The New Arms Race in the Middle East [Video]

As violence escalates across the Middle East and North Africa, the United States remains the largest exporter of weapons to the region, and private US defense companies and contractors have opened local offices as the demand shows no sign of abating.

VICE News traveled to this year’s International Defense Exhibition and Conference in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi to examine the competition between arms manufacturers vying for a greater portion of the lucrative market.

From Abu Dhabi we traveled to Iraq, where US weapons have fallen into the hands of non-state actors such as the so-called Islamic State militant group, Kurdish Peshmerga, and militias aligned with the Iraqi government. Rather than block sales, the US government and others actively promote them — ensuring there will be enough arms to fuel the region’s wars and revolts for years to come.

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