Timely World Events Energizing Military Spending

Mike Leslie
April 23, 2024

Global military spending reached a record high of $2.4 trillion in 2023, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), and it keeps moving up for 2024

Inputs that matter: "The unprecedented rise in military spending is a direct response to the global deterioration in peace and security," Nan Tian, senior researcher in SIPRI's military expenditure and arms production program, said in a statement.

  • Ukraine and Russia, actively at war, topped the list of countries that increased their military spending the most in 2023, by 51% and 24%, respectively.
  • "The war between Russia and Ukraine also drove military spending elsewhere, prompting countries to think differently about their security outlook," explains Lorenzo Scarazzato, an army expenditure and arms production researcher at the SIPRI.
  • Xiao Liang, a researcher in SIPRI's military expenditure and arms production program, told DW that "what might be surprising is how large the increases are in the rest of the world, especially in Latin America and Africa."

The opportunity: Polish President Andrzej Duda said Poland is "ready" to host nuclear weapons on its territory if NATO decides to reinforce its eastern flank.

  • "If our allies decide to deploy nuclear weapons as part of nuclear sharing on our territory as well, to strengthen the security of NATO's eastern flank, we are ready for it," he added.
  • More than two years of war in Ukraine has spurred NATO countries in eastern Europe—close to Russian territory—to invest heavily in their military strength, although they do not possess nuclear weapons. In the alliance, the U.S., the United Kingdom, and France have nuclear weapons, but several European bases host U.S. tactical nuclear weapons.
  • Moscow, in response, warned it would take steps to "ensure its security" if Warsaw got the weapons.

Zoom in: North Korea on Monday test-fired suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, the country's neighbors said, as speculation swirled that it could soon launch a banned satellite into orbit.

  • The Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly condemned the launches, saying they were a "clear provocation" that threatened peace on the Korean Peninsula. It said it will maintain readiness to "overwhelmingly" respond to North Korean provocations in step with its military alliance with the United States.
  • A Japanese government alert and its coast guard also said North Korea had fired what appeared to be a ballistic missile. The NHK broadcaster said the projectile appeared to have landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone.

Between the lines: The conflict between China and Taiwan also increased military spending in 2023. China increased military expenditures by 6% from the previous year, allocating about $296 billion (€277.5 billion) to the military in 2023.

  • Liang said China's military modernization had also prompted countries such as Japan, Taiwan, and India to increase their military spending. Japan and Taiwan raised their military spending by 11%, to $50.2 billion and $16.6 billion, respectively.
  • Iran's military budget is $10.3 billion in the Middle East, making it the region's fourth-largest spender.

Follow the money: RTX Corporation (NYSE: RTX), formerly Raytheon, is trading at a four-year high as NATO demand for its Patriot Missile System escalates.

  • Likewise, defense company General Dynamics Corp (NYSE: GD) is trading at an all-time high.

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Read More

  1. https://www.cnbc.com/2024/04/22/global-military-spending-hit-an-all-time-high-in-2023-report-says.html
  2. https://www.npr.org/2024/04/22/1246277182/north-korea-fires-missile-into-ocean
  3. https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/north-korea-fires-missile-off-east-coast-south-korea-japan-say-2024-04-22/
  4. https://www.newsweek.com/poland-ready-nuclear-weapons-nato-border-russia-1892683
  5. https://www.politico.eu/article/poland-ready-host-nuclear-weapons-andrzej-duda-nato/
  6. https://banananomics.co/philippines_and_us_taunt_china
  7. https://banananomics.co/the_g7s_daring_revenge_on_iran_and_russia