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Swaziland - Military Spending

Swaziland allocates 1.4% of the GDP for military expenditures. The Ministry of Defense budget increased 18 percent in 2009 and the Royal Swazi Police Force increased 23 percent, in order to "fight terrorism." For the GKOS, however, this refers to suppression of Swazi political dissidents and groups perceived or declared to favor a Constitutional democracy and more ceremonial monarchy. Together, the security forces consume 14.5 percent of the GKOS budget, which is more than the Ministry of Health has available to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Expenditures from the security budget are generally excluded from public review, and exemptions from the GKOS procurement process are regularly approved.

In an effort to reduce expenditure on purchase of food items, the Ministry has continued to intensify its agricultural activities. This project also provides employment opportunities for civilians who are resident next to the Army farms. The USDF through the Combat Engineering Department and the Air Force has been able to provide services to citizens during disasters such as floods.

The government of Swaziland (GKOS) makes its annual budget publicly available in book form, as well as supplemental budget documents. These documents are not provided online. Incomes and expenditures are included in the publicly-available budget. The GKOS held a series of public stakeholder meetings to respond to questions about both the annual budget and mid-year budget policy review. The published budget is meaningful and details revenues and most expenditures, although challenges remain within sections of the budget to discern which might be royal expenditures.

According to the World Bank, military expenditures data from SIPRI are derived from the NATO definition, which includes all current and capital expenditures on the armed forces, including peacekeeping forces; defense ministries and other government agencies engaged in defense projects; paramilitary forces, if these are judged to be trained and equipped for military operations; and military space activities. Such expenditures include military and civil personnel, including retirement pensions of military personnel and social services for personnel; operation and maintenance; procurement; military research and development; and military aid (in the military expenditures of the donor country).

Excluded are civil defense and current expenditures for previous military activities, such as for veterans' benefits, demobilization, conversion, and destruction of weapons. This definition cannot be applied for all countries, however, since that would require much more detailed information than is available about what is included in military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items. (For example, military budgets might or might not cover civil defense, reserves and auxiliary forces, police and paramilitary forces, dual-purpose forces such as military and civilian police, military grants in kind, pensions for military personnel, and social security contributions paid by one part of government to another.)

NATO defines defense expenditure as payments made by a national government specifically to meet the needs of its armed forces or those of Allies. A major component of defense expenditure is payments on Armed Forces financed within the Ministry of Defense (MoD) budget. Armed Forces include Land, Maritime and Air forces as well as Joint formations such as Administration and Command, Special Operations Forces, Medical Service, Logistic Command etc. In view of the differences between the NATO and national definitions, the figures shown may diverge considerably from those which are quoted by national authorities or given in national budgets.

They might also include "Other Forces" like Ministry of Interior troops, border guards, national police forces, customs, gendarmerie, carabinierie, coast guards etc. In such cases, expenditure should be included only in proportion to the forces that are trained in military tactics, are equipped as a military force, can operate under direct military authority in deployed operations, and can, realistically, be deployed outside national territory in support of a military force. Also, expenditure on Other Forces financed through the budgets of ministries other than MoD should be included in defense expenditure.

Pension payments made directly by the government to retired military and civilian employees of military departments should be included regardless of whether these payments are made from the budget of the MoD or other ministries. Expenditures for peacekeeping and humanitarian operations (paid by MoD or other ministries), the destruction of weapons, equipment and ammunition, and the costs associated with inspection and control of equipment destruction are included in defense expenditures.

Research and development (R&D) costs are to be included in defense expenditures. R&D costs should also include those for projects that do not successfully lead to production of equipment. Expenditure for the military component of mixed civilian-military activities is included, but only when this military component can be specifically accounted for or estimated. Financial assistance by one Allied country to another, specifically to support the defense effort of the recipient, should be included in the defense expenditure of the donor country and not in the defense expenditure of the receiving country. War damage payments and spending on civil defense are both excluded from the NATO definition of defense expenditure.

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