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Israel’s military spending falls for first time since 2009

  • April 26, 2023

Global military spending reached a peak, Ukraine’s investment in its armed forces soared 640%, and Israel fell slightly in the league table of the word’s largest defense budgets, according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) for 2022.

The report states that global military spending rose by 3.7% in 2022 to $2.2 trillion. The Russian invasion of Ukraine led to a 13% jump in the defense budgets of the European countries, the sharpest rise in military spending on the continent since the end of the Cold War in 1991. The total amount – $480 billion – is equal to the amount spent in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell.

The rise in Europe includes the 640% rise in the defense budget of Ukraine to $44 billion, 34% of the country’s GDP. This is the highest proportion of GDP spent on defense since SIPRI began monitoring military budgets in 1949. Ukraine is the only country in the world with defense spending that is a double-digit percentage of its GDP.

The largest defense budget in the world is that of the US: $877 billion, which is 39% of global military spending. SIPRI estimates that the US invested 2.3% of its 2022 defense budget, $20.1 billion, in aid to Ukraine.

Israel down one place

The rise in Ukraine’s defense budget, which brought it from 36th highest in the world to 11th, meant that Israel fell one place from 14th to 15th. According to the report, military spending in Israel totaled $23.4 billion in 2022 (1% of the global total), which is 4.2% less than in 2021. This is the first annual decline in military spending in Israel since 2009. The report says that actual spending in Israel did not match the defense budget for 2022, and that the decline came despite increased attacks in Syria and growing tension vis-à-vis the Palestinians.

Israel is in tenth place in the world for military spending as a proportion of GDP – 4.5%. Ahead of Israel are Kuwait and Azerbaijan, with very slightly higher figures, Algeria (4.8%), Jordan (4.8%), Oman (5.2%), Togo (5.4%), Qatar (7%), Saudi Arabia (7.4%) and Ukraine (34%).

Russia, whose defense budget rose in 2022 from fifth to third largest in the world, raised its military spending by 9.2% last year to $86.4 billion. SIPRI admits, however, that there is great uncertainty over these figures.

Between the US and Russia is China, whose defense budget rose 4.2% in 2022 to $292 billion, 13% of global military spending. This means that the US and China between them invest more in defense than all the other countries in the world put together – 52% of the total. Among the ten countries with the highest defense budgets, China’s has recorded the largest rise in the past decade: 63%. The defense budget of the US rose by 2.7% in the same period.

An interesting development in the Middle East is in the military spending of Turkey, a country that has been undergoing a severe economic crisis. Turkey spent $10.6 billion on defense in 2022, 26% less than in 2021, and fell from 17th to 23rd place in the world. 2022 was the third consecutive year in which Turkey’s defense budget fell.

Published by Globes, Israel business news – – on April 24, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

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