Current Defence Spending Higher Than Last Year of Cold War

10 mins

The amount of money being spent on defence in Western and Central Europe is higher than it w...

Mane Defence Team

By Mane Defence Team

The amount of money being spent on defence in Western and Central Europe is higher than it was in the last year of the Cold War, according to a recent report. Military spending has hit an all time high worldwide, reaching $2.24tn last year. According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, this was kickstarted by the outbreak of war in Ukraine, which led to the largest increase in military expenditure in Europe over the last 30 years. They also reported that spending by states in Central and Western Europe in 2022 reached $345bn, which is higher than what was spent in the last year of the Cold War, in 1989.

Among these spending states was Germany, following Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s announcement last year of boosting rearmament to where it was in the Second World War. Currently, Germany’s budget for military spending is the 7th largest in the world, following the US, China, Russia, India, Saufi Arabia and the UK. This has come after the creation of an extra budget fund totalling $105bn. The highest military spending was made by the UK, with $68.5bn being spent, $2.5bn of which was used as financial aid for Ukraine.

Year on Year, Europe - including Ukraine and Russia - has increased its defence spending by 13%. The Stockholm International Peace Institute states that this is the largest increase of this type of spending since the Cold War. Russia’s alone increased by 9.2% to $86.4bn. Ukraine was another big spender, increasing its military spending by 640%, accounting for 34% of GDP. This was largely driven by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, but expenditure had been steadily rising before then. The largest military spending in the world comes from the US, with $877bn, with China behind with $292bn in 2022. This was an increase of 4.2% from 2021. India’s spend increased by 6% from 2021 and 47% from 2013, to $81.4bn. This was largely due to military equipment and infrastructure upgrades in light of border disputes with China.

In Saudi Arabia, expenditure rose to $75bn in 2022, which was an increase of 16% compared to 2021. After Ukraine, this is the second highest military spending load, boasting 7.4% of GDP. This is the first time that Saudi Arabia’s military spending has increased since 2018, and is linked to the country’s leadership of countries intervening in Yemen. Stockholm International Peace Institute’s report also highlighted that African countries spent $39.4bn in 2022, which is the first time the cost has been reduced since 2018.

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