World mil­i­tary spend­ing falls, says SIPRI


W orld mil­i­tary ex­pen­di­ture to­talled $1.75 tril­lion in 2012, a fall of 0.5 per cent in real terms since 2011, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased re­cently by the Stock­holm In­ter­na­tional Peace Re­search In­sti­tute (SIPRI).

The fall—the first since 1998—was driven by ma­jor spend­ing cuts in the United States and Western and Cen­tral Europe, as well as in Aus­tralia, Canada and Ja­pan. The re­duc­tions were, how­ever, sub­stan­tially off­set by in­creased spend­ing in Asia, Eastern Europe, the Mid­dle East and North Africa, and Latin Amer­ica. China, the sec­ond largest spender in 2012, in­creased its ex­pen­di­ture by 7.8 per cent ($11.5 bil- lion). Rus­sia, the third largest spender, in­creased its ex­pen­di­ture by 16 per cent ($12.3 bil­lion).

De­spite the drop, the global to­tal was still higher in real terms than the peak near the end of the cold war.

“We are see­ing what may be the be­gin­ning of a shift in the bal­ance of world mil­i­tary spend­ing from the rich Western coun­tries to emerg­ing re­gions, as aus­ter­ity poli­cies and the draw­down in Afghanistan re­duce spend­ing in the for­mer, while eco­nomic growth funds con­tin­u­ing in­creases else­where,” said Dr Sam Perlo-Free­man, Di­rec­tor of SIPRI’s Mil­i­tary Ex­pen­di­ture and Arms Pro­duc­tion Pro­gramme. “How­ever, the USA and its al­lies are still re­spon­si­ble for the great ma­jor­ity of world mil­i­tary spend­ing. The NATO mem­bers to­gether spent a tril­lion dollars.”

M1A1 Abrams dur­ing an ex­cer­cise in Frank­furt

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