Global military spending surges to all-time high
Total global military expenditure reached a new high of $2.2-trillion dollars (U.S.) in 2022. That’s an increase of 3.7 per cent in real terms last year, according to sobering news from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) based in Sweden.
The world-renowned institute released its annual assessment on Monday. “The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world,” said Dr. Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
Who is the world’s biggest military spender?
It’s not Russia, and it’s not China. It’s the United States that spends the most.
At $877-billion every year in military spending, the United States triples China which spent $292-billion, and is much higher than Russia which spent $86-billion (although SIPRI says the Russia data is highly uncertain).
In fact, the United States spends more than the next ten countries combined, and accounts for 39 per cent of total global military spending.
Invasion of Ukraine and tensions in East Asia drive increased spending
This is the eighth year in a row that global military spending has climbed upward. According to SIPRI, by far the sharpest rise in spending (+13 per cent) was seen in Europe and was largely accounted for by Russian and Ukrainian spending. However, military aid to Ukraine and concerns about a heightened threat from Russia strongly influenced many other states’ spending decisions, as did tensions in East Asia.
How much is a trillion dollars?
Military spending in Eastern Europe has now surpassed levels not seen since the old Cold War of the last century. Several states significantly increased their military spending following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, while others announced plans to raise spending levels over periods of up to a decade, said SIPRI’s statement.
“The increase in the USA’s military spending in 2022 was largely accounted for by the unprecedented level of financial military aid it provided to Ukraine,” said Tian. “Given the scale of US spending, even a minor increase in percentage terms has a significant impact on the level of global military expenditure.”
U.S. financial military aid to Ukraine totalled $19.9 billion in 2022. Although this was the largest amount of military aid given by any country to a single beneficiary in any year since the cold war, it represented only 2.3 per cent of total U.S. military spending, according to SIPRI.
- Read “World military expenditure reaches new record high as European spending surges,” published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on April 24, 2023