RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Governments’ military spending in 2021 surpassed US$2 trillion for the first time last year, according to a new report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
The total number adds up to US$2.113 trillion, a 12% increase from 10 years ago, marking the seventh consecutive year that military spending has increased.
The usual suspects are once again among the big spenders, with the US accounting for a whopping 38% of all military spending globally.
China is a distant second with 14%, followed by India, the UK, and Russia – each spending less than 4%.
Tori Bateman, policy advocacy coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker group, said that “this year, we’ve seen how military spending fails to keep us safe. It’s shameful that governments, especially the United States, continue to destabilize our world with more weapons while failing to address climate change, public health, and other true global crises.”
“It’s time for the United States, and world leaders everywhere, to cut military spending and commit to solving our problems for real,” she added.
U.S. funding for military research and development increased by nearly a quarter between 2012 and 2021, while arms procurement expenditures fell by 6.4% over that same period, a trend that “suggests that the United States is focusing more on next-generation technologies,” according to SIPRI researcher Alexandra Marksteiner.
“The U.S. government has repeatedly stressed the need to preserve the U.S. military’s technological edge over strategic competitors,” she added.