I have received more email from a simple graph I posted here and at the Command Post than any other post I have written. I titled the post No Comment Needed. Evidently I was wrong. Given the obvious interest in the subject, I have created a simpler graph based upon the data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). As SIPRI's name implies, they are a Swedish foundation. They are peace researchers and also track those who sell weapons with the hopes public pressure will reduce weapon sales.
This new graph is based on the same data. However, since the overwhelming majority of the comments focused on the differences between the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), this graph only shows the weapon sales of these five countries by name. The remaining 17.5% sold by other countries is simply captured under Others.
Please note that the data only goes through 1990. This is why you may see news information about weapons provided by firms from other countries (e.g., Jordan, Germany, etc.) that is not captured here. SIPRI only felt confident in their information up to 1990. After Saddam invaded Kuwait, any and all arm trades to Iraq would be a violation of the United Nation sanctions. Obviously, these sellers did everything possible to hide these sales and SIPRI certainly does not have all of this information.
The percentages were based upon the dollar value of the weapons sold. In US dollars (all converted to 1990 dollars by SIPRI), Iraq had purchased 43.9 billion dollars of conventional weapons.