A report by Deloitte predicts economic forces will continue to drive moderate defense commitments globally and will increase the relative parity among military capabilities through 2020.
The company’s latest Global Defense Outlook report forecasts that the combined annual defense budget of the 50 countries studied will remain flat at nearly $1.6 trillion over the next five years, Deloitte said Monday.
Those nations account for more than 95 percent of overall global defense spending.
“Only nine of the fifty largest defense spenders have raised their defense posture since 2008,” said Jack Midgley, public sector defense leader for the Asia Pacific region at Deloitte’s global practice.
“Some 41 countries, including the United States, Russia and China have held the line, or lowered their overall commitment to defense,” Midgley added.
The report noted China, Australia, South Korea and India plan the biggest increases in national-level defense budgets, which Deloitte estimates will account for 80 percent, or about $70 billion, of worldwide military budget growth through 2020.
Deloitte also projects 12 of the top 50 nations surveyed will cut their annual defense budgets by roughly $44 billion combined, paced by a $38 billion projected reduction in U.S. defense budget by 2020.
“Even as commitments to defense continue to moderate worldwide, economic forces are creating significant new tensions among military powers,” noted Charles Wald, Deloitte vice chairman and federal practice senior advisor in the US.
“These new tensions have produced five emerging fault lines around the globe, signaling that countries must be prudent and strategic with their investments in defense to address emerging threats to their nation and their implications on the world at large,” Wald added.
The U.S., Russia and Israel scored the highest in the Defense Posture Index, Deloitte’s numerical ranking of national-level military obligations.