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The report on Trends in World Military Expenditure

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

The report on Trends in World Military Expenditure

What to study?

For Prelims: Key findings of the report.

For Mains: Need for military spending, concerns associated.

Context: The report on Trends in World Military Expenditure was recently released by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).

Key findings:

India specific:

  1. Top three biggest military spenders in the world last year: The United States, China and India.
  2. This is the first time that India and China have featured among the top three military spenders.
  3. New Delhi’s defence spending grew 6.8% to reach $71.1 billion in 2019.
  4. India’s military expenditure grew 259% over the 30-year period (1990-2019) and by 37% over the decade (2010–19).
  5. However, its (India’s) military burden fell from 2.7% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 to 2.4% in 2019.
  6. India’s military spending has grown significantly over the past decade due to a raft of reasons including a mounting salary bill for about 1.4 million serving personnel, pensions for more than two million veterans and deals worth billions of dollars to induct new combat jets, air defence missile systems, helicopters, warships and artillery guns to enhance capabilities.

Global scenario:

  1. According to the report, global military expenditure stood at around $1,917 billion in 2019 – the highest in over three decades.
  2. This represents an increase of 3.6% over the global defence spending in 2018 and the largest annual growth in military expenditure since 2010.
  3. The five top spenders in 2019 accounted for 62% of the global expenditure.
  4. The US topped the list of military spenders with $732 billion in 2019 accounting for 38% of the total global defence expenditure. It spent almost as much on its military last year as the next 10 highest spenders combined, the report said.
  5. China’s military expenditure has increased continuously since 1994 (for 25 consecutive years). The growth in its military spending has closely matched the country’s economic growth.

Sources: the Hindu.