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

Norway Joins the Race to Develop Killer Robots
2014 10 24
Norway is a large exporter of weapons, which makes the resolution of the debate about creating killer robots an important issue for everyone.  One could debate the overall merits or failings of robotic systems, but an area that clearly has become a point for concern on all sides is the emergence of "killer robots." According to robotics pioneer, David Hanson, ...
Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
More News »