Besides last year, global military spending rose for the seventh consecutive year.

For the first time, more than $2,000 billion was spent on military equipment, weapons and military technology research in the world last year, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday. The United States continues to lead the world rankings.

A SIPRI a statement According to the report, global military spending in 2021, after adjusting for inflation, rose by 0.7 percent to a record $2113 billion (about 1.94 trillion euros) compared to the previous year.

Besides last year, global military spending rose for the seventh consecutive year. “Even amid the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, global military spending has reached its peak,” said Diego Lopez da Silva, a researcher at SIPRI. Although the rate of growth slowed due to inflation, excluding inflation, growth was 6.1 percent.

The significant economic recovery after the first pandemic of 2020 meant that the share of military spending in global economic performance declined slightly, by 0.1 percentage point, to 2.2 percent in 2021.

Eight European NATO countries promised to increase their military spending to at least 2 percent of GDP last year, one less than in 2020, but this is also a significant increase from 2014, when only two countries reached 2 percent.

The United States continues to lead the arrangement. Although US military spending fell 1.4 percent after adjusting for inflation, the US defense budget of $801 billion (€734 billion) is still larger than the other nine of the top 10 spending countries combined.

According to the research institute, the United States has focused primarily on military research and development in recent years. The US government has repeatedly stressed the need to maintain the US military’s technological leadership over strategic competitors, Alexandra Marksteiner, an expert at SIPRI emphasized.

The five highest spenders on military spending in 2021 were the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia, which together accounted for 62 percent of global spending.

China is catching up on the leaderboard: its military spending in 2021 rose 4.7 percent to $293 billion (€268 billion), according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

In the year before Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Russian military spending rose 2.9% to $65.9 billion (€60 billion), equivalent to 4.1% of Russia’s GDP.

Russia has made significant returns from the sale of fossil fuels, as SIPRI expert Lucy Perod Sodrow explained, “High oil and gas revenues helped Russia increase its military spending in 2021.” Russian spending fell between 2016 and 2019 due to lower energy prices and sanctions imposed after the annexation of Crimea, but it has risen several times since then.

Since the loss of Crimea in 2014, Ukraine has increased its military spending by 72%. Still, its spending last year fell 8.5 percent to $5.9 billion, or 3.2 percent of GDP.

SIPRI’s regular annual report on global military spending, published in late April, is the most comprehensive survey worldwide. The research institute compiles its report based on official government data on the defense budget, as well as other sources and statistics, which usually differ from those of NATO and individual countries. The summary also includes the amounts spent on personnel, military aid, and military research and development.


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