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

Subscribe to Visual Capitalist
Click for Comments

Politics

Which Populations Feel Their Country is on the Wrong Track?

New polling data shows that, in many parts of the world, people feel that their countries are on a downward trajectory.

Published

on

Which Populations Feel Their Country is on the Wrong Track?

Plato once used the allegory of a Ship of Fools to push for his vision of a wise philosopher-king as the ideal pilot for a ship of state.

Looking at the most recent numbers from Morning Consult Political Intelligence’s Projections of Country Trajectories, you would be forgiven for thinking that a great many people believe that their ship of state is piloted by fools.

With the impact of the pandemic, rising inflation, and growing geopolitical instability, it’s probably not surprising that most respondents feel their countries are on the wrong track; India and Switzerland were notable exceptions.

Below are some of the stand-out stories that we found digging through the data.

United States

Midterm elections have rarely been kind to the incumbent party in U.S. politics and the cost of living crisis, an unpopular president, and the aftermath of the global pandemic pointed towards an electoral bloodbath. This year’s election was also expected to set a new spending record, with over $9 billion raised.

Even so, despite 72% of respondents thinking that the country is on the wrong track, the governing Democrats have defied expectations and posted a historic performance during the November 8, 2022, midterm elections. To put this into context, in a president’s first term, there have been three previous instances (since 1922) of the incumbent’s party gaining (or not losing) Senate seats and losing fewer than 10 seats in the House.

u.s. sentiment trajectory 2020-2022

Also worth noting is the large spike in negative sentiment in January 2021, following the U.S. Capitol attack, followed by the convergence of negative and positive sentiments as the peaceful transition of power became more assured.

Brazil

Horace, in Odes 1.14, describes a ship of state that is flailing at sea that eventually rights itself, claiming towards the end of the poem that “it’s my longing and no light love you carry.”

Something like that may be happening in Brazil following the loss of the often turbulent, COVID-19-denying President Jair Bolsonaro to political rival Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in an Oct. 20, 2022, election runoff.

Brazil sentiment trajectory 2020-2022

However, with respondents evenly split on where the country is going and the presidential election results being so close (50.9% vs. 49.1%), Lula will have his hands full governing a divided country.

India

While sentiment was overwhelmingly negative in almost every country tracked in this survey, India stood out as an outlier. India has consistently maintained a positive sentiment of between 60% and 80%, which is something only Switzerland comes close to.

india sentiment trajectory 2020-2022

The only blip was a brief period during the spring of 2021. This coincided with a deadly second wave of COVID-19 infections in the country, on top of country-wide protests against the Narendra Modi government’s deeply unpopular farm bill.

United Kingdom

The data here covers the three most recent UK Prime Ministers: Boris Johnson, Liz Truss, and now Rishi Sunak, the first South Asian to hold the post.

uk sentiment trajectory 2020-2022

In January 2020, Johnson had just won a Tory majority and succeeded in “Getting Brexit Done.” Political scandals and the government’s pandemic response pushed the trendline down. It only recovered briefly in the spring of 2021, following Russia’s invasion of the Donbas region of Ukraine, which Johnson was widely seen as handling well. A personal visit to Kyiv on April 9, 2022, helped cement this.

Then followed Prime Minister Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget of Sept. 23, 2022, which saw the pound fall to the lowest-ever level against the dollar and the Bank of England intervene in the bond markets. The ascension of Rishi Sunak to No. 10 Downing Street has only just begun to turn around the low of 89% negative sentiment reported on Oct 23-25, 2022.

To quote the BBC comedy series, Yes, Minister, in another context, “the ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top.”

Continue Reading

Politics

Visualized: The Biggest Donors of the 2022 U.S. Midterm Elections

A record-smashing $9 billion has been raised for the 2022 midterm elections. See who the top 10 donors are in this graphic.

Published

on

Visualized: The Biggest Donors of the 2022 U.S. Midterm Elections

This year’s midterm election is expected to set a new spending record, with over $9 billion being raised. This is significantly higher than the previous record of $7 billion, which was set in 2018.

According to a recent analysis by the Washington Post, $1 billion of these funds can be attributed to the top 50 donors. In typical Visual Capitalist style, we’ve illustrated this data to provide you with better insight.

Overview of the Data

The following table lists the top 10 individual donors of the 2022 midterm elections.

RankNameAffiliationTotal Donation (USD millions)
#1George SorosDemocrat$129
#2Elizabeth & Richard UihleinRepublican$70
#3Kenneth GriffinRepublican$66
#4Jeffrey YassRepublican$48
#5Sam Bankman-FriedDemocrat$39
#6Stephen SchwarzmanRepublican$33
#7Timothy MellonRepublican$33
#8Larry EllisonRepublican$31
#9Peter ThielRepublican$30
#10Patrick & Shirley RyanRepublican$27

Sorting this top 10 donor list by party, we can see that $168 million was raised for the Democrats, and $338 million for the Republicans.

Continue reading below for some interesting background info on all 10 of these individuals. Net worth values were gathered from Forbes on November 1, 2022.

George Soros (Net worth: $7B)

George Soros is a Hungarian-born American billionaire, widely known for his philanthropical efforts and for “breaking” the Bank of England. He has had an illustrious career as a hedge fund manager, founding Soros Fund Management in 1970. Visit this page to see the top 100 holdings of Soros Fund Management’s portfolio.

Soros has donated over $30 billion of his fortune to various causes and charities. He is the founder and chairman of two Super PACs (political action committees) named Democracy PAC and Democracy PAC II.

Unlike regular PACs, Super PACs face no limits in terms of fundraising or political spending.

Elizabeth & Richard Uihlein (Combined net worth: $7B)

Elizabeth & Richard Uihlein are the founders of Uline, one of North America’s largest distributors of logistics supplies (boxes, tape, gloves, etc.). The company makes several billion in sales per year.

The couple have gained media attention for making substantial donations to the Republican party. According to Forbes, the Uihleins have donated a total of $194 million since the 1990s.

Kenneth Griffin (Net worth: $31B)

Kenneth Griffin is the founder and CEO of Citadel, a hedge fund based in the U.S. He also owns Citadel Securities, which is the largest market maker on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

Market makers act as a middleman in financial markets by facilitating buy and sell orders for investors. Using equities (stocks) as an example, when a market maker receives an order from a buyer, it sells shares from its own inventory. This enables the stock market to run smoothly.

Griffin found himself in the spotlight during the GameStop short squeeze when his firm provided emergency funding to Melvin Capital Management.

Jeffrey Yass (Net worth: $30B)

Once a pro gambler, Jeffrey Yass is a cofounder of Susquehanna International Group (SIG), a successful trading firm based in Philadelphia. SIG specializes in quantitative research and trading, which involves the use of computer algorithms to identify opportunities.

Yass is frequently cited as the richest person in the state of Pennsylvania and has gained media attention for his large political contributions.

Sam Bankman-Fried (Net worth: $17B)

Sam Bankman-Fried is the founder and CEO of FTX, which is currently the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange behind Binance and Coinbase. The company is based in the Bahamas and offers trading in more than 300 cryptocurrencies.

In May 2022, Bankman-Fried declared that he was willing to donate “north of $100 million” in the upcoming 2024 presidential election. He has since backtracked this comment.

At some point, when you’ve given your message to voters, there’s just not a whole lot more you can do.
– Sam Bankman-Fried

Stephen Schwarzman (Net worth: $35B)

Stephen Schwarzman is the chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group, a globally recognized private equity firm. Blackstone’s portfolio of companies includes Ancestry.com, a well-known family history service, and Bumble, a popular online dating platform.

Shown below, Schwarzman’s wealth has increased substantially since 2020.

The bulk of Schwarzman’s political contributions have gone towards the Senate Leadership Fund, an independent Super PAC which aims to build a Republican Senate majority.

Timothy Mellon (Family net worth: $11B)

Timothy Mellon was the chairman and majority owner of Pan Am Systems, a privately held company with operations in transportation, manufacturing, and energy. In November 2020, CSX Corporation announced it had signed an agreement to purchase Pan Am. The sale was approved in April 2022.

Mellon made headlines in 2021 when it was revealed that he made a whopping $53 million donation to the Texas border wall fund. At the time of reporting, this represented 98% of total funding.

Larry Ellison (Net worth: $102B)

Larry Ellison is the chairman and cofounder of Oracle, one of the world’s largest software companies. Oracle is listed on the NYSE and has a market cap of over $200 billion. Ellison was also a Tesla board member from December 2018 to August 2022.

The vast majority of his political contributions have gone towards the Opportunity Matters Fund, which supports candidates who promote the Opportunity Agenda. It calls for enhanced financial literacy, apprenticeships, and education options.

Peter Thiel (Net worth: $4B)

Peter Thiel is a successful entrepreneur and venture capitalist, perhaps best known for cofounding PayPal. He also cofounded Palantir Technologies, a data analytics company, and is a general partner of Founders Fund, a venture capital firm with investments in major names such as SpaceX.

Thiel is one of the Republican Party’s largest donors, a position that sets him apart from many other Silicon Valley figures. In February 2022, it was reported that he would be stepping down as a Meta board member.

Patrick and Shirley Ryan (Patrick’s net worth: $9B)

Patrick Ryan is the founder and retired CEO of AON Corporation, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. In 2010, he founded another company known as Ryan Specialty Group, which provides services to insurance brokers.

Together with his wife Shirley, the Ryans have made large donations towards the Senate Leadership Fund and other Republican groups.

Continue Reading

Subscribe

Popular