Whether it begins in Eastern Europe or the South China Sea, World War III threats are mounting with each passing week. The latest data shows global military spending increased for the eighth consecutive year in 2022 to an all-time high. The surge in European spending primarily drove this increase due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Global defense expenditures increased by 3.7% in real terms to a record high of $2.24 trillion in 2022, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) wrote in a report.
The sharpest rise was 13% in European arms budgets, the largest increase in 30 years. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has spurred many surrounding countries, as did ones in Asia due to rising tensions in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, to increase spending.
Some of the sharpest military spending increases in Europe were in Finland (36 %), Lithuania (27%), Sweden (12%), and Poland (11%) -- many of these countries are near Russia. The largest increases globally also include Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
"The continuous rise in global military expenditure in recent years is a sign that we are living in an increasingly insecure world," said Dr. Nan Tian, Senior Researcher with SIPRI's Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme.
"States are bolstering military strength in response to a deteriorating security environment, which they do not foresee improving in the near future," Tian said.
SIPRI estimated that military aid to Ukraine from the US was around $19.9 billion, which accounted for a 2.3% increase in total US military spending last year. The US is still the world's biggest military spender, nearly reaching $900 billion in 2022 (Maybe $1 trillion soon?). China is the second largest military spending, then Russia.
Combine the military spending of the three largest arms spenders US, China, and Russia, and they all accounted for 56% of global expenditures.
Surging military spending is a symptom of an increasingly insecure world.