01/07/2020 |

Report on Spain’s Military Spending

Report by Pere Ortega, military spending expert at Centre Delàs of Peace Studies

Weapons or Health?

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced the Government to stop presenting this 2020 budget, and it has forced to extend the 2019 budget, that at the same time was extended from 2018’s one, a budget that had been approved during Mariano Rajoy’s Government. A budget that came from the austerity that the Spanish population was subjected by the Partido Popular’s Government.

In that 2018 budget the credits of the Defense Ministry had had a 10.5% increase from the year before, 2017. An increase that was profitable in two main aspects for de Defense Ministry: investment in armaments and R&D military for new weapons. Both had had great increases; the military inversions increased a 25% reaching the 3.696 million; and the military R&D for development of new weapons a 47% reaching the 678.7 million. Then, for the Defense Ministry, the extensions of the 2019 and 2020 budget have not represent a lost in its military capacities, because it was starting in a privileged situation to achieve its goals, especially those destined to the acquisition of new armaments.

The 2018 Defense Ministry budget was 10.199 million, which included the Ministry budget, its autonomous military and the CNI that now depends on Defense. In that analysis, therefore, as NATO advises to the member countries, we add those expenses that, being military, are not included in the Defense credits: the social security of the military in service or in reserve; the military mutuality; the Guardia Civil, force that it’s structured by military order; the international military organism’s inputs, as NATO; the R&D credits that are destined to the production of new armament and arises from the Industry Ministry; the interests of the public debt that correspond to Defense, because if they acquire weapons, installations and facilities the proportional part corresponds to Defense, we have to add it there. But moreover, all the years it is produced a great deviation between the initially approved budget and the liquidated budget at ending the exercise, that in 2018 was about 1.014 million and in 2019 being provisional it’s about 994 million.

Then, adding up all indicated items, the military expending proposal for the 2020 and considering that at the end of the year it will be also a similar deviation as the past years it will reach the 20.030 million. It means, almost the double, a 96% higher that the Defense Ministry.

The most significant thing of the 2020 military expending is that the Government of PSOE approved in December 14th 2018, seven new Especial Weapons Programs (EWP): five F-110 frigate for an amount of 4.325 M€; 248 armored 8×8 Dragon with a 2.100 M€ cost; an actualization of the F-2000 fighter plane in 906 M€; 1.172 M€ for the S-80 submarine, to correct the engineering defaults that don’t let it to float up; 1.381 M€ to the NH-90 military helicopters; 819 M€ to modernize the Chinook helicopters; 1.397 M€ for three military communication satellites as the most important ones, until reach the 13.356 million that should be made from 2019 and 2032.

For the technological development and the 2020 R+D+I, 678 million are assigned divided un two programs, the studies and Investigation of the Armed Forces with 211.5 million; and the Support of technological innovation in the defense of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry with an assignation of 467.6 million, that in its totality is destined to the military companies as a help to develop the EWP lately mentioned.

For the investments of acquirement of weapons and facilities in Defense in 2020 it is anticipated a 3.059 million item, from which 1.873 are to pay the annuity of the EWP, remaining 1.186 million to acquire the armaments of usage, as munitions, explosives, torpedo, missiles, transport vehicles, communication systems, plus inversions in installation and military facilities.

The other great dispend that every year is hidden in the real Spanish military spending is the one that corresponds to the exterior military missions. It is a deliberate occultation case of the military interventions real spending, because every year it is habilitated such and inferior credit compared with the real one, in 2019 it was of 314 million (in previous years was about 14 million) being the final liquidation cost of 1.176 million. Then, we can conclude that the occultation of that every year exterior missions real cost, about 1.000 million, obeys to a persistent and deliberate operation in order to hide the real Defense budget spending.

The arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic has uncovered the public health care lacks, victim, as other services that hold the Welfare State in Spain, of the cutouts due to the 2008 crisis. Now with the pandemic, although it is very different, it appears a new crisis that will be also enormous, and it will be necessary great amount of helping public sources in order to the population could overcome the job’s lose and reactivate the productive economy. It comes to mind to report the huge Spanish military spending expressed in this Report. This huge military spending, over 20.000 million annually invested (according to the governments) in security, could have been destined to the health and social services in order to provide a real citizenship security.

Download it here (in Spanish)