Which Country Surpassed India, Russia to Emerge World’s 3rd Biggest Defence Spender? India has joined the US and China as one of the world’s five biggest defence spenders, but surprisingly 3rd on the list of the Biggest Defence Spender is Saudi Arabia, which surpassed India, Russia and France.
New Delhi’s defence spending rose by 5.5% to US$63.9 billion in 2017 and surpassed France, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Global military spending soared last year to US$1.73 trillion, or approximately 2.2% of the Global GDP (gross domestic product) according to SIRI.
The world’s biggest military spenders remained unchanged in last few years, headed by the US and China, which spent US$610 billion and US$228 billion respectively, according to SIPRI.
However, the balance of defence spending is clearly moving towards Asia and the Middle East, propelled mainly by China, India and Saudi Arabia. China’s share of worldwide military expenditure surged to 13% in 2017 from 5.8% in 2008, according to SIPRI. The Chinese government has drastically boosted the military spending as Beijing is preparing for a possible US-China showdown.
However, in India’s scenario, increased defence spending is not only linked to purchasing or deployment of state-of-the-art weaponry. The rise in India’s defence spending is mostly attributed towards remunerations and pensions of nearly 1.4 million defence personnel. “Since so much money is spent on manpower, there isn’t sufficient left over to buy modern weapons, according to Indian Defence experts.
India’s own army reverberates the statements. Vice-Chief of Indian Army Staff told a parliamentary committee that the present military budget hardly accounts for inflation and tax payments. Only 14% is used towards defence modernisation program, compared to 63% which are used to pay salaries.