Military spending experienced an unprecedented increase in ten years in 2019

Posted Feb 14 2020 at 3:58 p.m.

The arms race has never been so intense in ten years. According to the annual report of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), presented at the opening of the Munich Security Conference, military spending rose 4% in 2019, the largest increase in the past decade .

At the opening of this annual high mass, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier set the scene. “Year after year, we are moving away from the objective of international cooperation aimed at creating a peaceful world”, he regretted, “the idea of ​​a competition between the great powers […] permeates reality all over the planet. “

Death of nuclear weapons treaties

For the director general of the institute, “these expenses increased with the exit of the economies from the financial crisis and under the effect of an increased perception of threats”. Growing rivalries between powers, the multiplication of regional conflicts with international repercussions – in Ukraine,
in Libya,

particularly in Syria – and the race for new technologies has very clearly fueled this trend.

The death of the INF treaty last year

on the intermediate nuclear forces – with a range of between 500 and 5,500 km – between the United States and Russia, and the probable extinction of the New Start treaty on intercontinental weapons in 2021, are also shaking up the international order.

In this context, the two largest military budgets in the world, those of the United States (685 billion dollars) and China (181 billion), continue their exponential growth, with an increase of 6.6% in both countries. in 2019 compared to 2018. U.S. spending alone increased by $ 53.4 billion last year. An amount that would be enough to become the seventh world defense budget.

Hypersonic weapons are game-changers

“In Europe, concerns about Russia continue to fuel spending growth with an increase of 4.2% compared to 2018,” also points out the boss of the IISS. A feeling reinforced by the fear of a disengagement of the United States, more and more centered on Asia-Pacific.

Washintgon is increasingly concerned about the massive and accelerated increase in Chinese military capabilities. Concerns reinforced by Beijing’s ambitions in the development of hypersonic weapons, likely to thwart missile defenses.

During the parade marking the 70th anniversary of the communist regime, on October 1, the Chinese regime thus
presented a large pump a launcher,

the DF-17, which is to carry a hypersonic glider in the future.

The Russian army announced for its part in December the commissioning of its first Avangard hypersonic missiles, one of the new weapons touted by President Vladimir Putin as “invincible” and “undetectable”. The Avangard spins, according to Moscow, at a speed capable of reaching Mach 27, 27 times the speed of sound and more than 33,000 kilometers per hour. It is also able to change course and altitude, complicating any enemy tracking according to Moscow.

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