Global Military Spending Reaches All-Time High

    Global Military Spending Reaches All-Time High
    Last updated Apr 24, 2023
    Image credit: AP


    • Military spending worldwide reached an all-time high of $2.24T last year, a leading defense think tank said in a new report issued Monday.[1]
    • In its annual report on global military expenditure, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said military spending has risen for the eighth consecutive year and jumped by 3.7% in real terms since the previous year.[2]
    • "The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world," Nan Tian, a senior researcher at SIPRI said. "States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future."[1]
    • The largest jumps in expenditure were seen in Europe which saw a 13% rise — the steepest the figure has been in 30 years. Much of that was credited to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which prompted increased spending among both countries and in neighboring states who perceive a threat of escalation.[3]
    • For example, Finland increased spending by 36% while Lithuania spent an additional 27%. Sweden saw an increase of 12%, while an 11% rise was seen in Poland.[4]
    • US spending on the military continued to top the list with $877B spent last year — a figure that was more than the next 10 countries combined. China was second with $292B spent while Russia was third on the list with spending of $86B; the only region where military spending declined was sub-Saharan Africa after the biggest spender Nigeria reduced expenditure by 38% year-on-year.[5]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    This rise in global military spending has been largely fuelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Unsurprisingly that neighboring countries such as Finland, Lithuania, and Poland have had to ramp up spending to keep the Russian threat at bay.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The US — by far the world's biggest military spender — needs to rethink this. Every year, the figure rises without anyone stopping to ask if such an increase is really necessary. US spending on the military will likely exceed $1T in the coming decade. Congress needs to re-evaluate.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that at least 2.19% of world GDP will be spent on military expenses in 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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