Even in times of peace, it seems that countries around the world still find themselves in an arms race to be prepared for any sort of conflict and defend their nation from attack. With tensions escalating due to conflicts in eastern Europe, defense spending has only been increasing in the past year or so. With that in mind, which countries are the most well prepared in the event of a conflict on a global scale? Here are the five countries that spend the most money on their defense budgets as it stands right now.
Russia is a country that seems like it would be an obvious entry into the top five, though you might think it would be higher on the list. In terms of its percentage of GDP used on defense, however, Russia ranks higher than any country. It was announced that last year, Russia had spent $65.9 billion in defense. Due to the Ukraine War in 2022, expect that number to have a significant increase when the next reports come out.
4. United Kingdom
It might come as a slight surprise to see the United Kingdom toward the top of the list, but despite its size, no country has had more of a global impact. The United Kingdom was already at fourth on the list with $68.4 billion in spending in 2021, and that’s expected to increase quite dramatically when 2022 is wrapped up. “We need to invest for the long term in vital capabilities like future combat air,” former Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. “Whilst simultaneously adapting to a more dangerous and more competitive world.”
India hasn’t exactly been involved in many conflicts over the past several decades, at least not on a large scale. However, India clocks in with the third highest defense budget at $76.6 billion. The reason for the increase in recent years is India’s desire to be more self-reliant and join the ranks of the financial elite in the world. Rajnath Singh is the defense minister of India and says that using local infrastructure “will certainly boost the domestic defense industries,”
Countries like India, the United Kingdom and Russia have some fierce competition in the top five as numbers 6-10 are all very close, but China is a massive leap ahead of India in spending with $293 billion in 2021. That budget isn’t going to shrink anytime soon, either, as China is beefing up their defense to the tune of 7.1 percent over the next year. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said “We will move faster to modernize the military’s logistics and asset management systems, and build a modern weaponry and equipment management system.”
1. United States
You’re probably not shocked to see the United States sitting at number one by a comfortable margin, are you? With a defense budget of $801 billion, it’s not even close. That’s more than the rest of the top 10 combined. Just like China, the US defense budget won’t be going down, either. An increase to $813.3 billion was already approved for next year. With that, the United States and China will make up around 44 percent of the entire global spending on defense.