Global military expenditure in 2012

On April 15 the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published its Fact Sheet of trends in global military expenditure in 2012 which is traditionally published prior to the SIPRI Yearbook in June.

According to the Fact Sheet, global military expenditure fell last year for the first time over the last 15 years. The fall was insignificant, a mere 0.5% in real terms, and global military expenditure amounted to $1.753 trillion, or 2.5% of global GDP.

Russia became a champion in growth rates of military expenditure in a group of 15 countries with high absolute figures, где соответствующий прирост за 2012 in real terms составил, по мнению the SIPRI, 16% – до 4.4% of GDP. It should be noted that our assessment of the reported gain with the use of the GDP deflator is much more conservative and не превышает 9%, а 17% соответствует номинальное значение прироста. However, our military expenditure grows faster, both in real and nominal terms, than of an overwhelming majority of our neighboring countries, maybe save for Ukraine where military expenditure increased by 24% due to the low base effect.

In 2012, Chinese military expenditure increased by 7.8% (or 11.2% in nominal terms), with the military burden on the economy being mere 2% of GDP. Russia (5.2% of global military expenditure) caught up with the United States (39% of global military expenditure) in the military burden on the economy, which is not the occasion for rejoicing. While President Obama believes that US military expenditure can be reduced to 2.4% of GDP by 2023, beginning with a 6% reduction in 2012, the Russian Government has steadily been accelerating its defense procurement. However, the practice shows that there is a very big difference between ambitious plans of rearmament and their implementation, which cannot be smoothed away by reports behind closed doors. 

Zatsepin V.B.  – Ph.D. in Military Science, Head of Economics of the Military-Industrial Sector Department