After 1991 and following the end of the “Cold War“, the spending on the military sector naturally fell across the biggest countries in the world. A big contribution to this effect has come from huge cuts by country members of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), as well as former members of the Warsaw Pact. The world’s military expenditure reached one of its lowest peaks in the late 90’s, just before Al Qaeda‘s terrorist attacks rocked the United States and necessarily the global economy. After those events, we’ve witnessed a big return to military funding, in a race that has clearly been led by the United States in their attempt to support the costs of the invasions made to Afghanistan in 2001, and to Iraq two years later, in 2003.
However, the US weren’t the only ones raising their budget for military affairs since re-emerging forces like China or Russia also started putting more focus into war matters. This growing rhythm on military spending has only slowed down considerably around 2008, mostly due to the global financial crisis which has put in serious risk the collapse of the whole financial system, as well as the deceleration of the wars in both territories previously occupied by the US (Afghanistan and Iraq). This trend is expected to extend over the upcoming years, since big economies in Europe and in the USA have been displaying great efforts on tightening their budgets to meet mandatory deficit goals.
Below we can observe a top-15 ranking list for the biggest military spenders in the World, in 2012. All the data has been collected from the “SIPRI Military expenditure database“, a study report compiled on last April 15, 2013. It’s interesting to note that the USA are currently spending nearly 40% of the total military expenditure in the World (682 billion US dollars), and that the 6 European countries that made to the table (Russia, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Turkey) all combined don’t represent more than 18% of the total share. Unsurprisingly, China comes on in 2nd place with 9.5% (166 billion US dollars) while the other Asian powerforce Japan is ranked 5th, with 3.4% (59.3 billion US dollars). Brazil is the 11th biggest military spender in the world, with a total share of 1.9% that corresponds to 33.1 billion US dollars.