International military expenditure reaches new height of $2.1 trillion
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has reported that world defence spending has continued to grow in 2021, reaching a new peak of $2.1 trillion.
Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme stated: ‘There was a slowdown in the rate of real-term growth due to inflation. In nominal terms, however, military spending grew by 6.1%’.
The five largest spenders in 2021 were the US, China, India, the UK and Russia, which together account for 62% of expenditure.
US military spending dropped by 1.4% from 2020 levels, totalling $801 billion in 2021, while research and development rose by 24% between 2012 and 2021.
Russia increased its military expenditure by 2.9% in 2021, to $65.9 billion. This increase has been linked to the preparation and build up before the invasion of Ukraine. This was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia’s military spending reached 4.1% of GDP in 2021.
In contrast, Ukraine’s military spending has risen by 72 per cent since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, although spending fell in 2021 to $5.9 billion.
China is the world’s second-largest spender and allocated around $293 billion, an increase of 4.7% compared with 2020.
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