Stockholm: World military spending hit an all-time high of US$2.1 trillion in 2021, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday, adding that the top three biggest spenders were the United States, China and India.
The Stockholm-based said in a statement, “Total global military expenditure grew 0.7 percent in real terms to reach US$2113 billion in 2021. The five biggest spenders in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom and Russia.” , which was 62 per cent of the total expenditure.”
Dr. Diego Lopes da Silva, senior researcher at SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program, said, “Even amid the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, world military spending reached record levels. There was a slowdown in real growth due to inflation. In modest terms, however, military spending increased by 6.1 percent.”
As a result of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, defense spending stood at 2.2 per cent of global GDP, while in 2020 the figure reached 2.3 per cent.
US military spending reached USD 801 billion in 2021, down 1.4 percent from 2020, the statement said. According to the statement, in the period 2012 to 2021, the US increased funding for military research and development by 24 percent and decreased spending on weapons purchases by 6.4 percent.
The second place went to China (which spent USD 293 billion on defence), an increase of 4.7 percent compared to 2020. India’s military spending last year ranked third at US$76.6 billion, an increase of 0.9 per cent over 2020.
According to the Stockholm-based institute, India’s military spending of USD 76.6 billion ranks third in the world. It was 0.9 percent higher than 2020 and 33 percent higher than 2012. To strengthen the indigenous arms industry, 64 per cent of the capital outlay in the 2021 military budget was earmarked for acquisition of domestically produced weapons.
Britain spent $68.4 billion on defense last year, a three percent increase from 2020, the statement said.
Meanwhile, Russia secured the fifth highest position in defense spending.
“Russia increased its military spending by 2.9 percent to US$65.9 billion in 2021, at a time when it was building up its forces along the Ukrainian border. This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia in 2021,” the statement said. Military expenditure of the country reached 4.1 percent of GDP.
In 2021, higher energy prices helped Russia increase its military spending, said Lucie Beroud-Sudreau, director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program, “Between 2016–2019, Russia saw low oil and gas prices.” as well as experienced a reduction in military spending due to sanctions imposed on Russia.
first published:April 25, 2022, 10:32 a.m.