SIPRI: Global military spending continues to grow

Experts from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) have prepared a report on global military spending in 2023. According to the authors of the report, in 2023, total military spending in the world reached $2,443 billion, which represents an increase of 6.8% compared to 2022 – this is a record figure since 2009. 

SIPRI notes that in 2023, for the first time in 14 years, military spending showed growth in all geographical regions defined by SIPRI: Asia and Oceania, America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The authors of the report attribute such an active growth to the "global deterioration in peace and security." Particularly large increases recorded in Europe, Asia and Oceania and the Middle East. 

"States are prioritizing military strength but they risk an action–reaction spiral in the increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape"

Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme

According to experts, Russia's military spending in 2023 increased by 24% and amounted to about $109 billion, which is 57% more than in 2014. SIPRI believes that Russia's defense spending accounted for 16% of total government spending and 5.9% of the country's GDP.

The growth of military spending is observed in NATO countries. By the end of 2023, 11 of the 31 members of the bloc (Sweden was not taken into account, since it completed the process of joining NATO in March 2024) reached the NATO military spending target of 2% of GDP. The United States continues to be the "largest sponsor" of the alliance, which accounts for about $916 billion – 68% of the total defense spending of the bloc, which amounted to $1,341 billion (55% of global military spending). However, Washington's European partners in the alliance also continue to increase spending. Their combined share in NATO's total expenditures was 28%, with the remaining 4% coming from Canada and Turkey.

According to the authors of the report, the growth of military spending in Asia and Oceania is associated with China, whose defense spending in 2023 amounted to $296 billion, which is 6% higher than a year earlier. Thus, Beijing has been increasing military spending for 29 years in a row. The authors of the report note that China accounts for about half of the military spending of the entire region and that its activities and active growth provoke neighbors in the Asia-Pacific region to take responsive measures. Thus, in 2023, Japan allocated $50.2 billion for military needs – 11% more than a year earlier, Taiwan's military spending also increased by 11% and reached $16.6 billion. SIPRI experts believe that the growth trend in the region will remain and intensify in the coming years.

The armed conflict and the accompanying general increase in tension have led to an increase in military spending in the Middle East. The total expenditure figure amounted to $200 billion and showed an increase of 9% compared to 2022, becoming the largest increase in the last decade. The authors of the report believe that the significant increase in military spending in the Middle East in 2023 reflects "the rapidly shifting situation in the region—from the warming of diplomatic relations between Israel and several Arab countries in recent years to the outbreak of a major war in Gaza and fears of a region-wide conflict."

There is also an increase in Central America and the Caribbean, which experts attributed to the active phase of the struggle of the authorities of the countries of the region against organized crime. So, for the period from 2014 to 2023, military spending in the region increased by 54%. The increase in the crime rate has led to a more active use of the armed forces against criminal groups and, as a result, has provoked an increase in spending in some countries. The authors note a sharp increase in expenses in the Dominican Republic against the background of the worsening situation in Haiti – the country's expenses amounted to $893 million, that is, increased by 14% relative to 2022. At the same time, in Mexico, the country with the second largest volume of military spending in the region after Brazil, spending decreased by 1.5% compared to 2022 and amounted to $11.8 billion

Source - SIPRI 

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