AKIPRESS.COM - Global spending on military equipment reached an all-time high of $2.24 trillion in 2022, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said on Monday. India’s military spending of $81.4 billion was the fourth highest in the world in 2022 and saw a jump of 6% from the previous year. The report mentioned that 2022 was the eighth consecutive year when global military spending rose. The report comes amidst the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, impacting the security architecture of Europe, Mint reported.
China maintained its position as the world's second-largest military spender, allocating an estimated $292 billion toward military expenditure in 2022. This amount was 4.2% higher than in 2021 and represented an increase of 63% compared to 2013. It is noteworthy that China's military spending has increased for 28 years in a row.
United States on top despite record inflation
The United States continues to be the largest military spender globally, with military spending amounting to $877 billion in 2022. This figure represented 39% of the total global military expenditure and was three times higher than the military spending of China, which is the world's second-largest spender. Despite the 0.7% increase in US military spending in real terms in 2022, the increase would have been more significant if it were not for the highest levels of inflation since 1981.
In the European region, the rise in military spending has been steepest with a 13% jump in expenditure. SIPRI said that many countries in Europe stepped up their military spending after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Return of Cold War level military spending
The combined military budget of Central and Western European countries in 2022 amounted to $345 billion, which is higher than the spending level in 1989 when the cold war was ending when adjusted for inflation. Moreover, the military spending of these states in 2022 was 30% more than it was in 2013.
“The Russia-Ukraine conflict had an immediate impact on military spending decisions in Central and Western Europe. This included multi-year plans to boost spending from several governments," said Dr. Diego Lopes da Silva, Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.
Finland, Lithuania, Sweden, and Poland experienced some of the most significant rises in military spending. Specifically, Finland's military expenditure increased by 36%, Lithuania's by 27%, Sweden's by 12%, and Poland's by 11%.
Military Spending by Russia and Ukraine
It is estimated that in 2022, Russia's military spending increased by around 9.2%, reaching approximately $86.4 billion, making it as the third largest military spender. This amounted to 4.1% of Russia's gross domestic product (GDP), compared to 3.7% in 2021. Furthermore, according to figures released by Russia in late 2022, spending on national defense - the most significant element of the country's military expenditure - exceeded budgetary plans drawn up in 2021 by 34% in nominal terms.
In 2022, Ukraine's military expenditure totaled $44 billion, marking the most significant one-year increase in a country's military spending ever recorded in SIPRI data, with an increase of 640%. The surge in military spending, coupled with the economic damage caused by the ongoing war, resulted in a considerable increase in Ukraine's military burden. In particular, the military burden, which measures military spending as a share of GDP, rose to 34% of GDP in 2022, up from 3.2% in 2021.
Japan’s military spending increased by 5.9 per cent between 2021 and 2022, reaching $46.0 billion, or 1.1 per cent of GDP. This was the highest level of Japanese military spending since 1960.
‘Japan is undergoing a profound shift in its military policy,’ said Xiao Liang, Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme. ‘The post-war restraints Japan imposed on its military spending and military capabilities seem to be loosening.’