2020 noticed largest uptick in year-on-year outlay for greater than a decade, at the same time as some international locations redirected funds to battle pandemic.

International army expenditure rose by 2.6 p.c to $1.98 trillion final yr at the same time as some international locations reallocated their defence funds to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute mentioned in a report issued on Monday.

The 5 greatest spenders in 2020, which collectively accounted for 62 p.c of army spending worldwide, have been the USA, China, India, Russia and the UK, in that order, in keeping with the Sweden-based physique.

“We will say with some certainty that the pandemic didn’t have a major affect on international army spending in 2020,” Diego Lopes da Silva, a SIPRI researcher and one of many report’s authors, mentioned in a press release.

As international gross home product (GDP) declined due to the worldwide well being emergency, army spending as a share of GDP reached a worldwide common of two.4 p.c in 2020, up from 2.2 p.c in 2019.

The soar represented the biggest year-on-year enhance because the monetary disaster of 2009.

Because of the rise, extra NATO members hit the transatlantic safety alliance’s guideline goal of spending a minimum of two p.c of GDP on their army, with 12 international locations doing so in 2020 in contrast with 9 in 2019.

Nevertheless, some international locations equivalent to Chile and South Korea redirected a part of their deliberate army spending to their pandemic response.

A number of others together with Brazil and Russia spent significantly lower than their preliminary army budgets for 2020.

US, China greatest spenders

The world’s two greatest spenders by far have been the US and China, with Washington accounting for 39 p.c of complete international army expenditure in 2020 and Beijing for 13 p.c.

US army expenditure reached an estimated $778bn final yr, 4.4 p.c greater than in 2019.

It was the third consecutive yr of development in US army spending, coinciding with the time period of workplace of former President Donald Trump, following seven years of prior steady reductions.

“This displays rising issues over perceived threats from strategic rivals equivalent to China and Russia, in addition to the Trump administration’s drive to bolster what it noticed as a depleted US army,” Alexandra Marksteiner, one of many report’s authors, mentioned in a press release.

China’s army expenditure, the second highest on the planet, was estimated to have totalled $252bn in 2020, an increase of 1.9 p.c from the earlier yr.

Chinese language army spending has now risen for 26 consecutive years, the longest collection of uninterrupted will increase by any nation in SIPRI’s database.