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25 Apr 2017

India is fifth largest military spender: SIPRI report

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) annual report on defence spending revealed key trends on military spending patterns of major powers.

According to the Report, India is now the fifth largest military spender, with US, China, Russia and Saudi Arabia ranked first, second, third and fourth respectively.

It also discussed various factors impacting military spending in regions across the world.

In context

Military spending touches $1686 billion in 2016-17: SIPRI
Why are military spending patterns important?


Why are military spending patterns important?

Military spending patterns indicate the nature of global security environment, with respect to insecurities driving countries to stock up on arms.

Increased military spending translates to an expanding arms build-up worldwide, creating more room for tension or aggravating tension where it already exists.

Expanding military budgets further points to the precedence hardcore security issues acquire when, addressing important socio-economic crises remain devoid of funds.


What did the report reveal?

The report notes, global military expenditure marked a 0.4% increase from 2015, reaching $1686 billion. This marks the first annual increase since 2011.

While spending grew in North Africa, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, it reduced in Middle East, South America and Caribbean.

North America marked its first increase since 2010, while Western Europe marked a second consecutive increase of 2.6% since 2016.

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Military spending trends (2016-2017)

SIPRI reports, India's military spending increased to $55.9 billion registering an 8.5% growth rate. While US expenditure grew 1.6% last year reaching $611 billion, China's expenditure shows a lower growth rate, reaching $215 billion. Despite involvement in regional conflicts, Saudi Arabia's spending dropped to 30%.

What has caused the hike in India's military expenditure?


What has caused the hike in India's military expenditure?

India considers defence capability enhancements urgent in light of an increasingly hostile international security environment.

India is set to seal many arms deals including those for acquisition of Kamov-226 helicopters and M-777 howitzer guns .

Despite an annual average growth rate of 10% (2014-2017), experts regard India's defence spending insufficient to bring about fast modernization, crucial to keep up with its major competitor, China.


What factors have influenced military spending?

Larger US military budgets could indicate an end to a lull in military spending created by overstretching resources in Iraq and Afghanistan and the economic crisis.

Hike in Western European and Central European expenditure points to increased insecurity from terrorist attacks and and fear of Russian aggression respectively.

Fall of oil prices has negatively impacted military spending in major spenders including Saudi Arabia.

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