Global increase in military spending

Countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen or Libya have been in a state of emergency for years. Military interventions did not lead to a pacification of the situation, but nevertheless the states worldwide have invested more than 1917 billion dollars in new armaments in 2019.

Since 1988, this has been the highest level of global military spending, according to the Swedish research institute SIPRI.   Five countries accounted for 62 percent of military spending: USA, China, Russia, India and Saudi Arabia. With 732 billion dollars in 2019, the USA alone is responsible for 38 percent of global military spending.

Photo: Jay Rembert

Germany exported military equipment worth more than 8 billion euros in 2019. The main recipients of German military equipment are Turkey and Egypt. Both states are decisive parties in the military conflict in Libya. Weapons to the value of 344.6 million euros were delivered to Turkey alone, but these were not listed in the Ministry of Economics’ report on arms exports. According to the Tagesschau report of 23 June, this was justified by the “protection of trade secrets” of the recipients.

According to the UNHCR, almost 80 million people are currently on the run worldwide, mainly due to military conflicts. Among the five main countries of origin of migrants are Syria (6.6 million people), Afghanistan (2.7 million people) or Southern Sudan (2.2 million people). 

The Cologne-based Institute for Economic Research has predicted a slump of nine percent in global trade in 2020.  This means that Germany is likely to come closer to the two percent target demanded by NATO (the Alliance has a requirement that member states spend two percent of their gross domestic product on armaments). However, the combination of increasing global armament and the threat of economic crisis should lead to a rethink of such targets.

Leave a Reply