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India third-largest military spender after US, China

China’s military expenditure, in particular, grew for the 26th consecutive year, with its uninterrupted increase being the largest by far among the top 15 countries over the 2011-2020 decade…reports Asian Lite News.

India is the third biggest military spender in the world, behind United States and China, according to latest data released by global think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The total global military expenditure rose to $1,981 billion in 2020, an increase of 2.6% in real terms from 2019 despite the global gross domestic product contracting by 4.4% mainly due to the Covid pandemic’s economic impact, the Times of India reported citing the data.

“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 through a second year of the pandemic,” Dr Diego Lopes da Silva of SIPRI was quoted as saying.

The 10 biggest military spenders 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 billion), Japan ($49.1 billion) and South Korea ($45.7 billion).

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh with the troops who participated in the para dropping and other military exercises at Stankna near Leh. (Photo IANS)

The top five together accounted for 62% of the global military expenditure. China’s military expenditure, in particular, grew for the 26th consecutive year, with its uninterrupted increase being the largest by far among the top 15 countries over the 2011-2020 decade.

Meanwhile, Pakistan ($10.3 billion), was ranked 23rdin the list.

India has to maintain an over 15-lakh strong armed forces because of the two active and unresolved borders with China and Pakistan.

Consequently, the revenue expenditure for the day-to-day running costs and salary bill in the defence budget by far outstrips the capital outlay for military modernization, leaving critical operational shortages on different fronts, ranging from fighters to submarines, according to the TOI report.

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