Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Armed to the Teeth

A Swedish think tank (The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, or SIPRI) recently came out with a study on global military spending trends. Among the findings:
  • Global military spending rose 11% in 2003 to nearly $1 trillion (about $154 per person on the planet)
  • The US accounts for nearly 50% of that amount (or about $1,600 per citizen of the US)
  • Japan is next at 5%, followed by Britain, France, and China with 4% each
  • The large increase is due in large part to the "war on terror" (they include Iraq)
  • The current ramp up of spending is probably not economically or politically sustainable
  • While the US willingness to launch preemptive attacks may give some aggressive nations pause, it may prompt others to increase military capabilities to prevent forced regime change
  • Instability in Iraq could lead to civil war in neighboring states
So, while the US makes up just 4.6% of the world population, it makes up 48% of military expenditures. China, which makes up 20% of the world's population, has a military budget one-twelfth that of the US.


No comments: