FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Global Military Spending Highest Since Cold War

Spending on military and weapons systems around the world exceeded $1 trillion in 2004 -- the highest level since the height of the Cold War. The US accounted for half of the spending.

The figures, compiled by the Stockholm-based Peace Research Institute, show that in real terms, current military spending is only 6% lower than the all-time peak period of 1988-1989.

Global military spending, which rose by 6% over 2003, has been driven higher largely by increased spending for security and anti-terror measures, followed by military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ironically, this increase comes at a time when, according to a recent study by the University of Maryland, global conflicts are on the decline... even with the fighting in the Middle East. That study has found that globally, wars have been on a downward trend for the past 15 years, largely because most nations realize that resources (the principal cause of most wars) can be more easily obtained by cooperation than through conflict. It is perhaps no accident, then, that religious differences have supplanted competition for resources as the sparks igniting so much of today's armed conflict.

Sources: FuturePundit, MSNBC