A report by military expenditure monitors Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) has found that India has been the fifth largest defence spender in 2016. India’s military expenditure for 2016-17 was $55.9 billion.
On the global stage, the SIPRI report finds that US, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and India took the top five positions in military spending in 2016.
The annual SIPRI report which was released on 24th April 2017 said that in 2016 the global military expenditure was $1,686 billion up by 0.4 per cent from 2015. The US maintained its position as the largest spender with an expenditure of $611 billion, an increase of 1.7 per cent from 2015. Second place China’s expenditure increased by 5.4 per cent to $215 billion. Russia has upped its military spending by 5.9 per cent to $69.2. Saudi Arabia lost its position to Russia and dropped to fourth position. It cut its military expenditure by around 30 per cent to bring the total spending at $63.7 billion. India upped its expenditure by 8.5 per cent to bring its spending to $55.9 billion.
Highlights of the report.
- The top ten defence expenditures are by the USA, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, India, France, UK, Japan, Germany and South Korea.
- The 10 countries with the highest military spending accounted for nearly three quarters (73%) of total global defence expenditure.
- US military spending is larger than the next 8 biggest military spenders combined
- World military expenditure rose for a second consecutive year to a total of $1686 billion in 2016—the first consecutive annual increase since 2011 when spending reached its peak of $1699 billion
- Globally the defence expenditure increased in North America, Central and Eastern Europe, North Africa, Asia, Oceania. While a drop in spending was seen in the Middle East, South America, central America, the Caribbean.
Growing U.S. Defence expenditure. The growth in US military expenditure in 2016 may signal the end of a trend of decreases in spending, which resulted from the economic crisis and the draw down of the American troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. spending in 2016 remained twenty per cent lower than its peak in 2010. ‘Despite continuing legal restraints on the overall US budget, increases in military spending were agreed upon by Congress,’ said Dr Aude Fleurant, Director of the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme.
Rising threat perception in Central and Eastern Europe. The report found that one of the major reasons for expenditure growth in the US was a large threat perception. “The growth in spending by many countries in Central Europe can be partly attributed to the perception of Russia posing a greater threat,’ said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI AMEX programme. “This is despite the fact that Russia’s spending in 2016 was only 27 per cent of the combined total of European NATO members,” he added.
Defence Spending cuts in the oil- rich West Asia. Oil exporters in the Middle East significantly cut their funding for military expenditure. This despite the fact that the region is actively involved in the Middle East crisis with several conflicts and wars zones. The oil-price shock received due to falling oil prices and related economic woes has forced many oil exporters to cut their military spending. In fact , between 2015 and 2016 Saudi Arabia, which is the largest military spender in the region had the biggest absolute decrease of $25.8 billion in spending among all countries in the world.
The rising heat of geopolitical tensions is causing a worldwide upward trends in military expenditure. After declining for five years since the peak global spending in 2011, there is now a marked rise in total money spent by nations on their national security. Given that we today live in an increasing hostile global political world with many theatres of potential conflicts regions, it is expected that national security spending will remain on higher sides in the medium term.
(News Desk, Uncolumn)