According to May 2018 SIPRI data, and stimulated by the war on terrorism, military spending has continued to increase by 1.1% in real terms. The World’s military spending in 2017 amounted to USD 1739 billion compared to USD 1088 billion in 2001. The total military spending accounted for 2.2% of the global GDP in 2017, or USD 230 per person. The 15 largest spenders accounted for USD 1396 billion, which is the 80% of total global spending” in 2017. From 2010 to 2016, the US was showing a decrease in military spending. In 2017, the trend is the opposite, as the US has decided to allocate more money to the military.
However, official military spending data from many governments is usually lower than SIPRI data. This, as already mentioned, is in part due to the fact that most reports on military expenditure – including those in specialist publications – tend to simply report the defense budget of individual countries. The consequence is that we face a lack of reliability, transparency and democratic scrutiny of military expenditure data. This is true for all countries, including those having open political and parliamentary systems. But it is especially dramatic in authoritarian and autocratic regimes, in which access to military data is drastically limited.
The Cut Milex campaign aims at introducing the military spending debate in Parliaments, with several main messages:
– To reduce military spending while redirecting its funds to social needs, cooperation, conflict mediation and peace building.
– To increase transparency and avoid opacity in official data on exports and military and defense industry.
– To introduce criteria for addressing military spending in national budgets in a comprehensive and rigorous way.
– To ensure that arms programs are audited and controlled by the nation’s Parliament.