10 Things to Know about U.S. Policy in the Middle East: “The Middle East is the destination of the majority of American arms

exports, creating enormous profits for weapons manufacturers and

contributing greatly to the militarization of this already

overly-militarized region. Despite promises of restraint, U.S. arms

transfers to the region have topped $60 billion since the Gulf War. Arms

sales are an important component of building political alliances between

the U.S. and Middle Eastern countries, particularly with the military

leadership of recipient countries. There is a strategic benefit for the

U.S. in having U.S.-manufactured systems on the ground in the event of a

direct U.S. military intervention. Arms sales are also a means of

supporting military industries faced with declining demand in Western



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