A new Stockholm International Peace Research Institute report says military spending worldwide hit a total of $1.7 trillion in 2017, reflecting a 1.1 percent increase from 2016.
SIPRI said Wednesday U.S. military spending remained steady for two years in a row at $610 billion and the country remained the world’s largest defense spender followed by China and Saudi Arabia.
“The downward trend in U.S. military spending that started in 2010 has come to an end,” said Aude Fleurant, director of the SIPRI AMEX program.
“US military spending in 2018 is set to rise significantly to support increases in military personnel and the modernization of conventional and nuclear weapons,” Fleurant added.
China posted a 5.6 percent rise in military expenditure at $228 billion in 2017, while Russia’s defense spending declined by 20 percent to $66.3 billion last year.
Central and Western Europe respectively recorded a 12 percent and 1.7 percent increase in spending driven by threats associated with Russia.
Military spending in the Middle East jumped by 6.2 percent last year driven by Saudi Arabia’s military expenditure at $69.4 billion in 2017.
The report also noted that 29 NATO member countries logged approximately $900 billion in total military spending in 2017, representing 52 percent of the world military expenditure.