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Global Military Spending Reaches New Heights, Says SIPRI Report

April 23, 2024 (EIRNS)—In its latest report issued yesterday, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) calculates that global military spending reached $2.443 trillion in 2023, an increase of 6.8% in real terms from 2022. This was the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009, with all 10 of the major spenders in 2023—led by the United States, China, and Russia—increasing their military spending. For the first time since 2009, military expenditure went up in all five of the geographical regions defined by SIPRI, with particularly large increases recorded in Europe, Asia, and Oceania, and the Middle East, SIPRI’s press release states.

“States are prioritizing military strength but they risk an action-reaction spiral in the increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape,” said Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.

Russia’s military spending increased by 24%, to an estimated $109 billion in 2023, marking a 57% rise since 2014, SIPRI reports, accounting for 5.9% of GDP. Ukraine spent $64.8 billion, a whopping 37% of its GDP, but also got $35 billion, including almost $25 billion from the U.S., in foreign military aid.

In 2023 the 31 NATO members accounted for $1.341 trillion, equal to 55% of the world’s military expenditure. U.S. military spending rose by 2.3% to reach $916 billion in 2023, representing 68% of total NATO military spending, and 37% of the world total. In 2023 most European NATO members increased their military expenditure. Their combined share of the NATO total was 28%, the highest in a decade. The remaining 4% came from Canada and Türkiye.

In Asia, China’s military spending increased by 6% to $296 billion, which amounts to only an estimated 1.7% of its GDP while Japan’s spending surged to $50.2 billion, an increase of 11%. Taiwan’s military spending also grew by 11%, to $16 billion.

Military spending in the Middle East increased by 9.0% to $200 billion in 2023. This was the highest annual growth rate in the region seen in the past decade.