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. Also read: Pope says increased defence spending after Ukraine is 'madness' "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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