Data Published By Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI):
According to the latest data published by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), military spending across the world rose to USD 1,981 billion in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The 2.6% increase in world military spending came in a year when the global GDP shrank by 4.4% largely due to the economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Military spending as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), reached a global average of 2.4% in 2020, up from 2.2% in 2019.
- The five biggest spenders in 2020, which together accounted for 62% of global military expenditure were: the United States>China>India>Russia>the United Kingdom.
- US: 2020 was the third consecutive year of growth in US military spending, following seven years of continuous reductions.
- This reflects growing concerns over perceived threats from strategic competitors such as China and Russia, as well as the Trump administration’s drive to bolster what it saw as a depleted US military.
- China: China’s spending has risen for 26 consecutive years, the longest series of uninterrupted increases by any country in the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database.
- Nearly all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) saw their military burden rise in 2020.
- The countries with the biggest increases in military burden among the top 15 spenders in 2020 were Saudi Arabia, Russia, Israel and US.
- India was the third largest military spender in the world in 2020, behind only the US and China.
- India’s military expenditure was USD 72.9 billion and it accounted for 3.7% of the global military expenditure share.
- India’s spending since 2019 grew by 2.1%. The increase can be largely attributed to India’s ongoing conflict with Pakistan and renewed border tension with China.
- The continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, of course, has led India to make several emergency arms purchases from abroad since the crisis erupted in early May 2020.
- India’s annual military expenditure also includes a huge pension bill for 33-lakh million veterans and defence civilians.
- In the 2021-2022 defence budget, for instance, the pension bill was Rs. 1.15 lakh crore out of the total Rs 4.78 lakh crore outlay.
- India has to maintain an over 15-lakh strong armed forces because of the two active and unresolved borders with China and Pakistan.
- Consequently, the revenue expenditure for the day-to-day running costs and salary bill in the defence budget by far outstrips the capital outlay for military modernization, leaving critical operational shortages on different fronts, ranging from fighters to submarines.
- With a weak domestic defence-industrial base, India of course continues to languish in the strategically-vulnerable position of being the world’s second-largest arms importer just behind Saudi Arabia.
- India accounted for 9.5% of the total global arms imports during 2016-2020.
About Stockholm International Peace Research Institute:
- This is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.
- It was established in 1966 in Stockholm (Sweden).
- It provides data, analysis and recommendations, based on open sources, to policymakers, researchers, media and the interested public.