Global Military Spending Hits Record $2.4 Trillion in 2023

Global military spending reaches record high of $2.443 trillion in 2023, driven by Ukraine war and geopolitical tensions. Experts warn of escalating arms race and deteriorating international peace.

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Global Military Spending Hits Record $2.4 Trillion in 2023

Global Military Spending Hits Record $2.4 Trillion in 2023

Global military spending reached an unprecedented $2.443 trillion in 2023, a 6.8% increase from 2022, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual report. This marks the steepest year-on-year rise since 2009 and the highest level SIPRI has ever recorded.

The increase in military expenditure was driven primarily by the ongoing war in Ukraine and intensifying geopolitical tensions in Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East. Military spending rose across all five geographical regions, with particularly large increases in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

The United States remained the world's largest defense spender, outlaying $916 billion in 2023, while China spent an estimated $296 billion. Russia's military spending increased by 24% to $109 billion due to its invasion of Ukraine, which also saw its military spending increase by 51% to $64.8 billion.

Why this matters: The unprecedented rise in global military spending highlights the deteriorating state of international peace and security. As countries prioritize military strength, there is a risk of escalating tensions and an arms race that could have far-reaching consequences for global stability and economic development.

Nan Tian, a senior researcher at SIPRI, stated, "Total military spending is at an all time high... and for the first time since 2009, we saw spending increase across all five geographical regions." The world military burden, defined as military spending as a percentage of global GDP, increased to 2.3% in 2023, and world military spending per person was the highest since 1990, at $306.

The report indicates that the increasing trend in military spending is likely to continue for at least a few years due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the situation in the Middle East, and heightened tensions in Asia. As countries grapple with the challenges posed by these conflicts and the shifting geopolitical landscape, the allocation of resources towards military capabilities is expected to remain a top priority.

Key Takeaways

  • Global military spending reached a record $2.443 trillion in 2023, up 6.8% from 2022.
  • Spending increases driven by Ukraine war, Asia-Pacific tensions, and Middle East conflicts.
  • US remains top spender at $916 billion, China spent $296 billion, Russia up 24% to $109 billion.
  • World military burden increased to 2.3% of global GDP, highest per-person spending since 1990.
  • Trend of rising military spending likely to continue due to ongoing conflicts and geopolitical tensions.