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In a first, global military spending surpasses $2tr


Global military expenditure reached an all-time high of over $2 trillion in 2021, according to an international survey released Monday.

Total military spending rose 0.7% from the previous year and reached $2.113 trillion, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said.

It said the global military burden, or world military expenditure as a share of world gross domestic product (GDP), fell by 0.1 percentage point from 2.3% in 2020 to 2.2% in 2021.

The five largest spenders in 2021 were the US, China, India, the UK and Russia, together accounting for 62% of expenditure, according to SIPRI.

Alexandra Marksteiner, a researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme, pointed out that the US is focusing more on next-generation technologies.

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"The US government has repeatedly stressed the need to preserve the US military’s technological edge over strategic competitors," she noted.

Russia meanwhile increased its military expenditure by 2.9% in 2021 to $65.9 billion, at a time when it was building up its forces along the Ukrainian border, it said, adding this was the third consecutive year of growth and Russia’s military spending reached 4.1% of GDP in 2021.

"Russian military expenditure had been in decline between 2016 and 2019 as a result of low energy prices combined with sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014,” said Lucie Beraud-Sudreau, director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.

Ukraine’s military spending has also risen by 72% since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, as the country has strengthened its defenses against Russia.


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