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»Die weltweiten Militärausgaben steigen an«

Studie des Friedensforschungsinstituts SIPRI, 2.5.2018 (englische Originalfassung)

World military expenditure is estimated to have reached $1739 billion in 2017, the highest level since the end of the cold war. After 13 consecutive years of increases from 1999 to 2011 and relatively unchanged spending from 2012 to 2016, total global expenditure rose marginally in 2017, by 1.1 per cent in real terms. This Fact Sheet highlights the regional and national trends in 2017 and over the decade 2008–17 shown by new data from the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database. Military spending in 2017 represented 2.2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $230 per person. Military expenditure as a share of GDP—the ‘military burden’—assesses the proportion of national resources dedicated to military activities and the burden on the economy. The global military burden has ranged from a post-cold war high of 3.3 per cent in 1992 to a low of 2.1 per cent in 2014.

The 15 countries with the highest military spending in 2017 were the same as those in 2016, but with a few notable changes in their ranking. These 15 countries accounted for $1396 billion, or 80 per cent, of total global spending. Six of the 15 made large increases (of more than 30 per cent) in their military spending between 2008 and 2017: China, Turkey, India, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Three made more moderate increases (of 10–30 per cent) —South Korea, Brazil and Canada—and three made minor increases (of less than 10 per cent) — Germany, France and Japan. Military spending fell over the decade in three of the 15—Italy, the United Kingdom and, most notably, the United States, where spending fell by 14 per cent, equivalent to $95 billion (in constant 2016 prices).

Among the 15 largest spenders, Saudi Arabia had the highest military burden in 2017, at 10 per cent of GDP, while Japan had the lowest, at 0.9 per cent of GDP. There is a spending gap between the top five spenders — the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Russia and India — and the rest of the top 15 countries. While these five all allocated over $60 billion to their militaries in 2017, all but one of the other 10 countries spent less than $50 billion (the exception being France which spent $57.8 billion). Together, the top five accounted for 60 per cent of global military spending in 2017. At $610 billion, US military spending accounted for more than a third of the world total in 2017. The USA’s spending was 2.7 times greater than the next highest spender, China; indeed, the USA spent more than the next seven highest spenders combined. While US military expenditure had fallen each year since 2010, in 2017 it was unchanged from 2016. However, the US military budget for 2018 has been set at a substantially higher level ($700 billion). The higher spending is to support increases in military personnel and the modernization of conventional and nuclear weapons. China allocated an estimated $228 billion to its military in 2017, an increase of 5.6 per cent compared with 2016. This increase was the lowest since 2010 but remains in line with GDP growth plus inflation, and China’s military burden thus stayed at 1.9 per cent of GDP.

Saudi Arabia was the third largest spender in 2017 following a 9.2 per cent increase in military expenditure to $69.4 billion. By contrast, Russia’s military spending fell by 20 per cent to $66.3 billion, making it the fourth largest spender. India, where spending rose by 5.5 per cent in 2017 to $63.9 billion, moved from sixth place to fifth in the rankings in 2017, overtaking France. Seven of the 15 highest spenders are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO): the USA (rank 1), France (rank 6), the UK (rank 7), Germany (rank 9), Italy (rank 12), Canada (rank 14) and Turkey (rank 15). Together, these seven accounted for 48 per cent ($827 billion) of global military expenditure. Total spending by all 29 NATO members was $900 billion in 2017.

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