The end of the Cold War didn’t usher in world peace and countries keep spending on militaries and arms. According to the newest data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), governments around the world spent an estimated $1.7 trillion in 2017, which is the highest level since the end of the Cold War. After 13 years of increases from 1999 to 2011 and relatively unchanged spending from 2012 to 2016, total worldwide expenditure only rose marginally in 2017, by 1.1 percent in real terms.
SIPRI pulls together data from 172 countries and military spending is not to be confused with arms purchases. The figures include government spending on military forces and activities, which are made up of salaries and benefits, operational expenses, arms and equipment purchases, military construction, research and development, and central administration, command and support. The SIPRI fact sheet can be downloaded here.
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