(AP) World military spending drops in 2012
By KARL RITTER
Global military spending dipped last year for the first time since 1998 as defense outlays shrank in the West but rose in Russia, China and the Middle East, a Swedish-based arms watchdog said Monday.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said the world spent $1.75 trillion on its armed forces in 2012, down 0.5 percent from the year before.
The fall, driven by spending cuts in the U.S. and other NATO nations, was partially offset by increases elsewhere. Military spending rose by 7.8 percent in China and by 16 percent in Russia, while Oman’s 51-percent boost was the biggest percentage increase in the world, SIPRI said.
SIPRI’s report showed the U.S. remains way ahead of all other countries, accounting for 39 percent of global military spending in 2012. But it was the first time the U.S. share of global military spending dropped below 40 percent since the Cold War, the institute said.
He stressed that the gap was larger when it comes to actual capabilities, noting that the U.S. has 11 aircraft carriers while China has one.
SIPRI gave no dollar figures for spending by countries including Iran, Syria and North Korea, citing a lack of transparency and uncertainties regarding currency exchange rates.