Despite all our talk about the democratic peace, the benefits of globalization, and the replacement of the war-making state with the trading state, states still seem to think that maintaining expensive military forces is worthwhile. Go figure!
China overtook Japan as Asia’s biggest arms spender in 2006 as global military expenditures grew 3.5 percent to US$1.2 trillion, a Swedish research institute said yesterday.
The United States remained by far the world’s top military spender last year, devoting about US$529 billion on weapons, up from US$505 billion in 2005, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said.
“The large increase in the U.S. military spending is to a great extent due to the costly military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq,” SIPRI said in its annual report.
Britain and France were second and third, respectively, while China’s growing military expenditures reached nearly US$50 billion, making it the fourth biggest arms spender in the world, SIPRI said in its annual report. Japan was fifth with US$43.7 billion.
The figures cited were in 2005 dollars.
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