Australia Arms Exports in Reverse

Does everyone this little nightmare of a video?

Well, now you do. Chris Pyne got to fantasize that he was in a Bunnings advert; only he was pedaling weapons and defense technology to overseas governments. The video preceded the Coalition announcement that Australia would adjust its aims and seek to become one of the top 10 exporters of arms in the world.

This is something that I’ve discussed before, particularly in relation to the export of technology to Saudi Arabia to assist in their humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. We are now more than a year on from the June 2018 announcement and it appears that the push to drive up arms exports has gone into reverse.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has released a report that details arms sales figures globally. Australia has fallen from 18th place to 25th place as an arms exporter. What’s more is that Australia has become the world’s second biggest arms importer, behind only Saudi Arabia.

The jump to the top of the defense imports (4th place to 2nd place) would be driven largely by the archaic weapons and technology that the Coalition purchased to poison the budget at the end of their last term.

This isn’t to say that the defense industry in Australia isn’t expanding; only that it is not keeping pace with other nations and maybe that becoming a top 10 arms exporter in a competitive global market is a little over-ambitious.