India is the third country with the highest military spending after the United States and China | India News
NEW DELHI: India remains the world’s third-largest military spender, albeit far behind the United States which spends more than 10 times and China nearly four times its defense budget.
The total global military spending rose to $ 1,981 billion in 2020, a 2.6% increase in real terms over 2019 despite global gross domestic product contracting by 4.4% primarily due to the economic impact of the Covid pandemic, according to recent data published by the global expert group Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Monday.
“We can say with some certainty that the pandemic did not have a significant impact on global military spending in 2020. It remains to be seen whether countries will maintain this level of military spending during the second year of the pandemic,” said Dr. Diego Lopes. da Silva from SIPRI.
The top 10 military expenditures were the US ($ 778 billion), China ($ 252 billion), India ($ 72.9 billion), Russia ($ 61.7 billion), UK ($ 59.2 billion), Saudi Arabia ($ 57.5 billion), Germany ($ 52.8 billion), France ($ 52.7%), Japan ($ 49.1 billion) and South Korea ($ 45.7 billion).
The top five together accounted for 62% of world military spending. China’s military spending, in particular, grew for the 26th consecutive year, its uninterrupted increase being by far the largest among the top 15 countries during the 2011-2020 decade. Pakistan ($ 10.3 billion), in turn, ranked 23rd on the list.
India’s annual military spending, of course, includes a huge pension bill for 33 million veterans and defense civilians. In the 2021-2022 defense budget, for example, the pension bill was Rs 1.15 lakh crore out of the total disbursement of Rs 4.78 lakh crore.
India also has to maintain an armed forces of more than 15 lakh due to the two active and unresolved borders with China and Pakistan. Consequently, the revenue spending for daily operating costs and the wage bill in the defense budget far exceeds the capital outlay for military modernization, leaving critical operational shortages on different fronts, ranging from fighters even the submarines.
The continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, of course, has led India to make several emergency arms purchases abroad since the crisis erupted in early May last year.
SIPRI, for its part, said India’s defense spending can largely be attributed to its continuing tensions with Pakistan over Kashmir and renewed border tensions with China. Then there is also India’s “more general rivalry with China as the main regional power in Asia and Oceania,” he said.
With a weak national defense industrial base, India, of course, continues to languish in the strategically vulnerable position of being the world’s second-largest arms importer, just behind Saudi Arabia. India accounted for 9.5% of total world arms imports during 2016-2020.