Last year, the states invested as much money in the military as they did since 1988. According to the peace research institute SIPRI, especially the US and China spent significantly more.
$ 1.82 trillion was spent on military purposes worldwide last year. This is the highest level since the end of the Cold War.
SIPRI Director Aude Fleurant said that this result was not surprising: „This was indicated by the international constellations, the crises in many regions of the world, and many states are modernizing their arsenals, which adds to the cost of new weapon systems and global warfare . “
US remains the leader
Unsurprisingly, the US is once again at the top by far. The Americans spent $ 649 billion last year on their military. This top position is not just due to the Trump effect, says Fleurant.
Its modernization efforts have, of course, contributed to the high level of spending, but: „Some planning dates back to before Donald Trump and were hit by the Obama administration, and of course, the many modernizations that were recently decided are playing a huge growth in spending Role.“ It is now much about development costs for new systems.
China is also investing heavily
In second place is China with $ 250 billion. The Chinese, according to Fleurant, would always adhere to the policy of not spending more than two percent of the gross national product on military purposes. „If there is strong growth in China, military spending will increase accordingly – and vice versa.“
Saudi Arabia, India and France follow in the ranking of global military spending. Germany ranks eighth with $ 49.5 billion. From 2009 to 2018, German military spending rose by nine percent, according to SIPRI.
All issues in view
SIPRI did not focus on the largest exporters or importers of weapons in this investigation, but on the highest levels of military spending. These include arms purchases by domestic companies as well as imports. Personnel budgets and development costs for new weapon systems are also included. „It’s also about salaries, research and development costs, not just weapons production and warfare.“
The crisis hotspots of this world can be read in the rising military spending, says Fleurant. Notable, for example, is the significant increase in Pakistan’s military budget of 73 percent since 2009, due to the violent resurgence of the conflict with India.
The SIPRI director does not look too optimistic about the future: „There are so many conflicts in the world, dangerous conflicts, and the growth of military spending is sure to continue.“