SWEDEN: Global military expenditure has surpassed $2 trillion per year for the first time, and looks set to rise further as European countries beef up their armed forces in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In 2021, countries spent a total of US$ 2,113 billion on their militaries, up 0.7% in real terms from the year before, according to a report released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI.
After a brief period of declining military spending between 2011 and 2014, outlays have increased for 7 consecutive years, according to SIPRI data. In the wake of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, several European governments have pledged a spending overhaul to boost their forces’ capabilities.
“Europe was already on an increasing trend, and this trend will accelerate and intensify,” Lucie Beraud-Sudreau, director of SIPRI’s military expenditure and arms production program, said in a phone interview. “Usually change happens slowly, until you are in a crisis and then change really happens. I think that’s where we are now.”
European spending in 2021 accounted for 20% of the global total, and China’s defense budget, the world’s second largest, is estimated to make up 14%.
The U.S. remains by far the biggest spender, with $801 billion allocated to the armed forces in 2021, according to SIPRI. In the last decade, U.S. military spending has made up as much as 39% of global expenditures.
– THE HINDUSTAN TIMES