Deep fears about the war in Iraq and growing tension between the United States and Iran are driving the wealthy oil states of the Persian Gulf to go on shopping sprees for helicopters, ships and tanks, officials say. Some 900 weapons makers and security firms from around the world, including the U.S. and Russia, will compete for those military buys at the IDEX military show that opens Sunday in Abu Dhabi. At stake are contracts predicted to soar past the $2 billion signed at the last such show two years ago. ”The shopping lists are directly correlated to the threat perception,” said military analyst Mustafa Alani of the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center. “For the past 15 years, these countries didn’t invest a lot in rearming.” But now they’re rushing to upgrade. Full Story
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