US lifts arms spending to new record: study

2nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

World military spending hit a new record in 2009, boosted especially by the United States, but also China and France, according to a report published Wednesday by a Swedish think tank.

Last year, 1,531 billion dollars (1,244 billion euros) were spent worldwide in the military sector, a 5.9 percent rise from 2008 and a 49 percent jump from 2000, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its report.

"The far-reaching effects of the global financial crisis and economic recession appear to have had little impact on world military expenditure," the report said.

The United States remains by far the top military spender, dishing out 661 billion dollars to the industry in 2009, or a whopping 43 percent of the total global military expenditure.

Washington thus paid 47 billion dollars more than a year earlier and accounted for more than half of the global increase, SIPRI said.

China is believed to be the world's second largest military spender, the institute said, adding that while it did not have access to the official figures from Beijing it estimated the country had spent around 100 billion dollars in the sector last year.

With its 63.9 billion dollars in military expenditures last year, France came in third place, SIPRI said.

"Of the countries for which data was available, 65 percent increased their military spending in real terms in 2009," according to the report, adding that Asia and Oceania had showed "the fastest real-terms increase with 8.9 percent."

© 2010 AFP

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