WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- More than 75 percent of the legitimate international weapons trade came from U.S. military sales, largely to Persian Gulf allies, a report says.
The Congressional Research Service said more than 75 percent of the weapons traded, or around $66.3 billion, came from sales by the U.S. government, a review of government records from The New York Times reports.
U.S. weapons sales in 2010 were reported at $21.4 billion. Russian arms sales last year came in second at $4.8 billion.
U.S. military assets have been positioned in the Persian Gulf to protect shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz, a key conduit for oil transits from the region.
Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the U.S. State Department, had said the missile threat to U.S. forces deployed overseas was growing.
"The U.S. will continue to work with our partners in the Middle East to strengthen missile defense in the Persian Gulf," he said during a recent press briefing.
U.S. Defense Department documents reviewed recently by Times indicate there are plans to send $4.2 billion in advanced missile systems to Kuwait. The United Arab Emirates was the recipient of more than $12 billion in U.S. missile defense programs during the past four years.