Thom Shanker in NYT:
Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011. Russia was a distant second, with $4.8 billion in deals.
The American weapons sales total was an “extraordinary increase” over the $21.4 billion in deals for 2010, the study found, and was the largest single-year sales total in the history of United States arms exports. The previous high was in fiscal year 2009, when American weapons sales overseas totaled nearly $31 billion.
A worldwide economic decline had suppressed arms sales over recent years. But increasing tensions with Iran drove a set of Persian Gulf nations — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Oman — to purchase American weapons at record levels.
These Gulf states do not share a border with Iran, and their arms purchases focused on expensive warplanes and complex missile defense systems.
Tripling of arms sales in 2011, with a good half of them going to the GCC. Under the administration of a president who received a Nobel peace prize partly in expectation of future work towards peace.