Why the global arms trade is booming
Last month the emirate of Abu Dhabi held the International Defence Exhibition and Conference, the Middle East's largest arms fair. The four-day event was a roaring success, playing host to 1,235 exhibitors and a record number of delegates. On the last day, the United Arab Emirates announced $5.2bn worth of weapons purchases from suppliers including France, Russia and America. The Gulf state’s hunger for big guns is hardly exceptional. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a think-tank, recently released data showing that transfers of big weapons in 2012-16 reached their highest volume for any five-year period since the end of the cold war. At a time when international trade is flagging, why is the global arms trade doing so well?
This is an excerpt of an article I wrote for The Economist. Read it in full by clicking here