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Global military spending remains high at $1.7 trillion

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Staff Writer | May 21, 2018
Total world military expenditure rose to $1739 billion in 2017, a marginal increase of 1.1 percent in real terms from 2016, according to new figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
China military
Defense   China’s military expenditure rose again in 2017
China’s military expenditure rose again in 2017, continuing an upward trend in spending that has lasted for more than two decades.

Russia’s military spending fell for the first time since 1998, while spending by the United States remained constant for the second successive year.

After 13 consecutive years of increases from 1999 to 2011 and relatively unchanged spending from 2012 to 2016, total global military expenditure rose again in 2017.

Military spending in 2017 represented 2.2 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $230 per person.

​​​​​​China leads continued spending increase in

sia and Oceania Military expenditure in Asia and Oceania rose for the 29th successive year.

China, the second largest spender globally, increased its military spending by 5.6 percent to $228 billion in 2017. China’s spending as a share of world military expenditure has risen from 5.8 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2017.

India spent $63.9 billion on its military in 2017, an increase of 5.5 percent compared with 2016, while South Korea’s spending, at $39.2 billion, rose by 1.7 percent between 2016 and 2017.

​​​​​​Spending falls sharply in Russia, but rises

n Central and Western Europe At $66.3 billion, Russia’s military spending in 2017 was 20 percent lower than in 2016, the first annual decrease since 1998.

Driven, in part, by the perception of a growing threat from Russia, military spending in both Central and Western Europe increased in 2017, by 12 and 1.7 percent, respectively.

Many European states are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and, within that framework, have agreed to increase their military spending. Total military spending by all 29 NATO members was $900 billion in 2017, accounting for 52 percent of world spending.

Higher spending

y Saudi Arabia drives increase in the Middle East Military expenditure in the Middle East rose by 6.2 percent in 2017. Spending by Saudi Arabia increased by 9.2 percent in 2017 following a fall in 2016.

With spending of $69.4 billion, Saudi Arabia had the third highest military expenditure in the world in 2017. Iran (19 percent) and Iraq (22 percent) also recorded significant increases in military spending in 2017.

In 2017 military expenditure as a share of GDP (known as the ‘military burden’) was highest in the Middle East, at 5.2 percent. No other region in the world allocated more than 1.8 percent of GDP to military spending.

The United States continues to have the highest military expenditure in the world. In 2017 the USA spent more on its military than the next seven highest-spending countries combined. At $610 billion, US military spending was unchanged between 2016 and 2017

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