Is there a defense quota for IIT

49.5 billion dollars - Germany spends comparatively little on the military

Half of the world's defense spending is accounted for by the USA and China, and thus by the two countries that have increasingly entered into a great power competition in recent years.

According to the new figures from the Stockholm peace research institute Sipri for 2018, the USA remains the leader in defense spending by a large margin: Its spending of almost 650 billion dollars in 2018 makes China's spending of 250 billion dollars look almost small. The world market share ratio of the two states is 36 percent USA to 14 percent China.

In contrast, Germany looks like a dwarf with its defense budget: its expenditures of 49.5 billion dollars correspond to a share of 2.7 percent of the global defense budget. Between China and Germany, in that order, are Saudi Arabia with $ 67.6 billion, India, France, Russia and Great Britain.

Together, however, the EU states could also be militarily strong: together they account for 20 percent of global military spending. According to investigations by the Munich Security Conference, however, they do not spend this money in a targeted manner on far too many different weapon systems in small numbers. If the EU were to push ahead with its defense union and jointly order armaments, the EU, as a middle power between the USA and China, would become a size to be taken seriously.

The Sipri peace researchers compile their annual list from publicly available sources. The figures can be considered reliable for most western states, but not for autocracies whose reporting is not characterized by transparency. The Sipri researchers warn that the figures for China and Saudi Arabia are based on estimates.

According to the Sipri study, no other country except the USA and China has a double-digit world market share in military spending: the third and fourth-placed countries Saudi Arabia and India each only achieve 3.7 percent.

The researchers draw two main insights from their figures: First, Russia only ranks sixth in terms of armaments spending in 2018. In 2017, the country was still in fourth place, its expenditure shrank by 3.5 percent compared to 2017 - so the available data are complete. Second, China has steadily increased its military spending over the past 24 years. They are now ten times higher than in 1994. All figures are based on 2017 prices.

China increased its military spending in parallel to the rapidly growing gross domestic product: the spending was always around two percent of GDP. In Germany, this defense rate has fallen from 1.4 percent in 2009 to 1.2 percent in 2018 - although spending in 2018 was $ 9 billion higher.

The solution to the riddle lies in the recession of 2009: GDP shrank by 5.6 percent in the year after the financial crisis in Germany - which means that the defense budget in relation to GDP was larger than in the years that followed, when the economy grew strongly again.

In the USA the defense quota is 3.2 percent, in Russia 3.9 percent.

An extremely high proportion of economic output is devoured by military spending in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa that are involved in wars or other armed conflicts.

Saudi Arabia spends 8.8 percent of its GDP on the military, Oman 8.2 percent, Algeria 5.3 percent, Kuwait 5.1 percent. Peace in the region would therefore be a considerable gain for the population.