US, Britain and France Top World List of Military Spenders
(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; issued June 11, 2007)
Global military spending reached $1.2 billion last year -- 37 percent more than a decade ago -- according to a report released Monday. The US maintains by far the world's largest military budget.

With $529 billion (396 billion euros) set aside for military purposes in 2006 -- up from $505 billion 2005 -- the United States accounted for 46 percent of the total global military budget, reported the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.

"The increase in US military spending has to a large extent been driven by supplemental allocations for those operations and policies associated with the global war on terrorism," the institute said in its annual report.

Britain, France, China and Japan followed the US, each representing four to five percent of global military spending.

China becomes Asia's top spender. "In 2006, China surpassed Japan as the biggest military spender (in Asia)," said SIPRI researcher Elisabeth Skons. "As late as 1999 China's spending was half of Japan's."

From 2005 to 2006, the largest regional increase occurred in Eastern Europe, where the military budget rose by 12 percent overall. Azerbaijan and Belarus ranked in as the individual countries with the biggest growth in military spending, at 82 and 56 percent respectively.

Looking back over the past decade, significant increases have been registered in Central Asia and Russia, though the Stockholm-based institute said completely reliable data was not available for those areas.

Decreases were recorded in Western Europe and Central America.

SIPRI also reported that the international arms trade has been on the rise since 2002. The US and Russia were the largest arms exporters in 2006, with revenues of $7.9 billion and $6.7 billion respectively. Germany exported $3.9 billion worth of weapons, making it the third largest arms dealer in the world.

China and India were the world's largest arms buyers. Other major importers included Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Outgoing SIPRI director Alyson Bayles said that increased spending on armaments was a "matter of concern since it was taking away money" from efforts to combat poverty or deal with climate change. (ends)



The World's 10 Largest Military Exporters
(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; issued June 11, 2007)
Combined arms sales from the world’s top 100 companies totaled 290 billion dollars for 2005. Some 40 of the largest exporters are based in the US, according to a Stockholm peace institute.

In its annual report on global military expenditures, the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI) said the US and Russia account for some 30 percent each of all world arms sales. European countries make up a good share of the rest of sales.

Of the importing countries, China and India were the largest, along with Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In the report, SIPRI examined 100 top defense companies, 40 of which are based in the US and account for 63 percent of global arms sales. The 32 European companies included in the report had a 29-percent share while nine in Russia pulled in 2 percent of sales.

Here is a list of the 10 largest arms exporting countries in terms of billions of dollars in sales:

- USA: 7.9
- Russia: 6.7
- Germany: 3.9
- France: 1.6
- Britain: 1.1
- Netherlands: 1.5
- Italy: 0.9
- China: 0.6
- Sweden: 0.5
- Israel: 0.2


In its report, SIPRI also included statistics on the number of armed conflicts, personnel deployed in peacekeeping operations (167,000 worldwide of which 19,000 were non-military), nuclear weapons, energy and security policy.

SIPRI was created by the Swedish parliament as an independent foundation in 1966 and has been publishing its yearbooks ever since.

-ends-




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