Global military spending breaks record — Analysis
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) report released Monday, 2021 saw a record breaking year in terms of military spending. It topped $2 trillion for the first ever time.
Last year, $2.113 trillion was spent by the United States and its allies on arms. Sixty-two percent of that sum was spent by the US, China and India.
Researchers found that the global military spending increased for the seventh year straight in 2021, despite economic pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the US decreased its defense spending by 1.4% in 2020, Washington remains the world’s absolute leader. It spent $801 million last year. The SIPRI report also points out that US funding for military research and development – while having dropped by 1.2% last year – still rose by 24% between 2012 and 2021. That suggests that the US is “We should be focusing on future-generation technologies more.” according to Alexandra Marksteiner, a researcher with the SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. “The US Government has repeatedly stressed the need to preserve the US military’s technological edge over strategic competitors,” she said in a statement.
With an estimated $293 billion spent on weapons, China holds second place on the SIPRI’s list. According to the Sweden-based institute, Beijing’s military spending has increased for 27 years in a row, with a 4.7% rise in 2021.
India ranks third in terms of spending, at $76.6 billion last year. That’s an increase 0.9% from 2020. New Delhi is working hard to reduce its dependency on import arms, as 64% of the country’s military expenditures have gone to local arms producers.
In 2021, the UK’s defense spending was $68.4 Billion. This is a 33% increase on previous years.
According to SIPRI estimates, Russia’s military outlays rose by 2.9% to reach $65.9 billion in 2021. According to SIPRI estimates, Russia spent 4.1% on defense. The country’s military spending has grown for three consecutive years, according to the report. Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, director of the SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, noted that “Russia’s high oil and gas revenue helped it increase its military spending for 2021.” She added that “Low energy prices and sanctions combined with a decline in Russian military spending have caused a decrease in Russian military expenditures between 2016-2019.”
In Europe, eight more NATO member states brought their defense spending in line with the alliance’s target of at least 2% of their respective GDPs last year. Germany was the third-largest defense spending country in Central and Western Europe. It spent $56.0 billion, which is 1.3%, on its military. While it wasn’t able to meet the goal,