• Friday, Feb 03, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

World military spending grows despite pandemic

  • Published at 08:18 am April 26th, 2021
US Soldiers in Afghanistan
File Photo: US Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistanon June 12, 2011 Reuters

Global military spending increased by 2.6% to $1,981 billion in 2020

Military expenditure worldwide rose to nearly $2 trillion in 2020, defying the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers said on Monday.

Global military spending increased by 2.6% to $1,981 billion in 2020, when global GDP shrank 4.4%, according to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

Diego Lopes da Silva, one of report's authors, told AFP the development was unexpected.

"Because of the pandemic, one would think military spending would decrease," he said.

"But it's possible to conclude with some certainty that Covid-19 did not have a significant impact on global military spending, in 2020 at least," Lopes da Silva said.

He cautioned however that due to the nature of military spending, it could take time for countries "to adapt to the shock."

The fact that military spending continued to increase in a year with an economic downturn meant the "military burden", or the share of military spending out of total GDP, had increased as well.

The overall share rose from 2.2% to 2.4%, the largest year-on-year increase since the financial crisis of 2009.

As a result, more Nato members hit the Alliance's guideline target of spending at least 2% of GDP on their military, with 12 countries doing so in 2020 compared to nine in 2019.

Some Covid-19 effects

There were however indications the pandemic had affected some countries.

Nations such as Chile and South Korea openly decided to reappropriate military funds in response to the pandemic.

"Other countries, such as Brazil and Russia, did not explicitly say this was reallocated because of the pandemic, but they have spent considerably less than their original budget for 2020," Lopes da Silva said.

Another response, as in Hungary for example, was to increase military spending "as part of a stimulus package in response to the pandemic."

Lopes da Silva noted many countries responded to the 2008-2009 economic crisis by adopting austerity measures, but "this time around it might not be the case."

The world's two biggest spenders by far were the US and China, with Washington accounting for 39% of overall expenditure and Beijing for 13%.

China's military spending has risen in tandem with its growing economy and has seen an increase for 26 consecutive years, reaching an estimated $252 billion in 2020.

The US also increased its spending for the third year in a row in 2020, after seven years of reductions.

"This reflects growing concerns over perceived threats from strategic competitors such as China and Russia, as well as the Trump administration's drive to bolster what it saw as a depleted US military," Alexandra Marksteiner, another author of the report, said in a statement.

Lopes da Silva however noted that the new "Biden administration has not given any indications that it will reduce military spending."

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail