Database updated March 11 2019. The arms data cover actual deliveries of major conventional weapons. The first, second, and third largest suppliers to each country came from SIPRI’s major arms export volumes report published March 11, 2019.

These figures do not represent sales prices for arms transfers. They should therefore not be directly compared with gross domestic product (GDP), military expenditure, sales values, or the financial value of export licenses in an attempt to measure the economic burden of arms imports or the economic benefits of exports.

GDP per capita for each country was obtained from the World Bank.

Source: WO2 Pete Bristo MBE / Wikimedia Commons

25. Oman
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $842 million, 26.5% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: Not available
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): UK, USA, Norway
> GDP per capita: $37,961

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Source: eeliuth / Wikimedia Commons

24. Mexico
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $899 million, 51.2% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $18 million, 69.2% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, France, Netherlands
> GDP per capita: $17,331

Source: Sean Gallup / Getty Images

23. Germany
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $1 billion, 65.1% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $2 million, 14.3% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): Not available
> GDP per capita: $45,229

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

22. Kuwait
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $1.36 billion, 79.6% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $55 million, 62.5% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Russia, Switzerland
> GDP per capita: $65,531

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Source: PRT Meymaneh / Wikimedia Commons

21. Norway
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $1.38 billion, 40.8% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $346 million, 64.4% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, South Korea, Italy
> GDP per capita: $64,800

Source: Konstantinos Stampoulis (el:User:Geraki) / Wikimedia Commons

20. Greece
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $1.40 billion, 35.4% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $59 million, 90.8% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): Germany, USA, France
> GDP per capita: $24,574

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Source: Utente:Jollyroger / Wikimedia Commons

19. Italy
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $1.81 billion, 55.5% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $241 million, 77.5% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Germany, Israel
> GDP per capita: $35,220

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

18. Morocco
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.05 billion, 45.2% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $333 million, 86.0% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, France, Italy
> GDP per capita: $7,485

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

17. Canada
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.26 billion, 76.2% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $121 million, 56.3% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Netherlands, Germany
> GDP per capita: $44,018

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

16. Afghanistan
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.40 billion, 70.8% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $206 million, 85.8% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Russia, Brazil
> GDP per capita: $1,796

Source: John Moore / Getty Images

15. Pakistan
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.51 billion, 21.6% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $12 million, 1.5% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): China, USA, Russia
> GDP per capita: $5,035

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Source: 39955793@N07 / Flickr

14. Qatar
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.63 billion, 68.3% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $423 million, 51.8% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Germany, France
> GDP per capita: $116,932

Source: Ed Giles / Getty Images

13. Egypt
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.84 billion, 27.9% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $197 million, 13.3% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): France, Russia, USA
> GDP per capita: $10,551

Source: Israel Defense Forces / Wikimedia Commons

12. Israel
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $2.91 billion, 69.6% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $480 million, 96.4% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Germany, Italy
> GDP per capita: $33,132

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Source: Train_Arrival / Getty Images

11. India
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $3.10 billion, 9.1% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $25 million, 1.6% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): Russia, Israel, USA
> GDP per capita: $6,430

Source: pixgrapher / Getty Images

10. Taiwan
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $3.58 billion, 95.1% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $129 million, 100% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Germany, Italy
> GDP per capita: $00

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Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

9. United Kingdom
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $3.60 billion, 70.1% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $194 million, 36.4% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, South Korea, Germany
> GDP per capita: $39,753

Source: Chris McGrath / Getty Images

8. Turkey
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $3.82 billion, 45.8% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $293 million, 42.8% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Spain, Italy
> GDP per capita: $25,135

Source: dvids / Flickr

7. Singapore
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $3.97 billion, 49.8% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $56 million, 11.0% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, France, Spain
> GDP per capita: $85,535

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Source: Koichi Kamoshida / Getty Images

6. Japan
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $4.31 billion, 93.4% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $675 million, 97.0% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, UK, Sweden
> GDP per capita: $39,002

Source: Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia Commons

5. Iraq
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $4.45 billion, 55.8% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $40 million, 6.7% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Russia, South Korea
> GDP per capita: $15,393

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

4. South Korea
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $7.40 billion, 66.7% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $612 million, 46.5% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Germany, UK
> GDP per capita: $35,938

Source: Stocktrek Images / Getty Images

3. UAE
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $7.60 billion, 63.7% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $799 million, 72.6% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, France, Turkey
> GDP per capita: $67,293

Source: Ian Hitchcock / Getty Images

2. Australia
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $8.09 billion, 66.4% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $918 million, 58.4% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, Spain, France
> GDP per capita: $44,649

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

1. Saudi Arabia
> Arms imports from US, 2008-2018: $13.72 billion, 59.6% of arms imports
> Arms imports from US, 2018: $3.35 billion, 88.0% of arms imports
> 1st, 2nd, and 3rd largest suppliers (2014-2018): USA, UK, France
> GDP per capita: $48,986