India Among Top Five Countries With Biggest Military Spending

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in a statement that global military spending, increased 1.1 percent compared to 2016, an amount which equals 2.2 percent of the world's gross domestic product. Although falling oil export revenues had led to a lower government expenditure, "military spending kept increasing until 2017, when it fell for the first time since 1998", says SIPRI. Total military spending by all 29 members was $900 billion in 2017, accounting for 52 percent of world spending.

According to estimates of the Institute, in General, military spending accounted for 2.2% of world GDP, average around $230 per person.

SIPRI chairman Jan Eliasson, while presenting the report, expressed concern over the growing armament and said such trend undermined the quest for peaceful solutions for conflicts around the globe, the report added.

The five biggest military investors - US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India - accounted for 60 percent of military spending in 2017. SIPRI said driven, in part, by the perception of a growing threat from Russian Federation, military spending in both Central and Western Europe increased in 2017, by 12 and 1.7 per cent, respectively.

The United States retained the top spot at Dollars 610 billion, with unchanged military expenditure between 2016 and 2017.

But though Russia's own spending on military has reduced, its threat has seen several European countries who are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation having increased their military spending.

It was a marginal increase of 1.1 percent from 2016.

However, its share of GDP (4.3%) "was still higher than any other European country had recorded since 2011".

China has increased defence spending 8.5 per cent annually from 2007 to 2016 and its leaders "seem committed to increasing defence spending for the foreseeable future, even as China's economic growth slows", according to a US Department of Defence report on China's military spending.

New Delhi with its ever-expanding budget on defence expenditures has become one of the world's top spenders on military infrastructure.

In last year's Budget, military spending increased to a record level of more than $(NZD) 3.67 billion - an average of nearly $(NZD) 71 million every week.

Military expenditure in South America rose by 4.1 per cent in 2017, mainly as a result of notable increases by the two largest spenders in the subregion: Argentina (up by 15 per cent) and Brazil (up by 6.3 per cent). Last year's amount brought "a real-terms decrease of 20% compared with 2016".

Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at SIPRI, told Sputnik News that when it comes to the Middle East, there's a "bit of a yo-yo movement there". Still, China's budget is less than half the military budget of the United States.

SIPRI is an independent worldwide institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

  • Jon Douglas