Protecting the people of a country and its territorial boundaries is no easy task and requires a lot of spending on military personnel and equipments. The need for huge spending is dramatically increased for those countries that are involved in wars on all fronts. Today, having the largest military in terms of number of people does not necessarily equate to huge military budgets. In this article, we discuss the top countries in the world with the largest military spending. Note that military expenditures are based on 2014 figures.
The United States of America
The United is involved in so many wars and this has seen its military budget creep up over the years. Presently, it is the country with the highest spends on military operations. Its military budget presently stands at a little over 580 billion dollars. About 43% of this budget is spent on International military operations like the fight against terrorist groups Al Qaida and ISIS. Thanks to the wars in Iraq and that in Afghanistan slowly coming to an end, the military experienced some reductions in it s budget in 2012. Even with cuts done over the years, the US military budget is still many times more than those of other countries.
China has evolved to a major super power in terms of economic growth. Through this growth, spending on the military has also increased. Compared to its neighbors, China’s military spending have been increasing at a rate of 7.4% over the years. It is among the largest importer and exporter of arms with the budget for military imports being almost the same like that of exports. China‘s spending on the military has almost doubled in the space of ten years. Today, it is the second country after the United States in terms of military spending. Currently its military budget is estimated at $129.4 billion and experts say this may increase by another 10% in the coming years.
Saudi Arabia may not be directly involved in any wars but it is in a war torn area where threats from neighbouring countries occur every day. Hence it should come as no surprise that this country has the third largest expenditure on the military. It spent well over $80.8 billion in 2014. This country spends up of 9.3%of its Gross Domestic Products on the military. The country aims to renew its military gadgets and possibly replace those that have become obsolete with technologically advanced alternatives.
Russia’s spending rate on military that had dropped ever since the eighties has gradually been increasing over the years. This Military super power that happens to be the highest exporter of arms in the world has a military spend of $70.0 billion dollars way below the United States and China. At least 4.1% of Russia’s Gross Domestic Product is spent on the military mainly in a bid to modernize the military and take advantage of the recent advances in technology.
The United Kingdom may not be directly involved in any wars but it has interests in different countries that it has to protect. It also has its place as a super power to maintain as such huge military spending is sometimes necessary. Unlike other countries, the military spend for the UK has increased over the years at very low rates. In 2014 it military send rose to $61.8 surpassing that of France and earning it a place as the fifth country with the largest spend on the military. Presently, there are people within the government clamouring for cuts in military spending.