The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, SIPRI, has published its annual calculations of global military spending. This year there is some reason for hope, as the slight increase in military spending around the world marks a major slowdown compared to global trends since September 11, 2001. Nevertheless, spending did go up from 2010, and modest cuts will not be enough to free up the resources necessary to reach the millennium development goals, nor to mark a true reversal of priorities from militarism and corporate greed to human needs and environmental sustainability.
World military expenditure in 2011 totalled $1.74 trillion, almost unchanged since 2010 in real terms, according to figures released today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The comprehensive annual update of the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database is accessible from today at www.sipri.org.
The small rise of just 0.3 per cent in 2011 marks the end of a run of continuous increases in military spending between 1998 and 2010, including an annual average increase of 4.5 per cent between 2001 and 2009.
Six of the world’s top military spenders—Brazil, France, Germany, India, the United Kingdom and the United States—made cuts in their military budgets in 2011, in most cases as part of attempts to reduce budget deficits. Meanwhile other states, notably China and Russia, increased their military spending markedly.
Check it out! And stay informed! Let’s keep up the pressure to demilitarize to fund human needs this year, and see 2012 as a year for a net DECREASE in global spending!