Global military spending hits all-time high, Swedish think tank says

A Swedish think tank says global military expenditures in 2023 rose for the ninth consecutive year and reached an all-time high since the body began keeping records in 1988.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says in its annual report released on Monday that military spending around the world totaled 2.443 trillion dollars. The figure is an increase of 6.8 percent from the previous year.

The United States topped the list of spenders with 916 billion dollars, up 2.3 percent from the year earlier. China was second with an estimated 296 billion dollars, up 6 percent. It was followed by Russia, which increased its military spending by 24 percent to an estimated 109 billion dollars.

The report notes that military spending rose markedly in Europe, Asia and Oceania, as well as the Middle East.

Ukraine ranked eighth, with its military spending surging by 51 percent to 64.8 billion dollars.

Israel's military expenditure grew by 24 percent to 27.5 billion dollars, as the country continues fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The report also notes that Japan and Taiwan boosted their defense spending by 11 percent each. It points out that this trend is expected to accelerate further in the coming years as they face a growing threat from China.

The institute says, "The unprecedented rise in military spending is a direct response to the global deterioration in peace and security."

It adds that the world faces a risk of falling into "an action-reaction spiral in the increasingly volatile geopolitical and security landscape."