NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (C) visited an exhibition of destroyed Russian military vehicles in Kiev, Ukraine, on Thursday. Photo courtesy of NATO | License photo
April 24 (UPI) — Military spending worldwide rose to more than $224 trillion last year, according to new research, and the war in Ukraine led to the biggest increase in defense budgets across Europe since the Cold War.
Almost 4% increase in global military spending in 2022. largely due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and rising tensions across Asia, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. published on Monday.
The United States, China and Russia led the world in military spending last year, accounting for 56% of all defense spending, while Europe increased military spending by more than 13%, primarily to bolster security against Russia’s emboldened military.
Shortly after Russia 2022 invasion of Ukraine in February, several European nations immediately increased military spending, while others took steps that anticipated higher defense budgets over the next decade.
“The invasion of Ukraine had a direct impact on military spending decisions in Central and Western Europe,” said Diego Lopes. da Silva, Senior Research Fellow at SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program. “As a result, we can reasonably expect military spending in Central and Western Europe to continue to increase in the coming years.”
Europe’s overall rush to build up the military has equated to the steepest annual increase in military spending in at least three decades, with Central and Western Europe expected to rise by 2022. 345 billion was spent. USD, according to the study.
Across Europe, military spending surpassed levels last seen in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, and was 30% higher than in 2013.
“The steady increase in global military spending in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world,” said Nan Tian, another SIPRI senior researcher. “States are building up military power in response to a deteriorating security environment that they do not foresee improving in the near future.”
In 2022, military spending in Finland increased by more than 36%, in Lithuania – by 27%, in Sweden – by 12%, and in Poland – by 11%, the study says.
Over the same period, Russia increased its military spending by an estimated 9.2% to more than $86 billion. USD, which accounted for 4.1% of Russia’s GDP in 2022, compared to 3.7% of GDP last year.
“The gap between Russia’s budget plans and its actual military spending in 2022.” shows that the invasion of Ukraine cost Russia much more than it expected,” said Lucie Béraud-Sudreau, director of SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Program.
The report said Ukraine spent $44 billion on its military in 2022, which was 640% more than its pre-invasion defense budget.
The financial burden of the war and damage to the Ukrainian economy in 2022 amounted to 34% of the country’s GDP, according to the report.
United States in 2022 took first place in the world in terms of total military expenditure – 877 billion.
China’s military budget in 2022 was 4.2% higher than last year and has increased by more than 60% since 2013.
Japan increased military spending by 5.9% to 46 billion. US dollars, or 1.1% of GDP, which was the largest jump in the country’s defense spending since the 1960s.
The United States also gave Ukraine $19.9 billion. USD 100 million in aid through 2022, the largest military aid package to a single country in more than 30 years.
“The increase in US military spending in 2022 is largely due to the unprecedented level of financial military aid it has provided to Ukraine,” Tian said. “Given the scale of US spending, even a small percentage increase has a significant impact on the level of global military spending.”
Last week, the United States pledged $325 million in equipment to Ukraine, including ammunition for high-mobility artillery missile systems, precision-guided aerial bombs, TOW guided missile systems, anti-armor weapon systems, anti-tank mines and demolition munitions. The aid package comes on top of a $2.6 billion military aid package announced by the White House earlier this month.
The military spending report comes as Ukraine prepares to join NATO this summer after Finland officially became a member of the global military alliance in early April, angering Moscow by doubling NATO’s shared border with Russia.