Despite the covid-19 pandemic, world military spending for the first time in history has exceeded US$ 2 trillion, according to a survey published this Monday (25) by the Stockholm Institute for World Peace (SIPRI).
In 2021, around 2.2% of global GDP went to the military sector – a nominal increase of 6.1% compared to 2020 and 0.7% in real terms, considering the variation in inflation over the same period. The amount allocated to the defense sector is almost ten times higher than the collection target established by the World Health Organization (WHO) to combat the global health emergency.
The countries that lead the ranking are the United States (US$ 801 billion/R$ 3.9 trillion), China (US$ 293 billion/R$ 1.4 trillion), India (US$ 76.6 billion/R$ 370 billion), the United Kingdom (US$ 68.4 billion/R$ 333 billion) and Russia (US$ 65.9 billion/R$ 321 billion), which together account for 61.7% of the total of US$ 2,113 trillion (about R$11.6 trillion).
In the US, the military budget had a slight drop of 1.4% between 2020 and 2021, however the country continues to lead the SIPRI ranking, concentrating 39% of the total capital. Investments in military research and development increased by 24% between 2012 and 2021. “The United States has invested more in Research and Development (R&D) in the last decade. The focus on emerging technologies is a way for the United States to maintain the technological advantage over its strategic adversaries”, comments to the Brazil de facto the researcher at the Stockholm Institute, Diego Lopes da Silva.
In addition, eight North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member countries have reached the Alliance’s target of spending 2% or more of GDP on their armed forces in 2021. The biggest increase was from Japan, which allocated US$54 .1 billion for defense in 2021 – 7.3% more than the previous budget.
China, on the other hand, has steadily increased its military spending for 27 years. From 2020 onwards, the value rose 4.7%. Third in the ranking, India allocated US$ 76.6 billion to the military sector, with 64% of the capital allocated to the acquisition of domestically produced weapons. “With regard to national security, the Five-Year Plan provides for the continuous modernization of the People’s Liberation Army until 2035 and the strengthening of the Armed Forces until 2049”, comments Diego Lopes da Silva.
According Chinese government report submitted to the United Nations, in 2020, 37.2% of the defense budget was dedicated to the purchase of equipment and 33.2% to training and maintenance, while 29.6% to hiring and remuneration.
In Europe, the UK tops the list with a 3% increase in its military budget compared to 2020. Next, Germany also saw a 3% increase in military spending, representing $56 billion, about 1% of German GDP. and 2.7% of the total world value.
As 2022 is spent, the consequences of the war in Ukraine are not yet consolidated. But, as an example, in April, the German government approved a new increase in its budgetraising overall defense spending to €2 billion, plus an extra €100 billion to the Armed Forces due to the ongoing conflict.
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“This is not the first time that Russian actions have influenced European military spending. Shortly after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, European military spending rose considerably. This trend was more marked among Central European countries, geographically closer to the Russia. In 2014, only two European NATO member countries spent the equivalent of 2% of GDP on Defense. In 2021, that number jumped to eight”, stresses the senior researcher at SIPRI.
Russia has increased its defense budget by 2.9%, with 2021 being the third consecutive year of growth. Russia’s military spending reached 4.1% of GDP in 2021.
Brazil leads the list of Latin America, concentrating 1% of the total amount, and the federal government forecast is BRL 11.8 billion in funds for the Ministry of Defense in 2022, an increase of BRL 132 million in relation to 2021.
More than half of the new state investments in 2022 are destined to five actions of the Ministry of Defensewith R$ 627.5 million.
Among the main projects is the acquisition of the KC-390 military freighter, the Integrated Border Monitoring System (Sisfron), the Armored Forces Project and the development of the Navy’s nuclear technology systems. Together, these four actions will have an increase of BRL 956 million compared to the 2021 division of funds.
Transfer of Arms
The United States is also the first in the weapons transfer rankingresponsible for 39% of the world’s arms exports, followed by Russia, with 19%, and France, with 11%.
The largest security companies are American, Lockheed Martin Corporation, with a revenue of US$ 53.2 billion in 2019, followed by Boeing, with US$ 33.6 billion, and Northrup Grumman Corporation, with US$ 29.2 billion. .
Saudi Arabia and India are the main arms importers, with each nation accounting for 11% of purchases.
Editing: Arturo Hartmann