U.S. Military Spending Leads the World

Mark Harrison, Director of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/c.frLJK2PKLqF/b.2794211/k.C908/Welcome_to_The_General_Board_of_Church_and_Society.htm?sid=119756975) Peace with Justice Program, reported in a July 15 posting that military expenditures worldwide set a new record, and that the United States accounted for 42% of global military spending last year, according to the Stockholm (Sweden) International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI, at http://www.sipri.org/?tr=y&auid=5073428) annual report. Worldwide, governments spent a record $1.46 trillion on their armed forces in 2008. SIPRI is an independent research institute focusing on international security, arms control and disarmament, and the annual SIPRI Yearbook on Armaments, Disarmament & International Security reports on several security-related fields: from trends in armed conflicts to world nuclear forces; from military spending to the ban on cluster munitions; from peacekeeping to non-proliferation.


Harrison noted that worldwide military expenditure increases in 2008 represent an increase of 4% in real terms compared to 2007, and an increase of 45% since 1999. The United States accounted for 58% of the global increase between 1999 and 2008, with its military spending growing by $219 billion in constant 2005 prices over the period. China and Russia, with absolute increases of $42 billion and $24 billion, respectively, both nearly tripled their military expenditure over the decade. However, the U.S. spent seven times more than the second-biggest spender, China, and in fact more than the next 14 countries combined.


To read Harrison’s full post, which includes a list of the top 10 spenders and other commentary about military and arms expenditures, go to http://www.umc-gbcs.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=frLJK2PKLqF&b=3633193&content_id={79E50814-4AB0-45C6-BB9D-A785F5252685}¬oc=1.


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