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Thomas Gaist – Global military spending increased in 2015

Spending on weapons and other military costs grew by more than one percent in 2015, marking the first year of growth in total military purchasing by governments worldwide since 2011, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found in a report published Tuesday.

Total military purchases reached $1,676 billion in 2015, or nearly $1.7 trillion, consuming some 2.3 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), SIPRI found.

The United States remained by far the leading financier of militarism worldwide, spending nearly $600 billion, according to SIPRI. The real figure rises as high as $1 trillion once the Pentagon’s “black budget,” “contingency” money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and other hidden expenses are taken into account, according to the Center for International Policy.

The Chinese government continued to fund the second largest war machine, spending $215 billion last year. Military spending by states in Asia and Oceania in general surged by 5.4 percent in 2015, an increase driven by the intensifying US war drive against China, which has militarized the entire East Asia and Pacific region, boosting weapons purchases by a coalition of US-aligned regional states, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Japan.

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