Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, which caused the global gross domestic product to shrink 4.4% in 2020, military spending around the world continued to increase last year.
According to data released by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), in London, every day of 2020 the planet spent almost the equivalent of Bolsa Família’s annual budget.
To make a pandemic comparison, the world spent the equivalent of emergency aid from the federal government in ten days. In numbers, 1.83 trillion US dollars (9.9 trillion reais) has been spent in the past year in the defense sector, or 27 billion reais per day in the price of this farm.
The actual increase from 2019 is 3.9%, similar to the 4% recorded the previous year compared to 2018. This is a trend that followed Donald Trump’s years in power, from 2017 to January 20. latest.
In 2020, underlines the publication of the IISS “Military Balance”, the bible of the subject in the world, the rivalry between Washington and Beijing resulted in the expenditure on armaments in the planet. Under Democrat Joe Biden, there is no indication that there will be a change in this path so far.
The pandemic, IISS director John Chipman said at a virtual press conference, may have the ability to “teach cooperation lessons” to the armed forces, but the competition has remained fierce.
Indeed, the United States and China, the main rivals in the world today, accounted for two-thirds of new defense spending last year.
The United States is the dominant military power in the post-Cold War world. Its budget of US $ 738 billion (R $ 4 trillion today) in the sector represents 40.3% of total spending on the planet and is equivalent to that of the following 14 countries in the IISS ranking.
The rest of the world accounts for about $ 340 billion of the total pie. The nominal increase in military spending from 2019 to 2020 was $ 77.2 billion ($ 417 billion), and Americans accounted for 52%.
This reflects the shift under Trump of the United States to the so-called competition between great nations, a concept that targets China, a strategic rival and a rising power, Russia still militarily powerful and, in short, stones in the shoe like Iran and the North. Korea.
IISS figures refer to actual spending by countries. Americans increased defense participation in their GDP (gross domestic product) from 3.19% in 2019 to 3.55% last year.
The Chinese saw their defense spending increase by 5.2% in 2020, compared to 5.9% the previous period. Overall, the increase was 11.9%. In proportion to its GDP, it is a smaller share than the American one: 1.28%, similar to the data for 2019.
Beijing has the second largest military budget on the planet, at 193.3 billion US dollars (1.04 trillion reais). Huge, but almost four times smaller than Washington’s, putting into perspective the rift between the two countries, which spent 2020 provoking each other in places like the South China Sea.
The IISS lists in detail the arsenals around the world, and pays particular attention to the growth of the Chinese navy, the object of alarmist statements of the Pentagon.
“In displaced tonnage, the United States is twice the size of China. But there has been major progress, in just a few short years Beijing has gone from nothing to 55 territorial sea patrol corvettes,” said Naval Analyst Nick Childs at the “Military Balance 2021” launch event.
Russia’s still under scrutiny under Valdimir Putin has also seen a pickup in spending during the pandemic, with spending increasing 3.8% – with a focus on modernizing its three forces and developing new nuclear weapons.
As for the GDP, Russia devotes 4.14% of it to defense, but its economy is infinitely smaller than that of the United States or China, the largest in the world.
In theory, Moscow fell from fourth to fifth place in the IISS ranking, with $ 60.6 billion (327 billion reais) in war spending. It was surpassed by India, third with $ 64.1 billion (346 billion reais) and the United Kingdom (61.5 billion dollars, or 332 billion reais), but they are all at a level similar.
Third place last year, Saudi Arabia, fell to ninth place, from 78.4 billion dollars (423 billion reais) to 48.5 billion US dollars (262 billion reais).
The countries of NATO, the Western military alliance, have followed the trend of increased spending caused by threats to disengage Trump during his tenure. In 2020, 7 of its 29 members reached more than 2% of GDP with defense, the club’s 2024 target.
In 2014, when Russia terrified Western leaders by taking Ukrainian Crimea for itself, in response to the fall of the pro-Moscow government in Kiev, the average was 1.25% of the bloc’s GDP. It is now 1.64%.
Azerbaijan, which defeated Armenia in a dispute to recapture areas occupied in the 1990s by its neighbor in the only one of 33 conflicts listed by the IISS that saw a dramatic development in 2020, has seen its spending grow from 3.8% to 5.4% of GDP – the losers kept their proportional spending high at 4.8%.
As always, countries in conflict regions easily top the rankings when the war-to-GDP ratio is the rule. The Sultanate of Oman, in the Middle East, leads with 12%, followed by Afghanistan with 10.6% and Lebanon with 10.5%.
Brazil also recorded a slight drop in the picture, although nominally in reais it had an increase in its spending. It dropped from 11th to 13th place, spending 22.1 billion US dollars (119 billion reais) on defense, or more than 1.5% of its GDP.
Here, the devaluation of the dollar weighed heavily on the account, even if the position itself is illusory: despite ad hoc advances, as in the case of the Gripen fighter and KC-390 cargo programs, 80% of Brazilian military expenditure are staffed, including pensions and pensions.
Yet, according to the IISS assessment, “Brazil is the most capable power in its region”, followed by Colombia. Brazilian military spending represents 42% of the Latin America and Caribbean total, despite known distortions.
While Brazilian defense spending per capita was R $ 561 in 2020, in IISS accounts, Colombians employed R $ 990. It should be noted that the neighboring country is still at the center of a civil war that has lasted for almost six decades.