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Germany accounts for a third of Europe’s increase in defence expenditure
In 2019 global defence spending rose by some 4% over 2018 – the highest year-on-year increase in a decade. The figures are included in this year’s Military Balance – the annual publication of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), which is to be launched later this morning at the Munich Security Conference. Appropriately, defence spending in Europe is also on the up, reaching levels not seen since before the financial crisis – an increase of some 4.2% when compared to 2018. This is all a reflection of a changing world and the return of state-on-state competition. In both the US and China defence spending increased by 6.6% in 2019, though the rate of growth is accelerating in the US, while it is slowing in China.Asia – where defence spending has been rising for some years in response to Beijing’s rise as a regional superpower – continues the trend. Overall defence spending in Asia has increased by 50% in a decade, fuelled by the region’s rising levels of GDP. The Military Balance asserts that defence debates remain dominated by an unstable international security environment. Key elements of the rules-based international order that characterised the post-World War Two period, it says, are being challenged.
The INF treaty – an anti-nuclear pact between the US and Russia – collapsed last year
One of the best examples of this is the unravelling of the fabric of arms control agreements inherited from the Cold War. The Military Balance points to the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, prompted by Russian breaches and a growing concern in the US about Chinese weapo