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Global military expenditure on the rise in 2022

Ukraine war's impact on the world defense budget

May 2023

“World military expenditure reaches new record high as European spending surges”, has stated the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) upon publication of their annual Trends in World Military Expenditure for the year 2022. Indeed, the total $2,240 billion that countries have invested in defense during the past 12 months made global military spending rise by 3.7% — which has marked a new historic record high. The top 5 countries include the United States ($877 billion), China ($292 billion), Russia ($86 billion), India ($81 billion), and Saudi Arabia ($75 billion), which together accounted for 63% of total world military spending — although figures from first-ranker US triple those of secondly-positioned China. Our country, Spain, ranks number 16 on the list with over $20 billion equivalent to 1.5% of its GDP.

The increase has been more remarkable among European countries, seeking to support Ukraine in countering the Russian aggression that began in February 2022. But also in Japan, where authorities have decided to abandon its long-established pure defensive policy amidst Chinese military surge. However, the most notable case was Ukraine: the country invested seven times more than in the year before the Russian invasion — whereas Russian spending has witnessed a rise of over 9%.


  1. Introduction

  2. Europe and NATO: towards the 2%?

  3. Japan scraps its self-defense policy amidst perceived peril

  4. Conclusions

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