Islamabad, May 1 (Dawn): The top military spender in the world is the United States, which spent $649 billion on its forces last year (2017-18).
The US military spending, however, has decreased by 17% over the past decade, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
It is followed by China (around $250bn), Saudi Arabia (around $67.6bn), India ($66.5bn) and France ($63.8bn).
These five countries accounted for 60% of the global military spending.
According to the report, India’s military spending, which rose by 3.1% between 2017-18, was “largely motivated by tensions and rivalry with Pakistan and China”.
Despite the increase from last year, India’s military burden was the lowest since the 1960s and made up for 2.4% of its GDP.
The military spending of 2018 made up for four per cent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) which is the highest level since 2004, according to the report by the Sweden-based institute.
The Sipri report ranked Pakistan among the top 10 countries with the highest “military burden” — described as a “state’s military expenditure as a share of GDP”.
Since 2009, Pakistan’s military spending has increased every year, the report stated, adding that between 2009 and 2018 the spending increased by 73%c. In 2017-18, the increase in military expenditure was 11%, it said.
(The featured image at the top shows Indian and Chinese military officers meeting in a disputed area in Bhutan)