“I don’t view it as a major consequence and it is more symbolic than anything,” said Cole Bockenfeld, deputy director of policy at .
“What’s changed during the Obama administration is that increasing arms sales has become a standardized component of diplomacy at all levels of government, not just in the defense department,” Bockenfeld told Motherboard.
“For US diplomats to become the salesmen, that has been a new element which really increased exports.”
Its most important client is India, which was the second largest arms importer behind Saudi Arabia at $34 billion over a period of seven years, as well as Latin American countries such as Venezuela.
Under Putin, Russia has ramped up its military footprint in the Middle East by supporting Bashar Al Assad’s regime in Syria, driving the Qatari and Saudi-backed rebels out of earlier this month with multiple civilian casualties.
It has been accused of using such as that burn their victims and have flattened whole areas of eastern Aleppo.
As the proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran involving Syria and Yemen continue to devastate the region, there is hardly any sign of demilitarization.
Qatar alone signed deals for more than $17 billion last year and has to continue supporting the battered rebels, even if president elect Donald Trump pulls back military support for them.
Trump recently lambasted defense firm Lockheed Martin for their $400 billion F-35 fighter jet program with the Pentagon as ‘out of control’ spending on , but Bockenfeld sees no major change in policy from the outgoing .
“I don’t see the use of arms sales as leverage as very likely in the next administration.”