A new report by the IHS Jane’s Defense Budget team reveals Russia has dropped out of the top five global defense spenders for the first time in 30 years.
The report notes military budgets around the world rose from 2015 to 2016 to $1.57 trillion, citing various conflicts and rising political tensions as powerful factors. The researchers expect defense budgets to climb even higher in 2017, with Russia falling further behind.
“The surge in Indian defense spending pushed Russia below Saudi Arabia and down into the number six slot,” principal analyst Craig Caffrey said in a press release. “We expect the Russian defense budget to fall again next year and it will sit below France in the number seven position by 2020, based on current plans, with a total defense budget of $41.4 billion.”
The United States retained its number one position with $622 billion in spending in 2016, followed by China at No. 2 spending $191.7 billion. Britain came in third spending $53.8 billion, followed by India ($50.6 billion), and Saudi Arabia ($48.6 billion), to make up the new top five.
U.S. defense spending accounts for about 40 percent of total global defense spending.
“Defense spending returned to a healthy rate of growth in 2016, kicking off what we expect to be a decade of stronger global defense spending,” analyst Fenella McGerty added. “Defense spending should recover to pre-financial crisis levels by 2018.”
Russia’s military actions in 2016 were the subject of controversy in the West. President Vladimir Putin has been sharply criticized for his intervention in Syria, which leaders from the United States and Europe contend gives Bashar al-Assad‘s regime an advantage over rebels in the country.
The Kremlin maintains its actions target the Islamic State, radical militants based in Iraq and Syria.
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