Defense budgets increase in all major countries

China Military
Zhang Tao

BEIJING, March 7 (ChinaMil) -- The total national defense budget in the world saw normal growth for 13 years from 1998, had a slight slump in 2011-2014, and resumed continuous growth in 2015.

United States: In constant dollar of 2016, America's national defense spending was kept in the range of $500-700 billion in the past 10 years. It continued to increase till the 2010 fiscal year and then began to fall, only rebounded in the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

The US has a defense budget of $582.7 billion in 2017, basically the same as last year, including $523.9 billion basic budget and $58.8 billion for emergency overseas operations.

After Trump came in office, two of his top defense policy goals were "abolishing the budget cap" and "improving the efficiency of defense budget" in order to deliver on his pledge of "the greatest military build-up in American history".

The defense budget of the 2018 fiscal year that he submitted, accounting for about 1/6 of the federal finance, was $54 billion more than the 2017 budget, an increase of over 9%. This means that America's defense spending will probably see a massive hike during Trump's term.

Japan: Japan's defense budget has seen massive growth for five consecutive years and exceeded five trillion Japanese Yen for two years in a row. Its defense budget in the 2017 fiscal year, which is highly targeted, reached a historical new high of 5.125 trillion Japanese Yen, including 14.7 billion for new-type maritime anti-missile system that was included in the US-Japan collaboration for the first time, and 98.7 billion for modifying 28 Patriot-3 missile interception systems.

Japan is also discussing the increase of resident defense officers (defense attaché) that are stationed in various countries to collect military intelligence and the expansion of online defense troops. Given the defense spending pressure from the US, Japan's defense budget is expected to keep growing in the next five years and will probably exceed the cap of 1% of GDP.

Russia: As part of Putin's plan to reinvigorate the Russian military, Russia's defense expenditure has kept a high-speed growth in the past decade.

Due to western countries' sanction and the falling petroleum price, Russia has experienced serious economic difficulties since 2014, rouble devalued sharply and GDP was in negative growth.

From 2014 to 2015, Russia was in tension with the western world and got involved in the Syrian war despite its grave economic situation, and it was forced to squeeze the budget for economic and social sectors in order to keep increasing defense budget substantially.

In terms of rouble's current value, Russia's defense expenditure peaked in 2015, but it had to cut it in 2016 owing to the bad economic situation and poor finance. That was the first defense budget cut since Putin came into power in 2000.

In the next few years, Russia will continue to face political isolation, economic sanction and military suppression, and its defense budget may rebound if its economy betters.

United Kingdom: In terms of British pound in current value, Britain's defense expenditure kept increasing before 2010 and began to fall after that till it rebounded in 2017.

Before 2010, Britain steadfastly followed in America's steps in several local wars including Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, which caused its defense expenditure to rise continuously. After the financial crisis broke out, the British economy was hit hard with serious fiscal deficit and debt crisis.

When Cameron took office in October 2010, he began to launch a bold and massive defense budget cut program, following which Britain's defense budget continued to shrink and took up less than 2% of GDP, the percentage it committed to NATO, for the first time in 2015.

This trigged strong criticism from both within the country and the US As a result, and also because of the sound economic recovery and the unexpectedly high GDP growth, Britain's defense budget rebounded in 2016. Under the pressure from the US and NATO, the British government is expected to continue increasing its defense budget steadily in the next few years and keep it at 2% of GDP as promised.

France: Under the double impact of the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis, France's defense budget also increased first and dropped later with 2010 as the turning point. But after the attack of Charlie Hebdo in 2015, it decided to step up defense input in face of the severe anti-terrorism situation, and its defense budget has seen massive growth ever since.

According to the la loi de programmation militaire (LPM) 2014-2019 approved by the French senate, France's defense budget is expected to continue to rise in the next five years in order to make sure that the new defense forces can accomplish their missions under the special condition of enhanced domestic and overseas deployments, and the French troops will be able to attack extreme terrorist organizations even harder. Accordingly, the proportion of defense budget in GDP will climb up from 1.8% in 2016 to 2%.


Related News