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Global military spending equal to $200 per person annually

RIA Novosti

09/06/2008 17:25 STOCKHOLM, June 9 (RIA Novosti) - Global military spending totaled almost $1.34 trillion in 2007, a real-term increase of 45% since 1998, or some $200 a year for every person in the world, a prominent political think-tank said on Monday.

The figures were published in the SIPRI Yearbook 2008, released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday.

The SIPRI yearbook includes reports detailing research into international security, armaments and disarmament, major armed conflicts and multilateral peacekeeping operations, and is highly valued and respected by military experts all over the world.

This year's edition said the current amount of military spending corresponded to 2.5% of world gross domestic product (GDP).

U.S. military spending totaled $547 billion in 2007, and accounted for 45% of the

world total. The U.S. was followed by the UK, China, France and Japan, with 4-5% each. Russia occupies 7th place in the list of "big spenders" with an annual defense budget totaling $35.4 bln.

The research also said "arms sales by the 100 largest arms-producing companies in 2006 increased by 8% in nominal terms over 2005" and "international transfers of major conventional weapons were 7% higher over the period 2003-2007 than in 2002-2006."

Approximately 80 per cent of the volume of exports of major conventional weapons for the period 2003-2007 were accounted for by the five largest suppliers - the U.S., Russia, Germany, France and the U.K., the document said.

Speaking at the launch of the SIPRI Yearbook 2008, Bates Gill, director of SIPRI, said "there is growing urgency around the globe to bring new life and a mainstream momentum to arms control" to meet the challenges of the spiraling arms race.

The SIPRI Yearbook was first published in 1969 and is now in its 39th edition.

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