Global arms spending hits record despite downturn
2010 06 03

By Niklas Pollard | YahooNews.com


Worldwide military spending surged to a record $1.5 trillion last year, defying an economic downturn caused by the global financial crisis, a leading think tank said on Wednesday.

Military spending last year rose 5.9 percent in real terms compared to 2008 with the United States accounting for more than half of that increase, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in its annual report on arms spending.

"The far-reaching effects of the global financial crisis and economic recession appear to have had little impact on world military expenditure," the think tank said.

"Although the USA led the rise, it was not alone. Of those countries for which data was available, 65 percent increased their military spending in real terms in 2009."

Global gross domestic product (GDP) suffered a rare contraction last year, shrinking 0.9 percent according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, as the financial crisis sent economies across the world into recession.

SIPRI, which conducts independent research on international security, armaments and disarmament, said the rise in spending reflected the mild economic slowdown for some major purchasers, such as China, but also longer-term strategic aims.

"Many countries were increasing public spending generally in 2009, as a way of boosting demand to combat the recession. Although military spending wasn’t usually a major part of the economic stimulus packages, it wasn’t cut either," said Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure Project.

"The figures also demonstrate that for major or intermediate powers such as the USA, China, Russia, India and Brazil, military spending represents a long-term strategic choice which they are willing to make even in hard economic times."

DEFICITS COULD WEIGH

U.S. military spending, burdened by huge costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, rose 7.7 percent in real terms to hit $661 billion, more than six times as much as China, the second biggest spender ahead of France, Britain and Russia.

But China’s rise as a global military power becomes clearer when viewed over the past decade. During that period its military spending has surged 217 percent compared to a 76 percent rise for the United States and an increase of 49 percent globally.

The economic crisis severely strained public finances in many countries, not least in southern Europe, and the daunting task of cutting gaping budget deficits might hold back arms spending in the coming years, the think tank said.

"For many countries, the need to cut deficits will mean a reckoning in 2010 or 2011, in which military spending will likely be one area that comes under scrutiny for potential cuts," SIPRI said in the report.

"For others, however, this reckoning may be delayed, or may not come at all. In the USA, the Obama administration’s budgets for financial years 2010 and 2011 show U.S. military spending -- boosted by the escalating conflict in Afghanistan -- continuing its seemingly inexorable rise -- crisis or no."

Article from: news.yahoo.com



Related Articles
War Without End: Leaving Afghanistan Not An Option
US toll reaches 1,000 deaths in Afghanistan war
North Korea warns of war if punished for ship sinking, "all-out war"
British Journalist and ClimateGate Vanguard - Climate Change Debate as ‘Important’ as World Wars
Pakistani Taliban say America will "burn" (Playing their roles to achieve a new war theatre?)
Iran says it warned off U.S. plane near manoeuvres
The Global Economic Crisis, The Great Depression of the XXI Century
Confessions of An Economic Hit Man - What Really Goes on Behind Global Affairs (Video)
The CIA’s Operations & U.S. Economic Interests (Video)
Instead of Fixing the Economy or Creating Jobs, Obama Will Spend The Money in Afghanistan and Iraq
Gun Slingers: Arms sales around the world (Image)
Military Industrial Complex Biometric Surveillance Control Grid Revealing Itself


Latest News from our Front Page

Pre-historic tokens used in conjunction with cuneiform
2014 07 22
An archaeological dig in southeast Turkey has uncovered a large number of clay tokens that were used as records of trade until the advent of writing, or so it had been believed. But a new find of tokens, dates from a time when writing was commonplace – thousands of years after it was previously assumed this technology had become obsolete. Researchers ...
Are immigration opponents Nazis?
2014 07 22
It seems the usual suspects are calling anyone who opposes unlimited immigration to be a "Nazi". The Left seems to be in constant fear of "Nazis" that lurk in public policy discussions and I assume under their beds. If you oppose any Leftist position, you are a.... take a wild guess...wait for it.... a NAZI! Tim Wise recently went ...
What Did US Spy Satellites See in Ukraine?
2014 07 22
Exclusive: The U.S. media’s Ukraine bias has been obvious, siding with the Kiev regime and bashing ethnic Russian rebels and Russia’s President Putin. But now – with the scramble to blame Putin for the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down – the shoddy journalism has grown truly dangerous, says Robert Parry. In the heat of the U.S. media’s latest war hysteria – rushing to ...
Oh, Great: Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews
2014 07 22
Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head who wants to know about that time you took ketamine. Psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) are developing an interview system that uses a responsive on-screen avatar for the first stage of the national security clearance process. Initial screening for a variety ...
Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?
2014 07 22
Is there anybody…out there? I promise I’m a real person asking this question and typing this article…but beyond that, I can’t promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet. This article on ZDNet, “GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping,” confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of ...
More News »