Related commentary: Arms and military expenditure
As national security strategies increasingly recognize human and environmental priorities, SIPRI and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research propose a more comprehensive approach to scrutinizing national security spending.
With heated rhetoric and intensified military activity along its borders with NATO neighbours, what does SIPRI data reveal about the status of Belarus's military?
Observers have voiced concern about what they perceive as a disconnect between the foreign policy rhetoric of the Biden administration and its foreign policy practice. This WritePeace blog explores what light SIPRI data on arms transfers can cast on the discussion.
This blog explores how Poland is using Ukraine war-linked arms and ammunition contracts in a bid to accelerate the modernization and expansion of its arms industry.
To commemorate the upcoming 20th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on 20 March, SIPRI has prepared this Topical Backgrounder along with an Interactive chronology of security developments in Iraq spanning from 2002 to 2021. These materials are components of a larger collection of new materials that SIPRI is creating to commemorate the anniversary.
In the latest ranking of the world’s largest arms-producing and military services companies (the SIPRI Top 100), published in December 2022, two firms based in the United States—Peraton and Amentum—had recently been acquired by private equity firms. Both their arms sales were considered to have a high degree of uncertainty.
Japan is undergoing the most significant changes to its security strategy since the end of World War II. What is behind these changers, what do they mean for Indo-Pacific security, and what challenges lie ahead for their implementation?
On 23 December 2022, the Japanese cabinet unveiled its 2023 budget for the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), totalling 6.8 trillion yen ($52 billion). The new budget is 26 per cent higher than the JSDF budget for 2022, the largest year-on-year nominal increase in planned military spending since at least 1952.
As world leaders gather in New York for the opening of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, far too many security key indicators are heading in a dangerous direction.
This backgrounder—in a first step towards addressing this gap—explores the practice of disaggregation in military budget reporting as one aspect of transparency in military expenditure.
The Pacific islands have become the latest front in the geopolitical rivalry between China and the West. This blog explores data and trends in China’s military aid to Pacific island countries over the past two decades, and its possible implications for regional geopolitics.
A few days after Russia launched its first airstrikes against the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, the German Parliament convened for a special Sunday session. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took the floor and, within half an hour, did away with decades of political restraint and ushered in a new era of German foreign and security policy.
The ancient Romans used to say: ‘Si vis pacem, para bellum’ (‘If you want peace, prepare for war’).
This SIPRI Topical Backgrounder presents data on the military aid given by the USA to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2020.
This SIPRI topical backgrounder gives an overview of known international flows of major arms to the Afghan armed forces between 2001 and 2020.
Earlier this year, the United States-led ‘war on terror’ gained another African front line. In March, the USA added a Mozambican group known as Ansar al-Sunnah to its list of designated foreign terrorist organizations, giving it the name ‘ISIS-Mozambique’.
The conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated in 2020 into a six-week war in which an estimated 5700 people died. The war was not completely unexpected as deadly skirmishes have occurred regularly since the previous full-scale war between the two states ended in 1994.
The SIPRI Arms Transfers Database is a record of how certain military technological capabilities are transferred from state to state. Its fundamental aim is to inform, and ideally stimulate, discussion that might lead to a better understanding of the state of peace and security around the world.
The international sanctions regime against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea, DPRK) is the strongest and most comprehensive set of sanctions currently in effect against any one country.
Autocracies are once again the global majority. The 2020 Democracy Report of the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-DEM), ‘Autocratization surges, resistance grows’, raises the alarm that while the world in 2019 was substantially more democratic than it was in the 1970s, an ongoing trend of autocratization may reverse this scenario.
As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s, could we witness a new phase of consolidation within the Western and Central European arms industry? This SIPRI Essay gives an early glimpse at where these three factors stand after the ‘great lockdown’. It proposes that the European arms industry may be at the outset of a larger consolidation movement.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically changed the world we inhabit. Not only has there been unimaginable human suffering worldwide, but the necessary protective measures implemented by governments around the world have caused an economic fallout far worse than the 2008–2009 financial crisis and unprecedented since the Great Depression of 1929.
According to SIPRI’s data, Russia spends less than might be inferred from the scale of its military activities and the size of its armed forces. The following answers to frequently asked questions explain the SIPRI figures for Russian military expenditure and how best to interpret them.
In September 2019, Chile enacted legislation to abolish its off-budget funding mechanism of arms acquisitions for its armed forces and replace it with a more transparent and accountable funding system.
In January 2019 Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly swore in congressman Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim president. Guaidó’s claim to power is a severe blow against the already weakened government of Nicolás Maduro, whose re-election as president in May 2018 was widely rejected by the international community and deemed illegitimate by over 50 foreign governments.
‘Today we have taken a significant step forward in delivering our commitment under the Iran nuclear deal to preserve sanctions relief for the people of Iran.’ These were the words of Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary of the UK, as he introduced the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which is the latest attempt by the E3 (France, Germany and the UK) at preserving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or the J
This topical backgrounder puts a spotlight on armament developments in Saudi Arabia, the country with the highest levels of military spending and arms imports in the Middle East. It aims to contribute to the efforts by SIPRI to gain a better understanding of the impact of militarization on security, conflict, peace and development in the region.
This topical backgrounder begins with an overview of Russia’s large-scale nuclear modernization programme, which started after the adoption of its state armament programme for 2011–20. It then outlines Russia’s nuclear institutions and how the expenditure is managed within Russia’s federal budget and provides an estimate of Russian spending on nuclear weapons between the years 2010 and 2016.
On 20 October the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly will discuss the annual report by the UN Secretary-General containing military expenditure data submitted by UN member states. In keeping with the trend seen in recent years, the number of UN member states participating in the reporting process for 2017 is comparatively low. However, analysis by SIPRI indicates that many non-participating member states, including countries in sub-Saharan Africa, now release much of the relevant data into the public domain.
Off-budget expenditure is used to fund a large proportion of the arms purchases not captured in the current military expenditure data on South American countries. This topical backgrounder begins to address this issue, using Venezuela as the initial country case for improvement.
When it comes to the arms trade, China has not only learned from Russia, but succeeded in challenging it.
Brazil's military spendng decreased by 7.2% in 2016, which is related to the political and economic crises currently affecting the country.
This week, SIPRI released new data on international arms transfers of major weapons. We’ve picked out some key trends in the data and present the state of arms transfers in eight graphics.
Throughout a turbulent 2016, SIPRI's vision of a world of sustainable peace remained unchanged. Here are some of SIPRI's highlights of 2016.
SIPRI provides the only long-term, historically consistent series of military expenditure data with global coverage available today. This topical backgrounder looks at how and why SIPRI invests time in this endeavour.
As SIPRI launches its new extended military expenditure data, this blog post looks at longer-term regional trends in military spending.
The military is often one of the most corrupt sectors of government, with arms procurement particularly susceptible to corruption. Avoiding this requires transparency and accountability in military spending.
What else could the $1676 billion spent on global military expenditure in 2015 achieve?
On 5 March, the opening day of the annual National People’s Congress, China announced a 7.6 per cent increase in its National Defense budget for 2016—or a total of 954 billion yuan ($146 billion).
Following the trend in 2012–14, 2015 is likely to be another disappointing year for transparency in arms transfers.
Germany is, once again, debating the future of its arms industry, with long-held state support for arms production within Germany appearing to crumble.
Arms production was the backbone of the Soviet-type command economy systems in East Central Europe (ECE), but with the collapse of the Eastern bloc, arms makers faced a drastic disruption in their economic, political and social environment.
Western governments and defence companies are adapting to the effects of the 2008 economic crisis by devising new strategies to increase international arms sales.
On 4 March the Chinese Government presented its 2014 budget to the National People's Congress (NPC), but it does not accurately represent the total amount spent by China on its military.
When governments are less than transparent about their military budgets, this has serious ramifications for democracy and security.
Despite research showing that military spending does not prevent wars, world military spending has been stable at roughly three per cent of global GDP since 1990.
The EU's attempt to fight the economic crisis by shifting research money to the defence sector is highly questionable.
The arms race to the bottom—when states willingly arm themselves even when evidence suggests they should disarm—has begun to shape states' military spending.
With two days of talks to go, the draft of an arms trade treaty (ATT) being negotiated in the UN looks dangerously likely to be a relic before it ever comes into force.
Between July and September this year, the international community will be faced with the daunting prospect of concluding negotiations on an international arms trade treaty and a review of the implementation of the United Nations programme of action on small arms and light weapons.
As the violence in Libya escalates and the international community examines how to respond to internal conflict and human rights violations, arms supply should be analysed.