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People's Daily Online

U.S. remains world's biggest military spender in 2015: research institute

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 19:48, April 05, 2016

STOCKHOLM, April 5 -- The United States remained "by far the world's biggest spender" on military in 2015, according to a report released on Tuesday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

According to the report, despite falling by 2.4 percent, a much slower rate of decline than in recent years, U.S. military spending was the highest globally at 596 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

The report pointed out that such a slower rate of decline was " the result of measures passed by the U.S. Congress to partially protect military spending from previously agreed budget deficit-reduction measures", and said that "U.S. military spending is projected to remain roughly level in real terms in 2016."

Military spending in North America and Western Europe has been decreasing since 2009, largely as a result of the global economic crisis, as well as the withdrawal of most U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan and Iraq.

"There were signs in 2015, however, that this decline was coming to an end," according to the report.

Meanwhile, "Western European expenditure was down 1.3 percent but this was the lowest rate of annual decline since the start of the recent fall in spending, which began in 2010."

Britain, France and Germany have all announced plans for modest spending increases in the coming years "sparked by concerns about Russia and the threat posed by the Islamic State", according to the report.

According to SIPRI, military expenditure in the report refers to all government spending on current military forces and activities, including salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support.

Headquartered in Stockholm, SIPRI's researches cover international conflicts, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

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