According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s annual report on world arms transfers, global arms spending was up by 4 percent last year. The United States retained its position as the top spender on military procurement by a significant margin, over second place China. In total, “the U.S. accounted for nearly 42 percent” of the $1.46 trillion spent globally on the arms trade.
The American’s 9.7% expenditure growth increases their arms trade total to $607 billion, mirroring China’s meteoric spending rise. That country had a 10 percent increase in their spending total, bringing the value of their arms procurement to an estimated $84.9 billion. This is a striking departure for China, as previously the country had “spent relatively little on its military.” Rounding out the list’s top five spenders were France, Great Britain, and Russia.
The Institute’s report also touched upon the current conflict in Afghanistan, noting “progress will continue to be slow, flawed and fragile.” Additionally, the report questioned the contradiction present in American President Barack Obama’s goal of lessening the emphasis on military action and increasing diplomatic solutions in the region, and the administration’s decision to deploy thousands of new combat troops over the next two years.
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