Connect with us

Politics

Arms Transfers: U.S. and Russia’s Biggest Trading Partners

Published

on

This graphic highlights trade partners for U.S. and Russia arms transfers

Arms Transfers: U.S. and Russia’s Biggest Trading Partners

The increase in conflicts worldwide, including in Ukraine and the Middle East, has shifted global focus back onto arms transfers between countries.

For decades, countries proficient in arms manufacturing have supplied weapons to other countries in demand of them. At the helm of these trades are the U.S. and Russia, which have accounted for 57% of all international arms trades in the last 10 years.

So who are the largest importers of arms from these two countries, and what is the military value of these trades?

With the help of data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) arms transfer database, the above infographic by Ruben Berge Mathisen visualizes the top 50 biggest arms recipients by value for both the U.S. and Russia in the last decade.

The Military Valuation of Arms Transfers

The military valuation of arms is measured in terms of trend-indicator values (TIV). This valuation reflects the military capability of a particular item rather than its financial value.

Every weapon that falls under the conventional definition of major arms is allotted a TIV. The following are the most common weapons and components to be assigned a TIV.

  • Aircraft and armored vehicles
  • Artillery (>100mm in caliber)
  • Sensors and guided missiles, large air defense guns, torpedoes, and bombs
  • 100mm caliber artillery-armed ships (>100-tonne displacement)
  • Reconnaissance satellites and air refueling systems

Instead of focusing on budget, examining TIV makes it easier to measure trends in the flow of arms between particular countries and regions over time, essentially creating a military capability price index.

Biggest Recipients of U.S. Armaments

The United States is the largest exporter of arms globally, responsible for 35% of global exports over the last 10 years to about 130 nations.

Most recently, the biggest market for U.S. arms sales has been in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia being the most prominent recipient of weapons. Over the last decade, the country has purchased 24% of total U.S. arms exports, with components worth over 18 billion TIVs.

Here is a look at the top 50 recipients of arms from the United States:

U.S. Arms Transfer RecipientContinentTIV (Millions)
🇸🇦 Saudi ArabiaAsia18,641
🇦🇺 AustraliaOceania8,668
🇰🇷 South KoreaAsia7,207
🇦🇪 UAEAsia7,190
🇯🇵 JapanAsia5,026
🇮🇳 IndiaAsia4,614
🇬🇧 United KingdomEurope4,332
🇶🇦 QatarAsia4,235
🇹🇼 TaiwanAsia3,789
🇹🇷 TurkeyAsia3,722
🇮🇶 IraqAsia3,532
🇮🇱 IsraelAsia3,460
🇸🇬 SingaporeAsia2,571
🇦🇫 AfghanistanAsia2,547
🇪🇬 EgyptAfrica2,334
🇮🇹 ItalyEurope2,281
🇲🇦 MoroccoAfrica2,281
🇳🇴 NorwayEurope2,196
🇳🇱 NetherlandsEurope2,060
🇰🇼 KuwaitAsia1,900
🇨🇦 CanadaAmericas1,806
🇵🇰 PakistanAsia1,070
🇮🇩 IndonesiaAsia982
🇲🇽 MexicoAmericas782
🇴🇲 OmanAsia779
🇯🇴 JordanAsia675
🇩🇰 DenmarkEurope548
🇧🇷 BrazilAmericas510
🇸🇪 SwedenEurope505
🇨🇴 ColombiaAmericas472
🇵🇭 PhilippinesAsia450
🇫🇷 FranceEurope438
🇫🇮 FinlandEurope389
🇬🇷 GreeceEurope359
🇱🇧 LebanonAsia350
🇹🇭 ThailandAsia342
🇵🇱 PolandEurope336
🇨🇱 ChileAmericas335
🇪🇸 SpainEurope292
🇷🇴 RomaniaEurope275
🇹🇳 TunisiaAfrica251
🇩🇪 GermanyEurope221
🇧🇭 BahrainAsia187
🇵🇹 PortugalEurope179
🇳🇬 NigeriaAfrica154
🇳🇿 New ZealandOceania150
🇧🇩 BangladeshAsia123
🇨🇭 SwitzerlandEurope117
🇻🇳 VietnamAsia108
🇦🇷 ArgentinaAmericas103

The U.S. remains the biggest global exporter of weapons globally, however, sales of military equipment to foreign countries dipped by 21% over the previous fiscal year, dropping from $175 billion in 2020 to $138 billion in 2021.

Biggest Recipients of Russian Armaments

Russia, the world’s second-largest arms dealer, was responsible for 22% of global arms exports between 2011 and 2021.

In terms of TIVs, India remains the biggest importer of Russian weapons by a wide margin. India’s dependency on Russian-made arms is driven by its fight to quell the military assertiveness of China on one side and its constant skirmishes along the Pakistani border on the other.

But despite the continued support of Russia and its President by the Indian Prime Minister, even in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, some reports have shown that India has been looking elsewhere for arms in the last few years.

Let’s take a look at some of the other biggest importers of Russian arms around the world:

Russian Arms Transfer RecipientContinentTIV (Millions)
🇮🇳 IndiaAsia22,869
🇨🇳 ChinaAsia9,419
🇩🇿 AlgeriaAfrica7,235
🇻🇳 VietnamAsia5,554
🇪🇬 EgyptAfrica3,998
🇮🇶 IraqAsia2,015
🇦🇿 AzerbaijanAsia1,967
🇰🇿 KazakhstanAsia1,841
🇻🇪 VenezuelaAmericas1,743
🇸🇾 SyriaAsia1,729
🇧🇾 BelarusEurope1,190
🇲🇲 MyanmarAsia856
🇺🇬 UgandaAfrica611
🇦🇪 UAEAsia578
🇦🇴 AngolaAfrica501
🇮🇩 IndonesiaAsia490
🇮🇷 IranAsia476
🇧🇩 BangladeshAsia454
🇦🇫 AfghanistanAsia441
🇵🇰 PakistanAsia437
🇦🇲 ArmeniaAsia373
🇹🇷 TurkeyAsia344
🇹🇲 TurkmenistanAsia307
🇷🇸 SerbiaEurope296
🇳🇬 NigeriaAfrica249
🇸🇩 SudanAfrica244
🇵🇪 PeruAmericas221
🇯🇴 JordanAsia204
🇲🇳 MongoliaAsia171
🇺🇿 UzbekistanAsia156
🇳🇮 NicaraguaAmericas121
🇱🇦 LaosAsia118
🇰🇼 KuwaitAsia113
🇧🇷 BrazilAmericas98
🇸🇸 South SudanAfrica82
🇲🇱 MaliAfrica73
🇪🇹 EthiopiaAfrica69
🇹🇭 ThailandAsia68
🇿🇦South AfricaAfrica50
🇨🇲 CameroonAfrica45
🇰🇬 KyrgyzstanAsia41
🇷🇼 RwandaAfrica41
🇶🇦 QatarAsia40
🇱🇾 LibyaAfrica36
🇧🇭 BahrainAsia31
🇹🇯 TajikistanAsia30
🇨🇾 CyprusAsia28
🇨🇬 Republic of the CongoAfrica27
🇬🇭 GhanaAfrica27
🇺🇦 Ukraine RebelsEurope24

One relationship of significance is Russia’s provided weapons to Pro-Russia Ukrainian Rebels. Since 2014, Russia has offered arms and training to these rebels in their fight. These have included weapons of all sorts, from pistols and mines to tanks and missile launchers.

Effect of the War on Ukraine on Arms Trades

According to the latest data from SIPRI, the international arms trade fell by 4.6% in the last five-year period. Despite this, Europe has become a new hotspot for arms imports, seeing a 19% increase in arms transfers over the same time period.

Countries like the U.K., Netherlands, and Norway were the largest importers, and other countries might follow suit.

Experts claim that this upsurge is attributed to the crumbling relationship between Russia and Europe. Alarmed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, European countries have been reevaluating their defense budgets—as exemplified by Germany’s recent €100 billion commitment to boost its military strength.

In the coming years, the U.S. and Russia’s biggest arms transfer partners are likely to shift. But which way will arms transfers trend?

green check mark icon

This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

Click for Comments

Politics

How Do Democrats and Republicans Feel About Certain U.S. Industries?

A survey looked at U.S. industry favorability across political lines, showing where Democrats and Republicans are divided over the economy.

Published

on

A cropped chart with the percentage of Democrats and Republicans that found specific U.S. industries "favorable."

Industry Favorability, by Political Party

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Much and more has been written, in the last decade particularly, about the U.S. political sphere becoming increasingly polarized. The two main parties—Democrats and Republicans—have clashed over how to run the economy, as well as on key social issues.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Democrat and Republican voters are also divided on various U.S. industries, per a YouGov poll conducted in 2022.

Between November 7-9th of that year, the market research firm polled 1,000 adult Americans, (sampled to represent prevailing demographic, racial, and political-party-affiliation trends in the country) on their opinions on 39 industries. They asked:

“Generally speaking, do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the following industry?” — YouGov Poll.

In this chart we visualize the percentage with a favorable view of an industry minus those with unfavorable view, categorized by current voter status.

A higher percentage means more Democrats or Republicans rated the industry as favorable, and vice-versa. Negative percentages mean more respondents responded unfavorably.

Democrats vs. Republicans on Industry Favorability

From a glance, it’s immediately noticeable that quite a few industries have divided Democrats and Republics quite severely.

For example, of the sampled Democrats, a net 45%, found Higher Education “favorable.” This is compared to 0% on the Republican side, which means an equal number found the industry favorable and unfavorable.

Here’s the full list of net favorable responses from Democrats and Republicans per industry.

IndustryDemocrat Net
Favorability
Republican Net
Favorability
Agriculture44%55%
Trucking27%55%
Restaurant53%54%
Manufacturing27%53%
Construction23%49%
Dairy45%46%
Higher education45%0%
Technology44%36%
Food manufacturing15%37%
Transportation27%37%
Railroad37%35%
Mining-3%36%
Automotive19%36%
Grocery35%22%
Hotels30%35%
Textiles24%34%
Entertainment34%-17%
Shipping24%33%
Retail31%31%
Book publishing30%29%
Alcohol23%16%
Television22%3%
Waste management15%22%
Education services21%-16%
Wireless carriers19%19%
Broadcasting17%-30%
News media17%-57%
Airlines11%3%
Oil and gas-28%7%
Real-estate-2%6%
Utilities2%6%
Health care3%4%
Fashion4%-6%
Cable-12%3%
Finance2%-2%
Professional sports1%-2%
Insurance-12%-14%
Pharmaceutical-18%-14%
Tobacco-44%-27%

The other few immediately noticeable disparities in favorability include:

  • Mining and Oil and Gas, (more Republicans in favor),
  • Entertainment, Education Services, and News Media (more Democrats in favor).

Tellingly, the larger social and political concerns at play are influencing Democrat and Republican opinions about these parts of the economy.

For example Pew Research pointed out Republicans are dissatisfied with universities for a number of reasons: worries about constraints on free speech, campus “culture wars,” and professors bringing their politics into the classroom.

In contrast, Democrats’ criticisms of higher education revolved around tuition costs and the quality of education offered.

On a more recent note, Citadel CEO Ken Griffin, a big Harvard donor, pulled funding after criticizing universities for educating “whiny snowflakes.” In October, donors to the University of Pennsylvania withdrew their support, upset with the university’s response to the October 7th attacks and subsequent war in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the reasons for differences over media favorability are more obvious. Commentators say being “anti-media” is now part of the larger Republican leadership identity, and in turn, is trickling down to their voters. Pew Research also found that Republicans are less likely to trust the news if it comes from a “mainstream” source.

But these are industries that are already adjacent to the larger political sphere. What about the others?

U.S. Politics and the Climate Crisis

The disparity over how the Oil & Gas and Mining industries are viewed is a reflection, again, of American politics and the partisan divide around the climate crisis and whether there’s a noticeable impact from human activity.

Both industries contribute heavily to carbon emissions, and Democrat lawmakers have previously urged the Biden transition to start planning for the end of fossil-fuel reliance.

Meanwhile, former President Trump, for example, has previously called global warming “a hoax” but later reversed course, clarifying that he didn’t know if it was “man-made.”

When removing the climate context, and related environmental degradation, both industries usually pay high wages and produce materials critical to many other parts of the economy, including the strategic metals needed for the energy transition.

Continue Reading

Subscribe

Popular