By Alexis Richeson, The Chronicle
Major weapon sales in the past five years (2012-2017) were 10 percent higher than sales between 2008 and 2012, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. This is due to a drive for power, increased threats of violence between countries, and emerging civil wars.
The U.S. accounts for 34 percent of those weapons sales globally, and is the leading power in arms sales. Russia, the second leading power, sells 58 percent less weapons than the U.S. does, according to the BBC.
The Trump administration in the U.S. has recently imposed sanctions on China for buying missiles from Russia. There has been controversy regarding whether or not the U.S. created these sanctions in order to decrease competition on a global scale in arms trade. As the largest superpower in weapons sales, the United States stands to gain a large base of trading partners with the trade sanctions now imposed upon China.
Sanctioning other countries for their relations with Russia with the goal of accruing capital creates a basis for possible international violence. Intervening between countries trading with one another affects the countries’ access to weapons, and could spark violence between those countries and the United States. This raises questions regarding how much power one country should be allowed to carry in trade, and whether the country that deals the most weapons automatically should be in charge of policing trade within other countries.