As per the data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India is among the top five military spenders in the world. The other countries on the list include- the United States, China, the United Kingdom, and Russia. These 5 countries account for over 62% of the world’s military expenditure.
The world’s military expenditure is at an all-time high
According to reports of SIPRI, which monitors developments in worldwide expenditure, the money spent on defense training and acquisition of weapons hit an all-time high in 2021. In a public statement, SIPRI stated that the overall global military expenditure increased by 0.7 percent in 2021 and reached a record-breaking high of USD 2113 billion.
Increase in India’s defense expenditure
India spending rose by 0.9 percent from 2020 and by 33 percent from 2012 amounting to USD 76.6 billion in 2021. A long-running conflict with China ensured that India spent more on its defense forces and overall budget than what it spent in 2019. The report attributed increase in defense expenditure to the ongoing tensions and regular border disputes with its neighboring countries of Pakistan and China. “India has prioritized the modernization of its armed forces and self-reliance in the production of arms” stated the report, amidst regular armed clashes with its not-so-friendly neighbors. The institute also marked an increase in the acquisition of domestically produced arms to give a much-needed push to its indigenous industry.
While India occupied the third rank in terms of military expenditure, standing tall in the first and second position were USA and China. The US military spending reached a grappling USD 801 billion in 2021 which was surprisingly a drop from 2020. The country accounted for 38 percent of the global military spending.
China’s rising control over Asia looms fear
Meanwhile, China spent saw a prominent rise of 4.7 percent in its military spending, as it touched its highest ever mark of USD 293 billion on defense. The report also established that China’s military expenditure has grown for the 27th consecutive year. Dr. Nan Tian, a senior researcher in a statement made to SIPRI said that the growth of China’s influence and assertiveness in and around the East China Sea and South Asia is a major driving force behind the increasing military expenditure of countries such as Australia and Japan.
How did the Russian economy bounce back?
Russia also witnessed an increase in its defense expenditure for the third successive year. The military expenditure of the country prominently declined between 2016 and 2019; owing to some sanctions imposed by the west. However, high revenues from oil and gas enabled Moscow to stand back on its feet and boost its spending in 2021.
Effects of Covid-19 on military expenditure
The report also confirmed that the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic had close to no effect on the military spending of most world countries. In a statement made to the institute, Dr. Deigo Lopes da Silvia, Senior Researcher at SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme said that even though there was a slowdown in the rate of real-term growth due to inflation, military spending grew by 6.1 percent in nominal terms.
The reports from SIPRI express all the percentage changes in real terms. While calculating “military expenditure” the institution includes all government spending on the current defense forces and their activities. It also includes salaries, benefits, operational expenses, research and development, equipment purchases, and central administration.
Published by: Ifa Zamzami