Although the economy has shrunk amid the coronavirus epidemic, military spending has risen around the world. This was stated in a research report of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) in Sweden on Monday.
According to the SIPRI study, military spending in the world will increase by 2.6 percent to 1.981 billion US dollars in 2020. That year, global growth contracted to 4.4 percent.
Dioge Lopez de Silva is one of the authors of the research report. He told AFP that the increase in military spending was “unexpected” despite the economic woes caused by the Corona epidemic. He said military spending was expected to be reduced this time around because of the epidemic. That’s what people thought. But in 2020, no significant steps have been taken to reduce military spending.
Continuing to increase military spending despite the fragile economic situation means increasing military spending on GDP and reducing spending in other sectors. Most members of the Western military alliance NATO have increased their military spending by at least 2 percent to meet their targets. While 9 countries increased military spending in 2019, 12 countries increased it in 2020. The South American country of Chile, South Korea in Asia, decided to increase military spending directly in response to the epidemic.
Lopez said other countries, such as Brazil and Russia, had redistributed funds because of Corona, but did not make it clear. But countries have spent less than the actual budget for 2020.
An example can be given in the case of Hungary, a European country. The country has increased military spending as part of an incentive package to combat corona.
Lopez said many countries had adopted austerity measures in response to the 2008-09 economic crisis. But this time it is not seen.
At the end of 2019, the first corona spread to a city in China. Corona’s worst case scenario was later in the United States. The world’s two largest economies have spent the most on the military, even during the epidemic. The United States accounts for 39 percent of the world’s total military spending and China for 13 percent. As the economy develops, China is increasing its military spending at a massive rate. Military spending has risen in the country for 26 consecutive years. In 2020, the country’s military spending has increased to 252 billion US dollars.
The United States has also increased military spending for three consecutive years since 2016. Although the country had reduced this expenditure in the previous 6 years.
Alexandra Marksteiner, another author of the research report, said in a statement that concerns over potential threats from competing powerful nations such as China and Russia and the Trump administration’s policy of strengthening the military had contributed to last year’s increase in military spending.
Lopez said the administration of current US President Joe Biden has not yet indicated whether it will increase the country’s military spending. But in the seven years that the United States has reduced military spending, Barack Obama was president. His Vice President Biden is the current President of the United States. Now it remains to be seen which way he will go.