Is the global arms trade recession-proof? Almost, it appears. While government spending is being cut across the globe, military spending is staying remarkably steady.
The world’s countries spent $1.7tn on their militaries last year, according to new figures published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). It’s barely changed from the year before, masking decreases in the west countered by big increases in China, Russia and some Middle eastern countries, The Guardian reports.
The SIPRI military expenditure project was initiated in 1967 to study developments in world military expenditure. Military expenditure is an indicator of the economic resources devoted to military purposes. There is no direct relationship between the level of military expenditure and output in terms of military resources, military activities or military capability. Military expenditure is an input measure and military output depends on several factors other than its financing. However, analysed in its economic and political context, the level and trend in military expenditure can provide information not only on the cost of military activities but also about their extent and change over time, which can have an impact on military capability or reflect military intentions.
Military Expenditure Database
The SIPRI database on military expenditure covers 172 countries and contains consistent data for the period since 1988. Data for the most recent 10-year period are published annually in the SIPRI Yearbook. Data from 1988 is available in the SIPRI military expenditure database on-line. SIPRI provides the only long-term, historically consistent series of military expenditure data with global coverage available today.
SIPRI military expenditure data are based on open sources, including a SIPRI Questionnaire on military expenditure, which is sent out annually to the countries included in the database. Collected data are processed to achieve consistent time series and as far as possible in accordance with the SIPRI definition of military expenditure. See also Sources and methods for SIPRI data on military expenditure.
*Looking for data on US military aid? SIPRI does not collect this data, but the Federation of American Scientists does.