New report on military spending: ‘In search of enemies’
This report by Nonviolence International Canada’s Abigail H. Kramer, Elizabeth Curley, Roisin Putti and Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, examines the behavior of the 30 most militarized states through analysis of government publications and each country’s participation in disarmament treaties. The findings are stark. Highly militarized governments use ill-defined and irrelevant threats to justify spending large amounts on weapons. They rely on the language of deterrence to make false links between military expenditures and a safer world. The governments that spend the most on weapons are among the least committed to humanitarian, people-centered approaches to disarmament. This report calls out the worst actors in unconstrained military spending, and urges an end to the shielding of this issue within disarmament fora.
The report focuses attention on those countries who are reported to have contributed to the highest levels of military expenditure over the the past decade, from 2010 and 2019. Cumulatively, they are responsible for spending $15,618,539,366,510 over $15.6 trillion, on armed forces and weapons during that time.
The 30 countries, in order of expenditure are the USA, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, India, UK, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Italy, Australia, Canada, Tukey, Spain, Israel, Iran, Colombia, Netherlands, UAE, Taiwan, Poland, Singapore, Algeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, Oman, Mexico, Norway.
This figure represents 90% of all reported military expenditures, by all UN member states during that period of time. 85% of UN member states simply do not, or cannot, afford to play this game. 10% of UN member states don’t play the game at all and do not possess formal military forces.
Most recently, in 2019, some countries in the world spent a combined total of over $1.9 trillion on the military. This figure continues a year-to-year trend of increasing military spending by some states, having risen 3.6% from 2018.