Military spending is growing fastest in Asia and Eastern Europe

English Section / 25 aprilie

Military spending is growing fastest in Asia and Eastern Europe

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SIPRI: Global defense spending - at record level

Asian countries, such as India and China, have steadily increased their defense spending over the past 15 years, and a comparison with the respective countries' economies shows that this spending increased roughly in line with GDP from 2013 to 2023, standing at to around 2.4% in India and 1.7% in China last year, according to a report by the International Peace Research Institute (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute - SIPRI), taken over by

According to the cited source, other Asian countries have also increased their military spending at a rapid pace, especially those close to the regional security hot spot in the South China Sea, such as Cambodia and the Philippines. To a lesser extent, East Asian countries such as Japan and, of course, Taiwan, have increasing military spending.

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Eastern Europe became another region where military spending increased (more sharply than in Asia). In Ukraine, the military now benefits from more than a third of GDP.

North American military costs have fluctuated, but remain the largest regional budget, with the vast majority of spending being related to the US military, the source noted. Western European spending - often criticized for being too small compared to the countries' sizes and GDPs - has seen only a slight increase since the start of the Ukraine war, but has increased steadily before the current crisis.

Profile spending in Latin America and Africa remained stable, in general. Some African countries have rapidly increased their defense spending, such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Mauritania. The expenses also increased in Mexico, according to the mentioned source.

Defense spending - 2,440 billion dollars, globally

Government military spending rose for the first time in all five major geographic regions, according to SIPRI, which said it reached a record $2.44 trillion. The advance occurred amid the largest annual increase in government budgets for armaments in the last ten years, according to the report, cited by The Guardian.

The 6.8% increase between 2022 and 2023 was the steepest since 2009, pushing spending to the highest level recorded by SIPRI in the 60-year history of keeping such records.

Nan Tian, senior researcher at SIPRI, warned of the increased risk of unintended conflagration as governments rush to arm themselves. "The unprecedented increase in military spending is a direct response to the global deterioration of peace and security. States give priority to military power, but they risk an action-reaction spiral in the increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape," said Tian, according to

The largest expenditures for defense are made in the United States (37%) and China (12%), the budgets in the field representing approximately half of global military expenditures. The US government spent 9.4% more on "research, development, testing and evaluation" than in 2022, as Washington tries to stay at the forefront of technological developments.

Although eclipsed by the US in terms of military spending, China, as the world's second largest defense budget, has allocated an estimated $296 billion in 2023, a 6% increase from of 2022. Over the past 29 years, Beijing has steadily increased defense spending, although the largest periods of growth were in the 1990s and between 2003 and 2014. The single-digit growth figure last year reflected, on the other hand, the weaker economic performance of China in the last period, according to SIPRI.

Kremlin military spending in 2023, after a year of all-out war with Ukraine, was 24% higher than in 2022 and 57% higher than in 2014, when Russia invaded Crimea. With spending at 5.9% of GDP, equivalent to 16% of total Russian government spending, 2023 marked the highest levels since the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine has the eighth largest military spending budget in the world in 2023, with an annual increase of 51% to $64.8 billion, equivalent, however, to only 59% of Russia's military spending in that year. Kiev's military spending increased by 1,270% between 2014 and 2023. Military aid received from more than 30 countries is included in the SIPRI figures.