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Conventional Weapons

In 1999 global military spending rose, marking an end to the sharp decline in spending from Cold War-era peak levels. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), worldwide defense spending grew to approximately U.S. $780 billion in 1999 ($719 billion in constant 1995 U.S. dollars), the most recent year for which figures were available in October 2000. SIPRI attributed this increase of about 2 percent from 1998 to resurgent spending by a handful of the world's largest military spenders and higher military expenditures by African countries engaged in armed conflicts.

Competition for weapons contracts remained intense, with many arms suppliers vying for clients and a few countries dominating the market for expensive weapons systems. The United States Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported the delivery of arms worth $18.4 billion by the U.S., more than half the total value of arms deliveries worldwide. The United Kingdom ranked second, delivering $4.5 billion in weapons, and Russia third, delivering $2.7 billion. These top three arms exporters together accounted for 75 percent of global arms deliveries, which declined from $36.4 billion in 1998 to about $34 billion in 1999.

In addition to completed arms deliveries, another $30.3 billion in arms sales were negotiated worldwide in 1999, a sharp increase over the previous year's figure of $22.98 billion. The United States once again dominated the field, negotiating almost $11.8 billion in agreements, followed by Russia, whose efforts to boost arms exports resulted in $4.8 billion in agreements, a sizable jump from $2.6 billion the previous year. The value of third-ranked Germany's arms transfers agreements slipped to $4 billion from $5.1 billion in 1998.

Human Rights Watch World Report 2000

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