Mama mia!

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Gettsyburg battlefield, Devil’s Den (after Alexander Gardner sort of). The kid was in Union uniform but I shot him anyway (pardon the pun).

[2012]   You might imagine that the USA is the world’s biggest arms exporter and you would be correct, at least based on the simple dollar count. With around $8.5 billion in weapons sales (2010 figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) America beats out Russia’s approximately $6 billion to take the gold medal in the international merchant-of-death stakes. Bronze goes to that great exporting nation, Germany, which sells a bit over $2 billion worth of armaments annually.

However, we get the really interesting figures when we do some number crunching to see how a country’s arms sales stack up on a per capita basis. Then the USA falls to joint fourth on the table along with France and Germany (all with approximately $28,000 worth of arms exports per head). Russia manages third with a very respectable $42,000 per capita. In second place comes the world’s tiniest arsenal, Israel, which flogs an impressive $62,000 of weapons per Israeli per annum.

The arms-export-per-capita crown though goes to the land of ABBA and the Billy bookcase. Each year, peace-loving Sweden exports a whopping $89,000 worth of arms per citizen, more than three times the ratio achieved by the Americans.

Mamma mia! That peace institute in Stockholm has got its work cut out.