Global military spending in 2022 increased by 3.7 percent in real terms reaching $2.24 trillion, with the highest increase in Europe over the past 30 years, fueled by the conflict in Ukraine and tensions in Asia.
The United States, China and Russia are the top three spenders, accounting for 56 percent of the world total, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published on Monday.
SIPRI said the situation in Ukraine and tensions in East Asia became the main growth factors with the sharpest rise in spending of 13 percent seen in Europe.
“The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world,” said Nan Tian, senior researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.
“States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future,” he added.
The report also said military expenditure by Central and Western European countries has returned to the Cold War level.
In Central and Western Europe, the spending reached US$345 billion in 2022, surpassing in real terms the 1989 level when the Cold War was ending.
Some countries have already increased their defense spending, while some announced their intention to do so “over periods of up to a decade.”
The sharpest rise in military spending was seen in Finland (36 percent), Lithuania (27 percent), Sweden (12 percent) and Poland (11 percent).
According to the institute’s experts, the situation in Ukraine had an immediate impact on military spending decisions in Central and Eastern Europe.
“This included multi-year plans to boost spending from several governments. As a result, we can reasonably expect military expenditure in Central and Western Europe to keep rising in the years ahead,” said Diego Lopes da Silva, senior researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE