Home LATEST NEWS Global military spending crosses $2 trillion in 2021

Global military spending crosses $2 trillion in 2021


Despite the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, global military spending grew by 0.7% last year, according to the report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

trillions of dollars. This is the highest figure we have ever recorded”,”text”:”In 2021, military spending increased for the seventh consecutive year, reaching $2.1trillion. This is the highest number we have ever recorded”}}”>In 2021, military spending increased for the seventh consecutive year, reaching $2.1 trillion. This is the highest number we have ever recordedDiego Lopes da Silva, a researcher at SIPRI, told AFP.

Russia’s spending rose 2.9%, for the third year in a row, to $65.9 billion.

A convoy of military tanks on a road

A convoy of Russian tanks on the road to Mariupol


Russian military spending represented 4.1% of the country’s GDP, a level much higher than the world averagesaid Mr. Lopes da Silva.

Revenues from oil and gas exports allowed the country to fund these large military expenditures.

It is difficult to predict whether Russia will be able to maintain this level of spending, however, Lopes da Silva said, due to the wave of sanctions imposed by the West in response to aggression in Ukraine.

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In 2014, during the annexation of the Crimean peninsula, the country was also targeted by sanctions as energy prices plummeted, making it difficult to assess the effectiveness of the sanctions.

Now […]we have even tougher sanctions, but we have higher energy prices which can help Russia keep its military spending at this levelhe added.

On the other hand, Ukraine’s military spending has increased by 72% since the annexation of Crimea. Although this spending fell by more than 8% in 2021 to $5.9 billion, it still represents 3.2% of the country’s GDP.

An Armenian soldier near an artillery piece.

An Armenian soldier operates an artillery piece.

Photo: Reuters/Armenian Ministry of Defense

NATO spending on the rise

As tensions in Europe increased, NATO member countries increased their spending.

Last year, eight members of the alliance reached their target of 2% of GDP devoted to the military budget.

Lopes da Silva said he expects military spending to continue to rise.

The United States, which far outpaced all other nations with $801 billion spent in 2021, bucked the global trend and cut spending by 1.4%.

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Over the past decade, US spending on research and development has increased by 24%, while arms purchases have fallen by 6.4%.

The U.S. government has repeatedly emphasized the need to preserve the U.S. military’s technological edge over its strategic competitorssaid Alexandra Marksteiner, another SIPRI researcher.

China is spending more

Two Chinese-flagged nuclear submarines.

Chinese nuclear submarines.

Photo: Reuters

China, the world’s second-biggest military spender with an estimated $293 billion, increased spending by 4.7 percent, marking the 27th consecutive year of spending increases.

The strengthening of Chinese military capabilities has prompted its regional neighbors to in turn increase their military budgets.

Japan spent $7 billion, an increase of 7.3%, the biggest annual increase since 1972.

Australia also spent 4% more on its military, reaching $31.8 billion in 2021.

India, the world’s third biggest spender at $76.6 billion, also increased its funding in 2021, but by a more modest 0.9%.

The UK is in fourth place, with a 3% increase in military spending to $68.4 billion.

It replaces Saudi Arabia, which cut spending by 17% to an estimated $55.6 billion.

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