The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (‘SIPRI’) has released a report which indicates that global military expenditure is at its highest levels since the end of the Cold War.
The report, ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure’, released in early May, states that global military expenditure reached $1,739bn in 2017, an increase of 1.1% in real terms on 2016. The five biggest spenders were the US, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India, which together accounted for 69% of global military spending. Although military spending by the US and South East Asia remained unchanged in 2017, China’s spending increased by 5.6%, Saudi Arabia’s by 9.2% and India’s by 5.5%. Russia’s spending fell for the first time since 1998, by 20%. The total military expenditure in the Middle East increased, although there was a lack of accurate data for Qatar, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The report states that in 2014, Iran’s military expenditure had declined steadily from its peak in 2006. Since then, the Iranian economy has been boosted by the lifting of EU and UN sanctions, which has enabled a 37% increase in military spending between 2014 and 2017 to $14.5bn in 2017.
For a copy of SIPRI’s report ‘Trends in World Military Expenditure’ see: https://www.sipri.org/sites/default/files/2018-04/sipri_fs_1805_milex_2017.pdf