Published On: Tue, Apr 30th, 2019

World War 3: Global defence spending hit highest amount in 2018 says SIPRI Fact Sheet | World | News

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Military budgets increased by 2.6 percent in 2018 from 2017, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The think tank reported the US, China and India were the biggest drivers of this increase in funding. Total world military spending rose to $1.8 trillion (£1,408 billion) this year.

The director of SIPRI, Dr Aude Fleurant, said: “The increase in US spending was driven by the implementation from 2017 of new arms procurement programmes under the Trump administration.”

They found the US’s military spending grew for the first time since 2010 by 4.6 percent to reach $649 billion (£502 billion) in 2018.

While China was the second-largest spender on defence shelling out $250 billion (£193 billion) in the past year.

SIPRI researcher Dr Nan Tian added: “Growth in Chinese military spending tracks the country’s overall economic growth.

READ MORE: Russia sends warning to US and accuses Trump of starting new arms race

“China has allocated 1.9 per cent of its GDP to the military every year since 2013.”

Asia’s military expenditure has risen every year since 1988, according to the think tank.

Researcher Siemon Wezeman said: “The tensions between countries in Asia as well as between China and the USA are major drivers for the continuing growth of military spending in the region.”

Countries across central and eastern Europe also increased their military funding.

A researcher said this increase in funding could be down to a potential threat from Russia.

Pieter Wezeman said: “The increases in Central and Eastern Europe are largely due to growing perceptions of a threat from Russia.

“This is despite the fact that Russian military spending has fallen for the past two years.”

However, Russia’s spending decreased by 3.5 percent since 2017.

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