$2,000,000,000,000! Global Military Spending Crosses 2 Trillion Dollars Amid Virus Hype

EmpireDiaries.com

It’s not just Big Pharma that minted money during the coronavirus pandemic. It now emerges that defence giants also made pots of money in these two years of the new abnormal.

The total global military expenditure increased by 0.7 per cent in real terms in 2021, to reach $2,113 billion. The five largest spenders in 2021 were the US, China, India, the UK and Russia, together accounting for 62 per cent of expenditure, according to latest data on global military spending compiled today by SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI).

World military spending continued to grow in 2021, reaching an all-time high of $2.1 trillion. This was the seventh consecutive year that spending increased.

‘There was a slowdown in the rate of real-terms growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1 per cent, said Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.

INDIA AT NO. 3

India’s military spending of $76.6 billion ranked third highest in the world. This was up by 0.9 per cent from 2020 and by 33 per cent from 2012. In a push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64 per cent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 were earmarked for acquisitions of domestically produced arms.

US military spending amounted to $801 billion in 2021, a drop of 1.4 per cent from 2020. The US military burden decreased slightly from 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2020 to 3.5 per cent in 2021.

US funding for military research and development (R&D) rose by 24 per cent between 2012 and 2021, while arms procurement funding fell by 6.4 per cent over the same period. In 2021 spending on both decreased. However, the drop in R&D spending (–1.2 per cent) was smaller than that in arms procurement spending (–5.4 per cent).

Russia increased its military expenditure by 2.9 per cent in 2021, to $65.9 billion, at a time when it was building up its forces along the Ukrainian border. This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia’s military spending reached 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2021.

The ‘national defence’ budget line, which accounts for around three-quarters of Russia’s total military spending and includes funding for operational costs as well as arms procurement, was revised upwards over the course of the year. The final figure was $48.4 billion, 14 per cent higher than had been budgeted at the end of 2020.

As it has strengthened its defences against Russia, Ukraine’s military spending has risen by 72 per cent since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. Spending fell in 2021, to $5.9 billion, but still accounted for 3.2 per cent of the country’s GDP.

China, the world’s second largest spender, allocated an estimated $293 billion to its military in 2021, an increase of 4.7 per cent compared with 2020. China’s military spending has grown for 27 consecutive years. The 2021 Chinese budget was the first under the 14th Five-Year Plan, which runs until 2025.

Following initial approval of its 2021 budget, the Japanese government added $7.0 billion to military spending. As a result, spending rose by 7.3 per cent, to $54.1 billion in 2021, the highest annual increase since 1972. Australian military spending also increased in 2021: by 4.0 per cent, to reach $31.8 billion.

  • In 2021 Iran’s military budget increased for the first time in four years, to $24.6 billion. Funding for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps continued to grow in 2021—by 14 per cent compared with 2020—and accounted for 34 per cent of Iran’s total military spending.
  • Eight European North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members reached the Alliance’s target of spending 2 per cent or more of GDP on their armed forces in 2021. This is one fewer than in 2020 but up from two in 2014.
  • Nigeria raised its military spending by 56 per cent in 2021, to reach $4.5 billion. The rise came in response to numerous security challenges such as violent extremism and separatist insurgencies.
  • Germany—the third largest spender in Central and Western Europe—spent $56.0 billion on its military in 2021, or 1.3 per cent of its GDP. Military spending was 1.4 per cent lower compared with 2020 due to inflation.
  • In 2021 Qatar’s military spending was $11.6 billion, making it the fifth largest spender in the Middle East. Qatar’s military spending in 2021 was 434 per cent higher than in 2010, when the country last released spending data before 2021.

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