Military Spending: Bangladesh's rose by 123% in a decade | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:26 AM, May 03, 2018

Military Spending: Bangladesh's rose by 123% in a decade

Global expenditure highest since the end of Cold War

Bangladesh had the second largest relative increase in military spending between 2008 and 2017 according to the arms watchdog Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

In its new report, the Sweden based organisation said that the largest relative increases in military spending during the period were made by Cambodia (332 percent), Bangladesh (123 percent), Indonesia (122 percent) and China (110 percent).

On the other hand, world military expenditure rose to $1,739 billion in 2017, the highest level since the end of the cold war. It was a marginal increase of 1.1 percent from 2016.

Military spending in 2017 represented 2.2 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) or $230 per person, according to the report.

The report mentioned that the United States continued to have the highest military expenditure in the world with China coming in at second. China also leads continued spending increase in Asia and Oceania. 

It also showed that Russia's military spending fell for the first time since 1998 but military expenditure rose in Central and Western Europe while higher spending by Saudi Arabia drove the increase in the Middle East.

“Continuing high world military expenditure is a cause for serious concern,” Ambassador Jan Eliasson, chair of the SIPRI Governing Board, said. “It undermines the search for peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world.”

“The increases in world military expenditure in recent years have been largely due to the substantial growth in spending by countries in Asia and Oceania and the Middle East, such as China, India and Saudi Arabia,” said Dr Nan Tian, a researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) programme.

The report showed that military expenditure in Asia and Oceania rose for the 29th successive year.

China, the second largest spender globally, increased its military spending by 5.6 percent to $228 billion in 2017; India spent $63.9 billion on its military in 2017, an increase of 5.5 percent compared with 2016 while South Korea's spending, at $39.2 billion, rose by 1.7 percent between 2016 and 2017.

At $66.3 billion, Russia's military spending in 2017 was 20 percent lower than in 2016, the first annual decrease since 1998.

Driven, in part, by the perception of a growing threat from Russia, military spending in both Central and Western Europe increased in 2017, by 12 and 1.7 percent, respectively. Many European states are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and, within that framework, agreed to increase their military spending.

Total military spending by all 29 NATO members was $900 billion in 2017, accounting for 52 percent of worldwide expenditure.

Military expenditure in the Middle East rose by 6.2 percent in 2017 and spending by Saudi Arabia increased by 9.2 percent in 2017 following a fall in 2016.

With a total outlay of $69.4 billion, Saudi Arabia had the third highest military expenditure in the world in 2017.

Iran (19 percent) and Iraq (22 percent) also recorded significant increases in military spending in 2017.

The US spent more on its military than the next seven highest-spending countries and at $610 billion, its military spending remained unchanged between 2016 and 2017.

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