A recently released analysis of arms spending from Jane’s Defence Budgets shows that a global total of $1.57 Trillion was spend on weapons and related equipment in 2016. Fenella McGerty, principal analyst at Jane’s Defense Budgets is calling 2016 a turning point in defense spending. McGerty claims it was caused by a “lackluster” period caused by budget cuts that were put in place after the financial crash.
McGerty told reporters:
“Defense spending returned to a healthy rate of growth in 2016, kicking off what we expect to be a decade of stronger global defense spending, It should should recover to pre-financial crisis levels by 2018.”
The United States continues to be the front runner in global military, spending $622 billion on defense in 2016. China is the second highest spender at $191.8 billion, which is less than a third of what the U.S. spends. The UK is the third highest spender at $53.8 billion.
McGerty expects Chinese spending to balloon to $233 billion by 2020. She attributes the increase to a change in Chinese priorities. She states that tensions in the contested waters of the South China Sea are being fueled by China’s military ambitions to change its general strategy from territorial defense to power projection.
The report also shows that India is attempting to climb the ranks of global military might. India has increased its budget a staggering nine percent, making them the fourth highest spender on the planet. They now rank higher than both Saudi Arabia and Russia.