STOCKHOLM – U.S. spending in Iraq and Afghanistan helped push up global 2005 military expenditure by 3.5 percent to $1.12 trillion, a research body said on Monday.
Several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Russia, benefited from the rise in prices for minerals and fossil fuels to boost their military spending, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its latest yearbook.
“The USA is responsible for 48 percent of the world total, distantly followed by the UK, France, Japan and China with 4 to 5 percent each,” the Swedish government-funded institute added.
It said U.S. spending was behind about 80 percent of the gain in 2005.
Spending on weapons accounted for 2.5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product, or average spending of $173 per capita.
A process of concentration of spending continued in 2005, it added, as 15 countries with the highest spending accounted for 84 percent of the world total.
The global rise in raw materials’ prices helped some countries to spend more on weapons.
“This is reflected especially in Algeria, Azerbaijan, Russia and Saudi Arabia, where increased proceeds from oil and gas exploitation have boosted government revenues and freed up funds for military spending,” it added.
China and India also increased spending.
“In absolute terms, their current spending is only a fraction of the USA’s. Their increases are largely commensurate with their economic growth,” the institute said.