Published: 13:05, April 23, 2024 | Updated: 15:28, April 23, 2024
Think tank: Global military spending surges amid conflicts, rising tensions
By Xinhua
Pakistani fighter jets perform aerobatic maneuvers during a rehearsal for an upcoming Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad, capital of Pakistan, March 12, 2024. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

STOCKHOLM - Global military spending saw its steepest year-on-year increase last year since 2009, amid conflicts, rising tensions, and insecurity, a Stockholm-based think tank said on Monday.

In its latest report, the International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said that total global military expenditure reached $2,443 billion in 2023, an increase of 6.8 percent in real terms from 2022. The United States is the largest global spender.

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Lorenzo Scarazzato, a researcher at SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program, said that such an unprecedented rise in military spending is a direct response to a global deterioration in peace and security. While countries are prioritizing military strength, they risk "an action-reaction spiral in the increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape," he said.

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In 2023, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members accounted for $1,341 billion, equal to 55 percent of the world's military expenditure. Military spending by the US rose by 2.3 percent to reach $916 billion in 2023, representing 68 percent of total NATO military spending, SIPRI's report indicated.

Change in military spending since 1992, globally and by region, according to SIPRI data. (GRAPHIC / AFP) 

Most European NATO members increased their military expenditure last year. Their combined share of the NATO total was 28 percent, the highest in a decade, the report added.

For Europe's NATO states, the past two years of Russia-Ukraine conflict "have fundamentally changed the security outlook," Scarazzato said.

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"This shift in threat perceptions is reflected in growing shares of GDP being directed towards military spending, with the NATO target of 2 percent increasingly being seen as a baseline rather than a threshold to reach," he added.

SIPRI, founded in 1966, provides data, analysis and recommendations for military expenditure, the arms trade, disarmament and arms control.