IT&Software

India is now world's fifth largest military spender

India is now world's fifth largest military spender

India emerged as the world's 5th biggest military spender, ahead of its arch rival Pakistan, says a new report from a European think tank.

According to figures released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) on Monday, India spent $55.9 billion on its military in 2016. China comes second on the list with $215 billion expenditure whereas Russian Federation takes the third spot after its military spending amplified to 5.9% previous year to $69.2 billion.

Russia , meanwhile, was the world's third-largest military spender, accounting for 4.1 percent of total military expenditure. "For example, between 2015 and 2016, Saudi Arabia had the biggest absolute decrease in spending of $25.8 billion".

US military expenditure growth in 2016 is a throwback from a trend of relative yearly decreases as a result of oversees wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as economic recession. The 2016 spike is the first consecutive year increase since 2011 as well.

"Future spending patterns remain uncertain due to the changing political situation in the United States".

North America marked its first increase since 2010, while Western Europe marked a second consecutive increase of 2.6% since 2016.

It added that spending continued to grow in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe and North Africa. This is almost three times the level of China's spending. Neighbor Lithuania increased its defense spending by 35 percent.

"Falling oil revenue and associated economic problems attached to the oil-price shock has forced many oil-exporting countries to reduce military spending", said Nan Tian, a researcher with SIPRI.

Aeveral oil-exporting countries - namely Algeria, Iran, Kuwait, and Norway - bucked the trend and continued on with their spending plans a year ago, since they were better prepared to face the oil price shock, according to SIPRI.

"China had by far the highest military spending in the region: an estimated $215 billion, or 48 per cent of regional spending". For countries where data is available, substantial increases were seen in Iran and Kuwait, while sizable decreases were noted in Iraq and Saudi Arabia. This shows that the United States is way ahead of any other country in terms of military expenditure.

Bales added that an increasingly tense worldwide political climate adds to this drive to acquire arms, with wars in the Middle East, tensions in the South China Sea and other conflicts, coupled with diminishing trust in the efficacy of global organizations like the United Nations.


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