"The world is awash with weapons. From Syria and Iraq, to the deserts of the Sahel, to the Nigerian bush, it’s a good time to be a guerrilla fighter — in no small part because it’s so outrageously easy to acquire the kind of weaponry necessary to carry out insurgent warfare"
That fact of 21st century life is made clear by the most recent edition of the Small Arms Survey: Weapons and the World, a report that found the value of the global small arms trade has nearly doubled between 2001 and 2011. Since then, it has continued to increase, with just over $5 billion in arms transferred in 2012. Because of the opaque nature of the global small arms market the full total may very well be higher.
In all, the United States continues to dominate the global small arms market, both in terms of exports:
I wouldn't assume that everything the US imports stays within the borders of the US either.
Notice the big leap in both imports and exports around the time of the so called Arab springs?
Would the springs have occurred without all those arms being made available?
"Small arms pose unique challenges to efforts to control the worldwide flow of weapons. Defined as revolvers and self-loading pistols, rifles and carbines, sub-machine guns, assault rifles, and light machine guns, small arms are both relatively easy to transport and form the bulk of weaponry used by insurgent movements in the world today. Arm a band of reasonably well-trained fighters with assault rifles, a few machine guns, and a couple pick-up trucks, and you’ll in all likelihood end up with a fairly capable guerrilla fighting force"
While the Small Arms Survey advocates for restraint in supplying weapons to these unstable regions, several Western governments have nonetheless provided arms to rebel groups seen as allies against either extremist groups or repressive regimes. Western arms shipments to Kurdish Peshmerga forces, for example, present significant risks both of misuse and that they will end up in the wrong hands. Case in point: When U.S. fighter jets dropped crates of weapons to Kurdish forces besieged in the Syrian city of Kobani, some of the lethal supplies were picked up by the Islamic State.Of course the weapons were picked up by the Islamic State. They were dropped off for them to use! FINALLY- Pay particular attention to the position of Russia in this chart- The stats just don't live up to the hype?