China, US and India’s incredible military spend revealed as WW3 tensions escalate

China aided by UK academics on military capabilities says expert

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Global military spending has almost reached $2 trillion (£1.4tn), with the top 10 countries representing about 75 percent of this figure. There are several categories by which countries and world leaders compare themselves – ranking each nation based on its power, wealth and more. But one particular area of interest, and for some concern, is military spending. Express.co.uk speaks to an economist about which countries are likely to spend the most in 2021 and why.

Escalated tensions between countries often make international news – such as recent attacks in Israel, heightened tensions between the USA and Russia and the recent sinking of an Iranian warship. 

Despite nations around the world united in the fight against coronavirus, global conflicts have not abated. 

Eyes turned to Geneva this week after a landmark meeting of US leader Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin saw little concrete progress despite each praising the talks undertaken.

Russia has the biggest nuclear arsenal in the world and is increasingly a military adventurist power, shown by its sending troops in Ukraine and Syria and cyberattacks on the US.

And as the frostiness between particular countries continues to escalate and tensions become more fraught, many are concerned about the relative preparedness and size of each country’s military.

How much is spent on the military?

The US spent more than $778bn (£558bn) on military spending in 2020, which was an uplift of 6.2 percent in 2019.

China spent the second-highest amount at $252bn (£181bn), which is 3.4 percent less than in 2019 when $261bn (£187bn) was spent.

This was followed by India ($72.9bn/£52.3bn), Russia ($61.7bn/£44.3bn), the UK ($59.2bn/£42.5bn) and Saudi Arabia ($57.5bn/£41.2bn).

The remaining top 10 military spenders for 2020 included Germany ($52.8bn/£37.9bn), France ($52.7bn/£37.8bn), Japan ($49.1bn/£35.2bn) and South Korea ($45.7bn/£32.8bn).

These economies spent the most on defence spending for a number of reasons according to Birmingham City University economist Professor Alex de Ruyter.

He claims one reason is due to the fact these economies are large and have high spending in all areas.

However, it is not only due to the size of these nations – there is also a need to ensure defence and show power which can be achieved through military expenditure.

Professor de Ruyter told Express.co.uk: “Countries typically spend particularly large amounts on the military when they feel threatened or are in conflict or to project influence and power (domestically and abroad).”

DON’T MISS
China unleash AI fighter jets capable of shooting down real pilots [INSIGHT]
Why the USA should fear China not Russia – military spends exposed [EXPLAINER]
Biden’s meeting with Putin descends into chaos over press presence [ANALYSIS]

Professor de Ruyter added the USA is likely to maintain the highest levels of military expenditure in 2021.

He told Express.co.uk: “The US will spend the most (by far), followed by China.

“Between them, these two countries typically account for half or more of the world’s military spending.

“Both have already budgeted for this – they maintain large standing armed forces (which is costly by itself), in addition to spending huge amounts on hardware and maintenance.”

The economist added the USA and China are likely to continue to take the first and second rankings in this area for the “foreseeable future”.

However, taken as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), Saudi Arabia spent the most on its military at 8.4 percent in 2020.

The nation was closely followed by Israel, Russia and the USA at 5.6, 4.3 and 3.7 percent respectively.

In fourth place is India at 2.9 percent, followed by South Korea (2.8 percent), the UK (2.2 percent), France (2.1 percent), Australia (2.1 percent) and China (1.7 percent).

Professor de Ruyter said he expects the military spending in India to move into third place in the coming years as the nation becomes wealthier over time.

In addition, he said the country’s nationalist Government status will likely lead to increased defence spending.

One of the most important factors to consider is each nation’s place in regards to its allies.

Professor de Ruyter said the rise of China is a “seismic ‘global shift’” which highlights the changing power dynamics on the global political platform.

He added the USA will continue to have a prominent position with military expenditure, particularly as many other countries rely on the nation for defence and security needs.

The EU “remains a military minnow when compared to the US and China” – despite having 27 nations in its remit.

The UK does not have a strong military position and lacks key weaponry according to the expert – but it is an important country because of its allies.

Professor de Ruyter added: “The UK has a rather limited ability to undertake offensive military operations independently of its senior US patron.”

Source: Read Full Article