Most of the leading buyers of American military hardware in 2008 had two characteristics in common: they speak Arabic and their governments are opposed to democracy and basic freedoms. Information compiled by the Congressional Research Service revealed that the biggest recipients of U.S. arms sales last year were (in order): the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Iraq and Egypt. With the exception of the popularly-elected government in Baghdad, all of these American military partners are ruled by autocratic or theocratic regimes.
The leading defense contractors manufacturing the weapons for these governments are Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, and Raytheon.
Earlier this month, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the potential for $2.2 billion of new weapons sales to Arab dictatorships, in particular $1.2 billion worth to Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt for air-to-surface missiles, anti-ship missiles, aircraft engines, and Fast Missile Crafts (FMC). The rest of the proposed weapons sales are for the royal families of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
U.S. Arms Sales: Agreements with and Deliveries to Major Clients, 2001-2008 (by Richard F. Grimmett, Congressional Research Service) (pdf)
US DSCA Announces Numerous Foreign Military Sale Opportunities in Middle East (Defence Professionals)
Bahraini armed forces in 2008.