Countries Continue to Spend More on Arms even in Covid-hit Pandemic World
A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) states that total global military expenditure rose to nearly 2 trillion USD last year despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The top biggest spenders in 2020 were the United States, China, India, Russia and Britain. Together they accounted for almost 2/3 of the global military expenditure. The US alone accounted for 39 per cent of total military expenditure in 2020.
Others countries, including Brazil, spent considerably less than their initial military budgets for 2020, however.
Spending amounted 1,981 billion dollars in total, marking an increase of 2.6 per cent in real terms from 2019.
According to the SIPRI report it seems the pandemic did not have a significant impact on global military spending in 2020. It remains to be seen whether countries will maintain this level of military spending through a second year of the pandemic.
Despite the general tendency of defense spending rise, some countries - like Chile and South Korea – managed to reallocate part of their military budget to pandemic response efforts.
The US is the leader in defense spending, according to SIPRI. In 2020, US military expenditure reached an estimated 778 billion USD, which is increase by mor than 4%.
US defense budget is growing for a third consecutive year after years of continuous reductions. China’s military expenditure, the second highest in the world, is estimated to have totalled 252 billion dollars in 2020.
Next places are taken by Russia (61.7 billion USD), Britain (59.2 USD) and Saudi Arabia (57.USD), according to SIPRI's report.
According to SIPRI, nearly all NATO members saw their military burden rise in 2020.
As a result, 12 NATO members spent 2 per cent or more of their GDP on their militaries, in line with the the North Atlantic alliance’s guideline spending target, whine in 2019, only 9 members' spending was within that target.
However the report indicates this could be linked also to GDP values falling as world economy have taken a hit during the coronavirus crisis.
Sipri's annual report is considered to be the most comprehensive collection of data on military spending in the world.
The institute in the Swedish capital relies on official government information on defence budgets as well as other sources and statistics.
The institute's figures traditionally diverge from the information provided by NATO and individual countries.
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