The institute, which on April 11 released its yearbook for 2010, said
major oil producers in Africa for military procurement, Middle East Newsline reported. The Algerian
military procurement was said to mark an arms race with neighboring Morocco.
"In recent years concerns have been expressed that regional rivals
Algeria and Morocco are engaged in an arms race," the report said. "SIPRI
data shows that the overwhelming majority of arms transfers to North Africa
for the period 2005–2009 were destined for Algeria."
The report said the Algerian-Moroccan arms race could influence Libyan
defense spending. Morocco has already placed orders for F-16 fighter-jets,
Sigma-class frigates and missiles.
SIPRI said major weapons recipients between 2005 and 2009 were Greece
and the United Arab Emirates. Israel and Algeria were ranked sixth and ninth
during that period.
"Recent arms acquisitions by certain states in Latin America, the Middle
East, North Africa and South East Asia suggest that a pattern of reactive
arms acquisitions is emerging, that could develop into regional arms races,"
the report said. "Asian and Middle Eastern countries are expected to remain
among the world's largest importers."
The United States was deemed the leading military supplier to the Middle
East. One market identified by the institute was Iraq, whose military has
been developed by Washington.
"Iraq continues to rely on the USA for the provision of equipment to
rebuild its armed forces, but has also received arms from Russia, Ukraine,
Hungary, Italy, Poland and Turkey," the report said. "Its ambitious
procurement plans have been hit by the economic crisis and declining oil
prices. Nevertheless, the timetable for the withdrawal of US forces from
Iraq lends a sense of urgency to international efforts to provide Iraq with
the arms and military equipment it seeks to meet its perceived internal and
external security needs."