ISLAMABAD: State Views
Report: Syed Khurram Ali
Any supply of Military Weapons around the globe in shape of sale, gifts, aid or even making via manufacturing licenses is termed as Arms Transfer. Measuring arms flow is not that easy due to several associated challenges as sine deals are not exposed, while many contracts with other arms industries remain secret.
There are several institutes, agencies and think tanks working on different parameters to measure arms flow and associated thing in the world. For Example, UN International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS), UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Homicide Statistics, SEESAC Performance Indicators for Monitoring and Evaluation of SALW Control Programmes , UNPoA Implementation Support System (UNPoAISS), Implementation Monitoring Project, UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) and Small Arms Survey (SAS), UN Register of Conventional Arms, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) Arms Transfer Database, Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT), Gunpolicy.org, and UN Panel of Experts reports.
All UN member countries are requested to submit a report on annual exports and imports of major arms, small and light weapons on a voluntary basis to United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA). But according to SIPRI yearbook 2017,’ Armaments, Disarmament and International Security’, Only 25 percent of UN member nations have reported and participation by countries in the conflict-prone Middle East and African regions has been very low.
Most of the data covered by reports published under the banner of any of these institutes mostly data about major conventional weapons e.g. armored vehicles, missiles, radar systems, artillery, aircraft and ships solely designed for military purposes are covered. While data about transfer of peripheral military equipment like light weapons and small arms, small artillery, military trucks and vehicles, ammunition and support equipment, technology, communication systems, and other services are usually excluded from these reports.
Global Transnational Flow of Arms 2014-18
Let us have a glance at the global transnational flow of arms during 2014-18 in this report. According to the latest statistics published by SIPRI on 11th March 2019 the volume of international transfer of major arms during 2014-18 increases. According to the report, during 2014-18 an increase of 7.8 percent is seen compared to 2009-13.
During 2014-18 the top five largest exporters of arms were USA, Russia, France, Germany and China by an aggregate 75% of total arms export around the globe. The arms flow towards Middle East increases during 2014-18 compared to 2009-13, while a decline is seen in all other regions.
According to Director Arms and Military Expenditure Programme at SIPRI, Dr. Sude Fleurant, “The USA has further solidified her position as the world’s leading arms supplier”. Russia has to face a decrease in arms exports during 2014-18 due to decline in supplies to Venezuela and India. France showed a 43 percent increase while Germany increased its supplies to 13 percent. Whereas, with a 195 percent increase during 2014-18 now China is the fifth largest exporter of arms in the world. Then came other nations like, Israel, South Korea, and Turkey who have shown a remarkable increase during 2014-18.
Arms Flow in South Asia
South Asia is considered one of the most volatile regions in the world. The constantly high flow of arms in South Asia is not only compounding and inflaming ongoing conflicts but also worsening new potential threats in the region.
Despite many restrictions of selling arms are imposed on both major nations of South Asia; India and Pakistan are still capable of purchasing arms and ammunition. These both nations are purchasing arms from all top five arms suppliers of the world i.e. USA, Russia, France, Germany, and China. While as per her relations with Israel, India is also acquiring many types of advanced military equipment and weapons from Israel.
Besides this import of conventional arms, both countries are also working on increasing their exports of defense equipment to other nations. During years 2009-18, it is evident that India got her major supplies from Russia, while Pakistan is purchasing Chinese weaponry.
According to stats provided by The World Bank for the year 2017. In 2017, India’s arms export was 5.6 Billion US Dollars compared to 0.3 Billion US Dollars of Pakistan. While it is expected that this has increased in the year 2018, as both countries are working on increasing their exports.
India: second largest major arms importer during 2014-18
According to the Siemon T. Wezeman as a senior researcher at SIPRI, India has placed large orders for the purchase of major arms from international suppliers but due to several reasons, there are delays in delivery. While China has reduced her import as they have now developed their own production and designing industry of modern weaponry.
From year 2014-18, India was the world’s second largest importer of major arms i.e. 9.5 percent of the global total arms import. For the last full decade, India remained among the top five countries in terms of arms import.
According to latest report “Trends in International Arms Transfers- 2018” published by Sweden based think tank SIPRI, in last five years i.e. from 2014 to 2018 Russia accounted for 58 percent of Indian Arms import as compared to 76 percent back in 2009-13.
While according to the statistics provided in report, India remained one of the biggest market for arms of Israel, US and France during 2014-18. Which, showed decline of their arms deals with Russia.
During years 2014-17, India was the largest country in the world importing major arms from international arms suppliers with a total share of world’s 12 percent arms.
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