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World arms sales down sharply in 2010

The arms business has stopped booming

Activity in the global arms trade declined 38 percent last year, according to a report released by the US Congressional Research Service.  Sales dropped from $65.2 billion in 2009 to $40.4 billion, the lowest level since 2003.

In spite of its financial crisis the US continues to lead the pack with 57.2% of the market, far ahead of second-place Russia with 19.3%.  The other top arms-exporting countries in descending order include France, United Kingdom, China, Germany and Italy.

The document, considered one of the most detailed reports available to the public, said that developed countries account for the majority of the global arms trade.  Developing countries that export the tools of war were led by India, followed by Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, Algeria, Syria, South Korea, Singapore and Jordan.

Author Richard Grimmett attributed the reduction to uncertainties in the global economy.