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article imageU.S. still biggest military spender but Saudi Arabia in third

By Ken Hanly     Apr 7, 2016 in World
Stockholm - The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute(SIPRI) estimates global military spending at $1.7 trillion for the year 2015. This is the first year-on-year increase since 2011.
Global military spending increased one percent from last year. The data was released to coincide with the start of the Stockholm Forum on Security and Development. The report can be found here.
The United States is by far the biggest spender on the military with more than a third of global spending. In second place is China. The big news is that Saudi Arabia is now in third place, ahead of Russia. Saudi Arabia's military spending has more than doubled since 2006. Recent spending increases may be due to Saudi attempts to defeat Houthi rebels in Yemen. A civil was has been raging for over a year including an extensive bombing campaign led by the Saudis. Military expenditures dropped in Venezuela by a whopping 64 percent, while in Angola it dropped 40 per cent.
The US spent $596 billion last year, a decline of 2.4 percent from 2014. China's expenditure rose by 7.4 percent to $215 billion. Saudi expenditures rose 5.7 percent to $87.2 billion. Russia's expenditure was $66.4 billion.
Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of SIPRI's group the measures military expenditures said: "Military spending in 2015 presents contrasting trends, On the one hand, spending trends reflect the escalating conflict and tension in many parts of the world; on the other hand, they show a clear break from the oil-fueled surge in military spending of the past decade. This volatile economic and political situation creates an uncertain picture for the years to come." Saudi Arabia is increasing military spending even in spite of the steep decline in oil prices as is Russia.
Military spending is growing in Asia and Oceania, Central and Eastern Europe and in some Middle Eastern states. After recent declines in the West spending is now leveling off. In Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions all show decreased spending. SIPRI notes that it includes in military spending much more than just expenditure on armaments: Military expenditure refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support. SIPRI therefore discourages the use of terms such as ‘arms spending’ when referring to military expenditure, as spending on armaments is usually only a minority of the total.
More about Military spending, Saudia Arabia military spending, US military spending
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