World Military Spending Drops in 2012
Global military spending dipped last year for the first time since 1998 as defense outlays shrank in the West but rose in Russia, China and the Middle East, a Swedish-based arms watchdog said Monday.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said the world spent $1.75 trillion on its armed forces in 2012, down 0.5 percent from the year before.
The fall, driven by spending cuts in the U.S. and other NATO nations, was partially offset by increases elsewhere. Military spending rose by 7.8 percent in China and by 16 percent in Russia, while Oman’s 51-percent boost was the biggest percentage increase in the world, SIPRI said.
“We are seeing what may be the beginning of a shift in the balance of world military spending from the rich Western countries to emerging regions,” SIPRI researcher Sam Perlo-Freeman said in a statement. The drop in the West was linked to austerity policies and the drawdown in Afghanistan, he added.