The independent resource on global security

The Arms Trade with the Third World

Publisher: Almqvist & Wiksell
ISBN 391-00-197-3
910 pp.
  • What are the economic forces behind arms exports?
  • How has the supply of arms contributed to US and Soviet involvement in the Middle East conflict?
  • Who supplied arms to whom in the Indo-Pakistani War? the June War of 1967? the Nigerian Civil War? the conflict in Southern Africa?
  • Do military coups affect the demand for weapons?
  • Can third world countries produce their own weapons?
  • What are the obstacles to an agreement to halt the trade in arms?

These and many other questions are discussed in The Arms Trade with the Third World. This study brings together all the political, economic and military dimensions of the trade in weapons with third world countries. A study of the arms trade is crucial not merely because this is the route by which stocks of weapons in the third world are built up. It is also one important means by which the competition between rich countries is extended throughout the world and absorbs local disputes and wars.



Part I. General survey and proposals

1. General survey

2. Proposals concerning the arms trade


Part II. The suppliers

3. The United States

4. The Soviet Union

5. The United Kingdom

6. France

7. Italy

8. Canada

9. The Federal Republic of Germany

10. Japan

11. Sweden

12. Switzerland

13. The People's Republic of China

14. The economic pressures to export

Appendix 14.1. The cost of producing a typical military aircraft


Part III. The recipients

15. The Far East

16. The Indian Sub-Continent

17. The Middle East

18. North Africa

19. Sub-Saharan Africa

20. South Africa

21. Latin America

22. Domestic defence production in Third World countries


Part IV. Reference material

Appendix 1. Sources and methods

Appendix 2. Government statistics

Appendix 3. Trade statistics

Appendix 4. Maintenance and operating costs for certain types of war material

Appendix 5. Glossary of weapons

Appendix 6. Country registers

Appendix 7. Aggregate tables


Frank Blackaby was Director of SIPRI between 1981–86.
Professor Mary Kaldor is Professor of Global Governance and Director of the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit at the London School of Economics.