Southeast Asia is constantly increasing the amount of money spend on military expenditure, arming up like the rest of the world and signalling that maybe the peaceful times are soon to be over.
SE Asia’s 2017 spending amounted to $US29,1 billion dollars in 2017, increasing from $US19,9 in 1988.
The annual report is published by the Swedish Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Strangely enough, the total spending of the region has pretty much increased constantly since 1988 with small declines, but the GDP spend of each country has been in decline. Thailand for example spend $US3,2 billion (2,9% of GDP) in 1988 but $US6,3 billion (1,4 of GDP) in 2017. This could be a sign of a stronger economy in the region.
China is the country spending the second most in the world following the US, amounting to a total of $US228 billion, while Norway is the biggest spender in Scandinavia with $US6,6 billion in 2017.
An interesting detail to note in the report is the decline in expenditure after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union. As the bricks hit the ground and the East and West were reunited, the global expenditure fell to an all-time low in 1996, spending “only” $US994 billion. Today, 29 years later, the total amount is up to $US1731 billion.
So in general the world has since slowly been arming again, which puts us at the highest global expenditure since the report was first published in 1988. And Southeast Asia is no exception.