Global military spending in 2022 increased by 3.7% in real terms reaching $2.24 trln with the highest increase in Europe over the past 30 years, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published on Monday.
The US, China and Russia are in the top three in terms of global military expenditure with 56% of the world total. The situation in Ukraine and tensions in East Asia became the main growth factors with the sharpest rise in spending of 13% seen in Europe.
“The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world,” said Nan Tian, senior researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program. “States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future,” he added.
The report’s authors note that military expenditure by Central and Western European countries has returned to the Cold War level. In Central Europe, it amounted to $345 bln last year while in real terms it has surpassed the 1989 spending for the first time and was 30% higher than in 2013. Some countries have already increased their defense spending, while some announced their intention to do so “over periods of up to a decade.” The sharpest rise in military spending was seen in Finland (36%), Lithuania (27%), Sweden (12%) and Poland (11%).
According to the institute’s experts, the situation in Ukraine had an immediate impact on military spending decisions in Central and Eastern Europe. “This included multi-year plans to boost spending from several governments. As a result, we can reasonably expect military expenditure in Central and Western Europe to keep rising in the years ahead,” said Diego Lopes da Silva, senior researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.