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Middle Eastern spending shows signs of resilience

21st February 2021 - 10:00 GMT | by Samuel Beal in Oxford

Although oil markets continue to take a hammering and government debt balloons from the COVID-19 pandemic, Middle Eastern states could yet avoid the delicate choice between guns and butter.

As regional tensions intensified over recent years, Arab governments embarked on an arms-buying binge. According to the latest available annual figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global defence spending reached a dizzying $1.9 trillion in 2019 — the highest since the end of the Cold War.

Seven of the top 10 countries with the heaviest estimated military burden (defence as share of GDP)  in 2019 are in the Middle East and North Africa, with Oman spending the most in the world as a proportion of its GDP (8.8% of GDP), followed by Saudi Arabia (8%), Algeria (6%),

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Samuel Beal


Samuel Beal

Samuel Beal is a contributor to Shephard Media and is currently reading for a master’s …

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