Procurement: November 21, 1999


Industry analysts doubt that the rich Gulf Arab states will return to the arms market in any strength for several years. After the Persian Gulf War, these countries went on an arms-buying binge fueled by the higher oil prices from that era. Since then, oil prices have declined, reaching a low point in 1998. While oil prices have climbed during 1999, the Gulf Arab states are using the money for increased social spending (demanded by their populations) and to maintain existing contracts, rather than starting major new purchases. The Gulf Arab states have also had difficulty absorbing previously-bought equipment. Expanding their armies and bringing in more high-tech equipment has required them to employ more and better-educated soldiers, and recruiting them is taking more time and money than had been expected. --Stephen V Cole


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