Home » Report: Conflicts push global military spending to all-time high

Report: Conflicts push global military spending to all-time high

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Report: Conflicts push global military spending to all-time high

Report: Conflicts push global military spending to all-time high

Ukrainian soldiers with rocket launchers in the Kharkiv Regin

© AFP

Against the backdrop of numerous wars and conflicts, global military spending rose to an all-time high last year. A total of around 2.4 trillion dollars (around 2.25 trillion euros) was spent on military equipment in 2023, according to a report published on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). This means an increase of 6.8 percent compared to the previous year. According to the report, military spending increased particularly in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

For the first time since 2009, spending increased in all five regions covered, said Sipri researcher Nan Tian of the AFP news agency. The 6.8 percent increase was the highest in a year since 2009. The figures reflected “the deterioration of peace and security around the world.”

The USA, China, Russia, India and Saudi Arabia spent the most on defense equipment. The USA is way ahead with $916 billion and is responsible for 37 percent of military spending worldwide.

The ongoing war in Ukraine has led to an increase in defense spending in Ukraine, Russia and “a whole range” of European countries, Tian explained. Russia’s military spending rose by 24 percent to $109 billion, while Ukraine’s spending rose by 51 percent to $64.8 billion. In addition, the country received $35 billion in military aid.

While Moscow and Kiev’s real spending in 2023 was quite close, in Ukraine it corresponded to 37 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and 58 percent of total government spending. Russia, on the other hand, spent 5.9 percent of GDP on armaments. Kiev’s scope for increasing military spending is now “very limited,” said Sipri researcher Tian.

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According to the report, Germany spent $3,66.8 billion on defense equipment last year, an increase of nine percent compared to the previous year. As in the previous year, the Federal Republic is in seventh place in the ranking with the highest military spending, behind Great Britain and ahead of Ukraine and France.

Military spending also increased in the Middle East, where Israel spent $27.5 billion, 24 percent more than in the previous year against the backdrop of the war against the radical Islamic Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

In Asia, military spending was driven up not least by tensions in the South China Sea and around Taiwan. At $296 billion, China spent six percent more than in the previous year, while Japan and Taiwan increased their defense spending by eleven percent each.

Given the war in Ukraine, which is “far from over,” as well as the current situation in the Middle East and increasing tensions in Asia, Sipri researcher Tian believes that countries will continue to build up their armed forces. “The expectation is that this increasing trend will continue for at least a few years,” he said.

AFP

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