According to the latest Section 655 report issued by the US State Department, the combined value of direct commercial sales of defense-related materials and services in Fiscal Year 2011 was $280,373,829. This represents a 40% increase over the $200,771,754 worth of authorized sales in FY 2010. The most revealing category of defense goods is “Category III: Ammunition/Ordnance.” In FY 2010 there was 3,953 units authorized for sale at a combined worth of $9,716 in this category. In FY 2011, the quantity of units authorized for sale to Bahrain dramatically increased to 936,740 at a combined value of $1,330,915. This represents a 236-fold increase in the amount of units of ammunition and ordnance authorized for sale to Bahrain from FY 2010 to FY 2011.
These figures strongly suggests that Bahrain has seen an increased need for military-related goods and services since the start of the Shia majority-based revolt against Sunni minority rule. The US has maintained steadfast support of the Bahrainian regime despite verifiable reports of massive human rights violations by government agents against domestic opposition. These numbers serve to confirm that the relationship has gotten a lot closer since the start of the revolution in early 2011.