Photograph by Feriq Ferec/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The U.S. has begun bombing Syria in an effort to stop ISIL’s progress in the Middle East. The terrorist group is well-armed and well-financed, thanks to the millions of dollars a day it makes selling oil. Despite the attacks by U.S. warplanes, ISIL is still capable of outgunning its opponents, as evidenced by a recent attack on an army base in western Iraq where the militants rolled up in a convoy of armored Humvees.
Time and time again, we see that the so-called enemy is using weapons originally from America. It’s not surprising that they would fall into such hands, given how much the U.S. exports every year.
According to trade data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, in just the first seven months of 2014, America had already exported $557 million worth of guided missile technology to more than 20 countries around the globe.
Five of the top six—and six of the top 10—countries listed are in the Middle East, a clear center of the action in current global diplomacy and conflict. The current year’s total of $557 million in exports after seven months puts the U.S. on pace to export $955 million—almost exactly a billion dollars—for the entire year. That would be half the value of last year’s exports but well in line with the previous three years.