In 2013, World 'War Lords' Spent on Killing Machines $1747 Billion — $248 for Each Person Alive Today


Human Wrongs Watch

World military expenditure in 2013 is estimated to have been $1747 billion, representing 2.4 per cent of global gross domestic product or $248 for each person alive today, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research (SIPRI)‘s Yearbook 2014, Armaments, Disarmament and International Security*, issued earlier this month.

The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin

**The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin | Artist: Vasily Vereshchagin (1842–1904) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q127017 | Current location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q183334 | Wikimedia Commons

The total is about 1.9 per cent lower in real terms than in 2012. The pattern of increases and decreases in military spending in 2012 continued in 2013, with falls in Western countries (North America, Western and Central Europe, and Oceania) and increases in the rest of the world.

There were particularly large increases in Africa and the Middle East, while the impact of austerity policies continued to be felt in Europe.

The United States remained the largest military spender in 2013, followed at some distance by China and Russia.

Two Divergent Trends

World military expenditure now appears to be following two divergent trends: a falling trend in the West, driven by austerity, efforts to control budget deficits and the winding up of long wars; and increasing trends in the rest of the world, due to a combination of economic growth, security concerns, geopolitical ambitions and, frequently, internal political factors.

While the first may play itself out in the coming few years, leading to stable spending or renewed increases, the second shows no sign of abating.

US Military Spending

US military spending continued to fall due both to the final withdrawal of US forces from Iraq at the end of 2011 and to the impact of the 2011 Budget Control Act on the ‘base’ defence budget. While budgetary

gridlock continued during most of 2013, including a brief government shutdown, a congressional deal at the end of the year finally allowed a full budget to be passed, including a defense budget for 2014. While the agreed 2014 budget will mitigate the impact of the Budget Control Act, total US world military spending will still fall with the coming withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Military Spending in the Asia–Pacific
China’s military spending has led a strong rise in total military spending in the Asia–Pacific region for some time. In recent years this has been accompanied by increasing tensions due to territorial disputes in the South and East China seas.
At the same time, the US ‘pivot’ to Asia has drawn attention to the region’s strategic importance, while China’s rise continues to reshape the security environment.
Although concerns over China’s rise are a key driver of military spending for some countries with which China has maritime territorial disputes, maritime issues remain a key factor for other countries that enjoy better relations with China.
***The miseries of war; No. 11, "The Hanging" depicts the destruction unleashed on civilians during the Thirty Years' War. | Artist: Jacques Callot (1592–1635) Link back to Creator info box template wikidata:Q460124 s:fr:Auteur:Jacques Callot | Date: 1632 (published in 1633) | Current location: Art Gallery of New South Wales Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata: Q705551 | Wikimedia Commons

***The miseries of war; No. 11, “The Hanging” depicts the destruction unleashed on civilians during the Thirty Years’ War. | Artist: Jacques Callot (1592–1635) Link back to Creator info box template wikidata:Q460124 s:fr:Auteur:Jacques Callot | Date: 1632 (published in 1633) | Current location: Art Gallery of New South Wales Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata: Q705551 | Wikimedia Commons

Arms production and military services Declining military spending in the USA and Western Europe was reflected in a decline in the military-related sales of the Top 100 arms-producing and military services companies worldwide, excluding China, which fell by 4 per cent in 2012.
However, there was a sharp increase in the arms sales of Russian companies, again reflecting the major rearmament programme being pursued by Russia.
“Emerging Producers”
There were substantial increases by the largest companies in a number of other ‘emerging’ producers, such as Brazil, South Korea and Turkey.
Overall, the pattern of recent years shows a gradual diffusion of the arms industry, with the traditional producers in the USA and Western Europe responsible for a slowly shrinking share of the Top 100 arms sales and the share of new players growing. However, the traditional producers remain overwhelmingly dominant.
The volume of international transfers of major weapons grew by 14 per cent between 2004–2008 and 2009–13. The five largest suppliers in 2009–13—the United States, Russia, Germany, China and France—accounted for 74 per cent of the volume of exports. With a few exceptions from other regions, the USA and European suppliers have dominated the top tier of suppliers for the past 20 years.
China, Fourth Largest Supplier
However, China has re-established itself as one of the top suppliers: in 2009–13 it was the fourth largest supplier. SIPRI data on arms transfers does not represent their financial value. However, a number of states also publish figures on the financial value of their arms exports.
Based on this data, SIPRI estimates that the total value of the global arms trade in 2012 was at least $58 billion. developments in arms transfers, 2013One of the consequences of the financial crisis in the arms-producing countries of Europe, North America and elsewhere has been reductions in military budgets.
The resulting reduction in domestic procurement has created additional pressure on arms-producing countries to significantly increase the export share of their total arms sale by seeking new export markets.
While governments have long supported arms exports by their national industry, many major suppliers are expanding sales support in the form of government promotion and facilitation of exports, or the relaxation of arms export restrictions.
****Image: An anti-war poster | "War 2" by Carlos Latuff. | Author: Carlos Latuff Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q466165 | Source: http://latuff2.deviantart.com/art/War-2-27832944 | Wikimedia Commons

****An anti-war poster | “War 2” by Carlos Latuff. | Author: Carlos Latuff Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata: Q466165 | Source: http://latuff2.deviantart.com/art/War-2-27832944 | Wikimedia Commons

Another consequence of reduced military budgets was the notable decrease in international arms flows to states in Europe between 2004–2008 and 2009–13. In contrast, flows to Asia and Africa increased. States in Asia and Oceania received nearly half (47 per cent) of all imports of major weapons in 2009–13, and the three largest recipients of major weapons were all Asian: India, China and Pakistan. Combined, they accounted for 32 per cent of all imports.
Middle East
Two Middle Eastern countries returned to the top-five list of recipients: the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. transfers of long-range guided missilesA notable trend among the major recipients has been the acquisition of long-range, precision-guided, land-attack missiles.
These weapons improve a state’s capacity to threaten or attack small targets deep inside an adversary’s territory while decreasing the risk of putting its own military personnel or high-value platforms in harm’s way. In the period 2004–13, 16 countries received or ordered guided missiles with ranges over 200 km from abroad and 8 exported them.
The proliferation of long-range guided missiles gives rise to several concerns, such as their potential to disrupt the trend in transfers of major arms, 2004–2013, regional conventional and nuclear weapon balances, fuel arms races, lead to military escalation, drive interstate crises and increase the likelihood of war.
While some international controls on missile proliferation have been agreed, major supplier states regularly show willingness to export guided missiles, including to regions with high levels of interstate tensions and to countries that possess nuclear arms.transparency in arms transfers Official and publicly accessible data on arms transfers is important for assessing states’ arms export, arms procurement and defense policies.
Sensitive Issue
However, publishing data on arms sales and acquisitions is a sensitive issue for nearly all states. Similar to 2012, 2013 was a disappointing year for transparency in arms transfers. The number of states reporting their arms imports and exports to the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms (UNROCA) increased in 2013 but remained low.
In the five most recent reporting years (2008–12) several of the top 10 suppliers of military have not reported to UNROCA every year and several of the largest importers have been absent for all five years. Participation from some regions has been consistently low in recent years.
Only one Middle Eastern state and two African states reported in 2013.Since the early 1990s a growing number of governments have published national reports giving details of their arms exports.
As of January 2014, 35 states had published at least one national report on arms exports since 1990, including 32 that had done so in the past five years (2009–13) and 23 that had published a continuous series of annual reports from the first year of their reporting.
During 2013 no state produced a national report on arms exports that had not done so previously. Of the top 10 suppliers of major weapons, 3 have never published a national report on arms exports: China, Israel and Russia.
Nuclear Weapons
At the start of 2014 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 4150 operational nuclear weapons. Roughly 1800 of these are kept in a state of high alert, ready for use on short notice.
If all nuclear warheads are counted—including operational warheads, spares, those in both active and inactive storage, and intact warheads scheduled for dismantlement—these states possessed a total of approximately 16 350 nuclear weapons, as compared with 17 270 at the beginning of 2013.

*Source: Excerpts from the Summary of SIPRI Yearbook 2014A summary of SIPRI Yearbook 2014 is available in Catalan (FundiPau); Dutch (Vlaams Vredesinstituut); English (SIPRI); Spanish (FundiPau), and Swedish (SIPRI). Learn more about SIPRI

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**Image: The Apotheosis of War (1871) by Vasily Vereshchagin | Artist: Vasily Vereshchagin (1842–1904) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q127017 | Current location: Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q183334 | Wikimedia Commons

***Image: The miseries of war; No. 11, “The Hanging” depicts the destruction unleashed on civilians during the Thirty Years’ War. | Artist: Jacques Callot (1592–1635) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q460124 s:fr:Auteur:Jacques Callot | Date: 1632 (published in 1633) | Current location: Art Gallery of New South Wales Link back to Institution infobox template wikidata:Q705551 | Wikimedia Commons

****Image: An anti-war poster | “War 2” by Carlos Latuff. | Author: Carlos Latuff Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q466165 | Source: http://latuff2.deviantart.com/art/War-2-27832944 | Wikimedia Commons

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2014 Human Wrongs Watch

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