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World

Driven by rivalry against Pakistan, India boost military expenditure in 2019

“India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military s
27 Apr 2020
  • “India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending,” says Siemon T. Wezeman, SIPRI Senior Researcher.
  • Total global military expenditure rose to $1917 billion in 2019.

In 2019 India incurred a mammoth $71.1 billion in military expenditure showing a growth of 6.8 percent as compared to a lowly $10.3 billion by Pakistan the same year showing a growth of a meager 1.8pc, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

“India’s tensions and rivalry with both Pakistan and China are among the major drivers for its increased military spending,” says Siemon T. Wezeman, SIPRI Senior Researcher in a statement. Whereas, Pakistan was ranked at 24th place, with military spending constituting 4pc of its GDP.

Meanwhile, total global military expenditure rose to $1,917 billion in 2019. The total for 2019 represents an increase of 3.6pc from 2018 and the largest annual growth in spending since 2010. The five largest spenders in 2019, which accounted for 62pc of expenditure, were the United States, China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

The report said that this is the first time that two Asian states have featured among the top three military spenders.

Global military spending in 2019 represented 2.2pc of the global gross domestic product (GDP), which equates to approximately $249 per person. “Global military expenditure was 7.2pc higher in 2019 than it was in 2010, showing a trend that military spending growth has accelerated in recent years,” says Dr Nan Tian, SIPRI Researcher. “This is the highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis and probably represents a peak in expenditure.”

As per the report, US lead the world in military spending that grew by 5.3pc to a total of $732 billion in 2019 and accounted for 38pc of global military spending. The increase in US spending in 2019 alone was equivalent to the entirety of Germany’s military expenditure for that year. ‘The recent growth in US military spending is largely based on a perceived return to competition between the great powers,’ says Pieter D. Wezeman, Senior Researcher at SIPRI.

In 2019 China and India were, respectively, the second- and third-largest military spenders in the world. China’s military expenditure reached $261 billion in 2019, a 5.1pc increase compared with 2018, while India’s grew by 6.8 percent to $71.1 billion.

In addition to China and India, Japan ($47.6 billion) and South Korea ($43.9 billion) were the largest military spenders in Asia and Oceania. Military expenditure in the region has risen every year since at least 1989.

Germany leads military expenditure increases in Europe which rose by 10pc in 2019, to $49.3 billion. This was the largest increase in spending among the top 15 military spenders in 2019. “The growth in German military spending can partly be explained by the perception of an increased threat from Russia, shared by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member states,” says Diego Lopes da Silva, Researcher at SIPRI.

In 2019 Russia was the fourth-largest spender in the world and increased its military expenditure by 4.5 per cent to $65.1 billion. “At 3.9 percent of its GDP, Russia’s military spending burden was among the highest in Europe in 2019,” says Alexandra Kuimova, Researcher at SIPRI.