BUSINESS

U.S. Arms Sales Tripled In 2011 To $66.3 Billion: Report

Singapore, SINGAPORE:  A F-15 Eagle flies past during an airshow display at the Asian Aerospace 2006 exhibition in Singapore,
Singapore, SINGAPORE: A F-15 Eagle flies past during an airshow display at the Asian Aerospace 2006 exhibition in Singapore, 21 February 2006. Asia's premier airshow, Asian Aerospace, opened to showcase civilian and military equipment from around the globe with more than 900 exhibitors from 43 countries displaying their gear at the event which runs until 26 February. AFP PHOTO/ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Worldwide weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011, according to a new report by the Congressional Research Service.

U.S. arms sales to both developed and developing nations reached $66.3 billion last year, up from $21.4 billion in 2010, the report found. Russia, the nation with the second highest weapon sales, sold $4.8 billion worth of arms. Meanwhile, total worldwide weapon sales nearly doubled to $85.3 billion, making the U.S. responsible for more than three-quarters of the global total.

Some of the biggest purchasers of U.S. weapons were Middle Eastern nations, including Saudi Arabia, whose purchase of 84 advanced F-15 fighters in part accounted for a $30 billion bill. The U.S. also sold around $2 billion worth of antimissile batteries to Taiwan, a deal that stoked the ire of China and caused tension during a diplomatic Chinese military visit last July.

For its part, Russia has also faced criticism for its weapons dealings with Syria, which remains embroiled in a civil war since March 2011.

The United Nations failed to reach a consensus last month on a treaty to increase regulation of the arms industry, but further talks are expected leading up to a possible vote by the end of the year.

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