Egypt uprisings, American weapons. Now what?

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

FORTUNE — Hosni Mubarak and Zine El Abidine Ben-Ali have been forced out of Eygpt and Tunisia, but their arms stockpiles, furnished in large by American defense contractors, are still there. The U.S. government has sold billions of dollars worth of planes, tanks, and missiles to Middle Eastern countries in recent years. As power shifts in the region, so too will control of those weapons.

American arms exports to the Middle East, fueled by oil money and a shared distrust of Iran, have been quietly booming. Between 2006 and 2009, the Department of Defense sold nearly $50 billion worth of weapons to the region, according to the Congressional Research Service, which tracks exports coordinated by the government on behalf of private contractors. Annual sales agreements with Middle Eastern countries have more than quadrupled since 2000. (See this interactive graphic: Up in arms) LINK HERE


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