The world military spending annual surpassed for the first time 2 trillion dollars in 2021despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released this Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The record figure of 2.11 billion dollars (1.97 billion euros), represents a rise of 0.7% in real terms compared to 2020which rises to 6.1% in nominal terms and constitutes 2.2% of the global gross domestic product (GDP), one tenth less than last year, due to the recovery of the economy.
USA keeps his uncontested leadershipwith the 38% of global spending and 801,000 million dollars (737,504 million euros), 1.4% less, due to the rise in inflation. US funding for research and development has increased 24% in the last decade, suggesting that its focus is on next-generation technology. “The US government has repeatedly stressed the need to maintain its military technological advantage over its strategic competitors,” the report states.
After the USA stands Chinawith an estimated expenditure of 293,000 million dollars (270,000 million euros) and the 14% global; ahead of the Indiawith 3.6%; United Kingdom, with 3.2% and Russia, with 3.1%. Russia registered a rise in military spending for the third year in a row, of 2.9% in 2021, to 65,900 million (60,676 million euros), thanks to the benefits obtained from oil and gas, highlights the SIPRI. Ukraineranked 36th in the world, spent 5,900 million (5,432 million euros), 8.5% less, although its spending on weapons has risen 72% since the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014. The combined spending of the top five countries accounted for 62% of the world total.
The list of ten countries that spent the most on weapons last year it was closed, in this order, by France, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan and South Korea. China’s growing self-assertion in the East and Southeast Asian seas has been the main driver of military spending in countries like Australia and Japan.
Spain, in sixteenth place
Spain It was placed sixteenth, one higher than in 2020, with an expense of 19,500 million dollars (17,954 million euros) and 5.6% more year-on-year. The Spanish item for armaments represents 1.4% of its GDP and 0.9% of world military spending in 2021.
Brazilthe first Latin American country on the list, ranks seventeenth, while Colombia remains in twenty-fifth, three above Mexico, and Chile climbs another few to thirty-fifth.
By regionsAsia-Oceania Y Europe led the rise in spending, with 3.5% and 3%, respectively; in Africa it increased by 1.2% and in America and the Middle East there were falls, of 3.3% and 1.2%, respectively. Thanks to the leadership of the United States and the contribution of Canada, America continues to be, however, the region with the highest military spending, accounting for 42% of the world total.
Europe remains the second region, with spending of 418,000 million dollars (384,865 million euros), 80% corresponding to the central and western regions.
The report highlights that eight European member countries of the NATO reached the Alliance’s recommendation to allocate 2% of their GDP to military spending, although others such as Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland have pledged in recent weeks to do so in the future due to the war in Ukraine.
In the Americas, the United States and Canada accounted for 94% of total spending.
Falls in Central and South America
In Central America and the Caribbeanmilitary spending amounted to 11,000 million dollars (10,128 million euros), 2.5% less year-on-year but 58% more than at the beginning of the decade.
“The use of military forces to combat criminal activities remains the main driver of military spending in the subregion,” the report notes. Mexicowith 8,700 million dollars (8,010 million euros), leads the region, despite a year-on-year drop of 3.4%.
In South America there was a slight fall of 0.6% to 45,300 million (41,709 million euros), and with Brazil in the lead with 19,200 million (17,678 million euros), 4.3% less.
“Despite the drop in spending, Brazil was still able to make planned payments for its strategic weapons programs, which include the purchase of 36 Gripen fighter jets from Sweden,” the report said. Colombia, the second country on the South American list, spent 10.2 billion dollars (9.391 million euros), 4.7% more.
The SIPRI highlights that since the signing of the peace agreement with the FARC in 2016, Colombian military spending has grown every year, except in 2018, a fact that “can be attributed to the ongoing conflicts between the Government and other armed groups.”
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.