THE top 5 military spenders in 2021 were the US, China, India, the UK and Russia, which together accounted for almost 62 per cent of the world military expenditure, data published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) showed on Monday (25).
India’s military spending was recorded to be at $76.6 billion in 2021, which shows an increase of 0.9 per cent in comparison to 2020 and an increase of 33 per cent in comparison to 2012.
The world military expenditure touched an all-time high of $2.1 trillion in 2021, an increase of 0.7 per cent in real terms, the think tank reported.
The world military spending touched record levels even amid the economic crisis faced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, noted Dr Diego Lopes da Silva, senior researcher with SIPRI’s military expenditure and arms production programme.
The defence spending amounted to 2.2 per cent of global GDP amid economic recovery from the pandemic in 2021. In 2020, military spending had reached 2.3 per cent of global GDP.
The war in Ukraine, which Russia calls a “special military operation”, has forced a rapid rethink in Europe over defence strategies and led a string of countries to promise large increases in military budgets.
It has also paved the way for a potential expansion of NATO military alliance to include Finland and Sweden.
The biggest effect of increased military budgets is likely to be visible in the coming years, but spending was already on the rise in 2021 amid heightened tensions in the run-up to Russia’s invasion.
Top 5 military spenders
The US military spending reached $801bn in 2021, which shows a drop of 1.4 per cent in comparison to 2020. The US has increased funding for military research and development by 24 per cent and reduced spending on the purchase of arms by 6.4 per cent between 2012 and 2021.
China spent $293bn on military expenditure in 2021, which shows an increase of 4.7 per cent in comparison to 2020.
India’s military spending in 2021 has been ranked the third-largest in the world at $76.6bn.
Amid India’s push to strengthen the indigenous arms industry, the government earmarked 64 per cent of capital outlays in the military budget of 2021 for acquisitions of domestically produced arms.
The UK’s military spending was recorded at $68.4bn in 2021, which shows an increase of 3 per cent since 2020.
Russia’s military spending was recorded to be $65.9bn in 2021, which shows an increase of 2.9 per cent since 2020. Russia’s military expenditure registered growth for the third consecutive year and reached 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2021.