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International military expenditure reaches new height of $2.1 trillion

26th April 2022 - 17:43 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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International military spending has risen for the seventh consecutive year, with increases likely next year as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo: Russian MoD)

For the seventh consecutive year, world military expenditure has continued to grow, reaching an all-time high 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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