The economist article this past November, Arms and the African: The Continent's armies are going on a spending spree highlights some startling spending figures going on across the African continent. It also highlights a pet peeve of mine--it is so annoying when an article doesn't just hyperlink it's source...I mean what does the economist think--it's 2005 or something?
Anyway, it is astounding the amount of tanks and jets that countries are buying--and wholly unnecessary in 95% of the cases. Nearly every one of these countries would be better off creating a coast guard and spending the air budget on transport planes. Unfortunately, the majority of the blame should be placed on the countries selling them equipment that they don't need and that they can't operate properly and maintain long-term. Reading through the meagre SIPRI research, though, they don't (or didn't have access to) break out the spending by donor country. So ultimately, the ECONOMIST article is nothing more than a teaser for which there isn't the desired research hasn't been done yet.
For grad students, HOWEVER, a great research topic (wish I had thought about this). Although, fat chance getting the various countries to cough up the numbers on all the equipment they received...so maybe not the best topic.
Finally, I would just note that perhaps some of the green countries should perhaps devote a little more of their defense budget (wisely).