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At least 10 good reasons to boycott the U.S.A. > #5 US Military expenditure in 2004

US Military expenditure in 2004

The US is now the world's sole military colossus, accounting for 47 percent of all military spending, or $455 billion, in 2004, according to SIPRI, a leading research institute.

World Military Expenditures 2001 © SIPRI/For Mother Earth

World military expenditure exceeded $1 trillion in 2004 (in 2005 dollars), on the back of "massive" U.S. budgetary allocations for its war on terror, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its annual yearbook, a widely recognized research institute for the reliability of its data.

"While regular military spending has also increased in the USA as well as in several other countries and regions, the main explanation for the current level of and trend in world military spending is the spending on military operations abroad by the USA, and to a lesser extent by its coalition partners", SIPRI said.

As a global average, 2004 world military expenditure corresponds to $162 per capita and 2.6 per cent of world gross domestic product (GDP).

With expenditure of $455 billion, the United States accounted for 47 per cent of the global figure, more than the combined total of the 32 next most powerful nations, SIPRI said.

In 2003, U.S. spending stood at $405 billion, it added.

U.S. spending "has increased rapidly during the period 2002-2004 as a result of massive budgetary allocations for the 'global war on terrorism', primarily for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq," the Swedish government-funded institute said.

Who has got weapons of mass destruction? 2002 © NRDC/For Mother Earth

U.S. military spending increased to 3.9 percent of GDP last year from 3.0 percent in 1999 but remained well below its Cold War peak of more than 6 percent, it added.

In the USA the industry is adjusting to the new demands created by the ongoing transformation of the armed forces, the privatization of military services and the increasing importance of the homeland security sector.

The US in the Latin American region

The USA is by far the most important external security actor in the Latin American (including the Caribbean) region. Since the cold war, when it was focused on battling Communism, the level of US military support has dropped and its pattern changed.

Colombia is now the single largest recipient of US aid, in a highly ‘militarized’ form, for its struggle with internal armed insurgents linked with the drugs trade. Other countries receive a growing degree of US assistance with force training.

While Latin American leaders have sympathized with the US stand against terrorism, some in the region are now concerned by the way that anti-terrorist motives seem to colour all US perceptions of the region at the expense of other rationales for cooperation and aid.

Several smaller Central and Latin American countries supported the US-led coalition in Iraq but only El Salvador still has forces there.

Last update: June 2005

Common Dreams News Center: World Military Spending Topped $1 Trillion in 2004
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

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