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At $76.6 billion, India is third highest military spender in world, top two are US & China

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: Despite the coronavirus epidemic, India remained the world’s third-largest military spender, after the United States and China, with worldwide defence spending reaching an all-time high of $2.1 trillion in 2021, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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The top five military spenders—the United States, China, India, the United Kingdom, and Russia—accounted for 62 percent of worldwide military spending, according to SIPRI statistics.

According to SIPRI, India’s military spending increased by 0.9% from 2020 to $76.6 billion in 2021, and by 33% from 2012. “Amid ongoing tensions and border disputes with China and Pakistan that occasionally spill over into armed clashes, India has prioritized the modernization of its armed forces and self-reliance in arms production,” according to the report.

Even though the UK climbed up two rankings, spending $68.4 billion in 2021, the US accounted for 38% of global military spending and China for roughly 14%. According to the study, China’s military spending has increased for the 27th year in a row. In a statement released by SIPRI, Senior Researcher Dr Nan Tian remarked, “China’s growing assertiveness in and around the South and the East China seas have become a major driver of military spending in countries such as Australia and Japan.”

In a similar vein, Russia’s military spending increased for the third year in a row. Despite a drop in military spending between 2016 and 2019 as a result of Western sanctions in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the report noted that high oil and gas revenues helped Moscow to increase spending in 2021. Military spending in Ukraine declined to $5.9 billion in 2021, yet it still accounted for 3.2 percent of GDP.

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