World defence spendings in 2018 highest since Cold War

Jane’s Defence Budgets report recently forecasted global defence spending to grow by 3.3 percent next year, reaching US$1.67 trillion. While the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have the fastest growing expenditures, the global increase is mainly attributed to the rise of the US defence budget. Russia's defence spending, on the contrary, will most likely continue to fall  which will effectively impact the speed of its military modernization.

Despite the general growth, only nine NATO members will reach the two percent of GDP expenditure required by the Alliance. However, compared to the crisis years of 2009-2015, it is a success that has its roots in emerging regional threats. The Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 was among the main triggers for Europe to raise its defence spending. As Europe aims to improve its defence capabilities, a differing stance by some states - e.g. the Visegrad Four - on matters directly or indirectly influencing European security, poses a real challenge in countering risks.

About author: Daniela Tkadlečková

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