Global military expenditure reached its highest level last year since the end of the Cold War, fueled by increased spending in the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, said the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), a leading defense think-tank, reported Reuters.
In its annual report, the think-tank said overall global military spending in 2018 hit $1.82 trillion, up 2.6% on the previous year. US military spending rose 4.6% last year to reach $649 billion, leaving it still by far the world’s biggest spender. It accounted for 36% of total global military expenditure, nearly equal to the following eight biggest-spending countries combined, SIPRI said.
China, as the second biggest spender, saw military expenditure rise 5% to $250 billion last year, the 24th consecutive annual increase.
“In 2018 the USA and China accounted for half of the world’s military spending,” Nan Tian, a researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure (AMEX) program, said.