I think you have hit the nail on the head here.
It is a shameful fact that Britain for example is one of the world's leading arms exporters and has over the last few decades bolstered some pretty dire regimes, including that of Saddam Hussein for the first 12 years of his rule (1979-1990). The government did this despite his well-known track record on human rights, his prosecution of a civil war against the Kurds within Iraqi borders and a war against Iran, for most of that time.
Selling weapons not only encourages other countries to make war, it diverts resources in the vendor country away from more peaceful (and ultimately more profitable) forms of production. Advocates of the arms industry claim that it helps to create jobs, but in fact other industries create more jobs than weapons production.
In Britain arms sales to foreign countries are underwritten by the government, the weapons often being exported on credit. If the deal falls through, the weapons makers are compensated from the public purse.
When Saddam's troops marched into Kuwait in 1990 the UK government called off £1 billion (yes, that's £1,000,000,000) worth of military trade with his government. The taxpayer picked up the tab.
Look at the recent row over the export of fighter planes to the Saudis - a deal worth around £20bn - and what is a democracy like the UK doing backing a repressive regime like Saudi Arabia anyway?
The sooner the arms trade is stopped, the better IMO.