tiptrot.com May 26, 2018

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military spending continues to dwarf that of Russian Federation

03 May 2018, 10:00 | Bernice Figueroa

French soldier stands by a mounted machine gun during the regional anti-insurgent Operation Barkhane in Mali

REUTERS  Benoit Tessier

According to figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the U.S. spent $610 billion (£448 billion) on defence, out of a global total of $1.74 trillion.

SIPRI said while China's spending increased by $228 billion or 5.6 per cent, India too came close in terms of growth percentage (5.5 per cent) touching a figure of $63.9 billion - compared to 2016.

The list of the world's biggest military spenders has remained consistent in recent years, dominated by the USA and China, which spent $610 billion and $228 billion respectively, according to SIPRI, which researches global arms spending.

Military tension between India and China may have driven India's defence expense, as indicated by Senior Researcher with the SIPRI AMEX programme, Siemon Wezeman.

Tensions with China have pushed Asian nations including India and Japan to boost military spending, according to a global arms spending report. Saudi Arabia's 9.2 percent increase put it at $69.4 billion, while spending in Iran increased by 19 percent and in Iraq by 22 percent.

Overall, world military expenditures rose to $1.739 trillion in 2017, a rise of 1.1 percent.

SIPRI said the five biggest spenders in 2017 were the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India, which together accounted for 60 per cent of the total.

SIPRI monitors developments in military expenditure worldwide and maintains the most comprehensive, consistent and extensive data source available on military expenditure.

Military spending in 2017 represented 2.2% of global gross domestic product, the report said.

Every dollar of military expenditure is a dollar taken away from socially useful spending - a dollar that could be used to reduce and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and ensure to a decent standard of living for all: a dollar that could be used to save lives, rather than preparing for war. "It undermines the search for peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world", he added. China's military expenditure rose again in 2017, continuing an upward trend in spending that has lasted for more than two decades. Some government officials have called for lower military spending to free up funds for such initiatives. Many European states are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and, within that framework, agreed to increase their military spending.

Pie chart shows the share of global military expenditure of the top 15 countries who spent the most on their military. We bring some interesting trends highlighted in the report. The decrease in Africa was its third consecutive annual fall in military spending, while that in Europe was the first since 2013.

Europe accounted for one fifth of global military spending, but fell compared to 2016 and was only slightly higher than in 2008. Created in 1966, its research is focused on global security, arms control and disarmament.

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