Rapid Fire April 17, 2012: Worldwide Military Spending Trends
- The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) updated its military expenditure database with 2011 numbers. Their estimate of $1.7 trillion is about flat in real terms, once inflation and exchange rate fluctuations are taken into account. Africa followed by the Middle East saw the biggest increases in relative terms. Europe saw the largest decrease but this hides stark differences between Western/Southern members of the Euro – where spending is dropping – and Eastern Europe where it is increasing markedly.
- Defense Industry Daily’s motion chart of SIPRI’s data at the bottom of this entry shows how, in less than a decade, East Asia has filled half the gap that separates it from Western and Central Europe. Given their likely respective growth rates in coming years, the same chart in a decade may well show them at about the same levels. A lot of the jump in North American numbers at the end of the 2000’s was due to US operational war spending that is already shrinking.
- The British Royal Navy’s latest yearbook [PDF] is out. UK Armed Forces Commentary reviews some of its highlights.