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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the biggest arms purchaser of them all?

At Mere Rhetoric, Omri points out that the biggest arms purchaser in the Middle East during 2002-2005 was not Israel. In fact, according to Omri, Israel wasn't even the second biggest purchaser. That honor went to Egypt. The top prize went to the Saudis. Israel came in a distant third.

Of the many disagreements between MR and the left, one of the most fundamental involves the sources for global instability. We tend to say that Palestinians who endanger Palestinian civilians and murder Israeli civilians are responsible for the deaths of civilians, while the left prefers to blame Israel because they can't be bothered to remember what happened yesterday (seriously, dealing with these people is like arguing with Memento).

Another difference is that the left always demonizes Israel as the greatest source of regional instability, arguing that Israel's arms imports cause arms races across the Middle East. We, on the other hand, insist that Egypt is one disgruntled general away from being the most dangerous country on Earth. Now without peeking, whose side do you think is supported by the data in Richard F. Grimmett's CRS Report for Congress, "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1998-2005":

Table 1H gives the values of arms transfer agreements with the Near East nations by suppliers or categories of suppliers for the periods 1998-2001 and 2002-2005. These values are expressed in current U.S. dollars. They are a subset of the data contained in Table 1 and Table 1C. Among the facts reflected by this table are the following:

For the most recent period, 2002-2005, the principal purchasers of U.S. arms in the Near East region, based on the value of agreements were: Egypt ($5.2 billion), Saudi Arabia ($4.2 billion), and Israel ($2.5 billion).

Read the whole thing.


At 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Carl, please provide your atom feed in full. :)

At 5:45 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Not sure I understand what you mean. As far as I know my atom feed is working.


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