SIPRI military expenditure data, 2019

World military expenditure increase by 2.6%


  • World military expenditure increased in 2018 by 6 per cent in real terms, and is now estimated at $1822 billion.
  • The top 10 spenders in 2018 compared to 2017: 1. USA (+4.6%); 2. China (+5.0%); 3. Saudi Arabia (-6.5%); 4. India (+3.1%); 5. France (-1.4%); 6. Russia (-3.5%); 7. UK (+1.0%); 8. Germany (+1.8%); 9. Japan (approx. no change); 10. South Korea (5.1%).


Increases USA and China, Decrease in Saudi Arabia and Russia


  • US military spending rose for the first time since 2010. The US spending in 2018 was $649 billion. The US remains by far the largest spender in the world, accounting for 36% of global military spending in 2018.
  • African military spending decreased by 4%, North Africa declined by 5.5% while sub-Saharan Africa went down 11%.
  • Spending in the Americas was up by 4.4%. In Central America and Caribbean it increased by 8.8% compared to 2017; N. America’s spending grew by 4.4% and in S. America it was up by 3.1%.
  • Spending in Asia and Oceania continue to rise, especially in East Asia (increases in China and South Korea). At $250 billion, China accounted for 14% of world spending in 2018.
  • European spending increase by 1.4% since 2017. Central and Western Europe both increased their military spending amid continued threat perceptions towards Russia. In Eastern Europe, spending decreased mainly due to fall in Russia spending for two consecutive years.
  • Military spending by states in the Middle East for which data is available fell in 2018, by 1.9%. Saudi Arabia decreased its spending by 6.5% while Turkey had the largest relative annual increase (24%) of the top 15 spenders in 2018.
  • Total spending by all 29 NATO members was $963 billion or 53% of global military spending.
  • Top 15 increases 2017–18: Burkina Faso (+52%); Jamaica (+40%); Armenia (+33%); Bosnia and Herzegovina (+26%); Turkey (+24%); Latvia (+24%); Bulgaria (+23%); Ukraine (+21%); Zimbabwe (+19%); Lithuania (+18%); Czechia (+18); Nigeria (+18%); Romania (+18%); Uganda (+17%); Kazakhstan (+16%).
  • Top 15 decreases 2017–2018: South Sudan (-50%); Sudan (-49%); Benin (-28%); Congo, Republic of the (-27%); Trinidad and Tobago (-18%); Angola (-18%); Iraq (-16%); Bahrain (-11%); Gabon (-10%); DRC (-10%); Iran (-9.5%); Myanmar (-8.9%); Lesotho (-8.8%); Sri Lanka (-8.4%); Malaysia (-8.2%).







Regional details


Region Change in military expenditure since 2017 Top 5 spenders in 2018 Big increasers and decreasers

(>10% in real terms 2017-2018)

Americas Moderate increase USA, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico Increasers: Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Mexico

Decreasers: Trinidad and Tobago

Africa Decrease Algeria, Sudan, South Africa, Morocco, Angola Increasers: Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia, Malawi, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo

Decreasers: South Sudan, Sudan, Benin, Republic of the Congo, Angola, Gabon, DRC

Middle East Highly uncertain Saudi Arabia, UAE (2014), Turkey, Israel, Iran Increasers: Turkey

Decreasers: Iraq, Bahrain

Asia and Oceania Moderate increase China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia Increasers: Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Pakistan


Europe Minor    increase France, Russia, UK, Germany, Italy Increasers: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Lithuania, Czechia, Romania, Slovakia, Belarus, Ireland, Albania



What does the RAAF do when it kills civilians?

Media Release

Friday, February 1, 2019

The answer is easy it awards the commander who was in charge of the operation with a medal and awards it on Australia Day!  Here is the citation for 2019 Australia Day Awards covering 2018.

Distinguished Service Medal.

Wing Commander M

For distinguished leadership in warlike operations on Operation OKRA. Wing Commander M’s composed and purposeful leadership style, skilful supervision of flying operations and exemplary personnel management inspired his unit to deliver outstanding air power in support of Operation OKRA objectives. His actions ensured the survival and continued operational effectiveness of friendly forces while protecting civilians in proximity to the fighting.

The RAAF has excused itself.  ‘Unfortunate the results of war’ said Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld.

Both Minister Pyne and Prime Minister Morrison have excused the RAAF.  ‘The Australian Defence Force would never bomb civilians’ yet today’s announcement show that they have.

Denis Doherty spokesperson for the Anti-Bases Campaign said today.  “We reject the Government’s explanation of this tragedy, we say they should not be there using aircraft in city areas!”

In 2018 after the RAAF bombed the Syrian Army and killed 6 Syrian soldiers, we had the same excuses over again.  On top of that the commander of that operation got a medal on Australia Day 2018!

When asked to explain why after a ‘stuff up’ a commander should get a medal the RAAF spokesperson Air Commodore S V Edgeley, Acting Deputy Chief of Air Force said “Royal Australian Air Force members who were reconised in the Australia Day honours served their country with distinction in a demanding operational environment, and have been recognized accordingly.”

RAAF on both occasions did not serve their country with distinction and do not and did not deserve medals.  Some poor countries reward officers who commit human rights violations with promotions are we no better than those militaries?  The 2019 citation read:  ..”while protecting civilians in proximity to the fighting.”

The RAAF has been recognised as most recalcitrant of services in providing coordinates of their missions to a human rights organisations even worse than the US!  On the 7.30 report of 14/3/2017 several NGO’s including a UN representative complained about Australia’s lack of transparency in regard to providing information on bombing raids including dates and coordinates.  Australia’s intransigence contrasted strongly with of all people the US and the NATO states.  This is a continuation of the ADF’s policy of not providing information to the Australian people on a range of issues relating to it’s operations.  In view of the exorbitant amount money provided by the Australian taxpayer for ADF operations the lack of information is really scandalous.

The RAAF has reported this event 2 years after the event so that the information can be controlled and no protests will result in the withdrawal of RAAF from their bombing spree.



‘Welcome’ Steve Ciobo to the new Australian Minister for the Arms Trade

Steve Ciobo is the new Defence Industry Minister taking over from Christopher Pyne.  He is now the Australian Minister who is responsible for our arms trade with other countries.  He is responsible for the transfer of Australian arms and equipment to the biggest trouble spot in the World, the Middle East.  The Australian Government maintains that they will not trade arms with human rights abuser or war fighting countries yet they are trading arms and materiel with Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Both Israel and Saudi Arabia are human rights abusers and the Australian Government turns a blind eye to their misdeeds.  It is up the citizens of Australia to reject this and send a reminder to our new minister!

Please feel free to use these letters as a guide to writing to Steve – give him the serve he deserves!

Letter 1 Israel

Minister for the Defence Industry
The Hon. Steve Ciobo
PO Box 4922
Gold Coast MC, Queensland 9726

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Dear Minister,

Arms Trade with Israel.

The previous Minister for Defence Industry claimed that the Israeli Government and its Israeli Defence Force (IDF) are not human rights abusers or aggressors in the Middle East.

Many in the international community reject this position and condemn Israel for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in its suppression of the Palestinian people.

Israel has killed 120 unarmed protesters in the last few months, it has wounded a further 300 with sniper fire, and injured over 1,500 unarmed protesters with gas, bullets and other weaponry.

We wish to draw your attention to a report in the Jerusalem Post 4/9/18 under the banner headline “IDF confirms that Israel provided light weapons and money to Syrian rebels.”

Part of the article reads: The IDF has confirmed that it provided weapons to Islamist rebels in Syria’s Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reported. However, the article was removed without explanation hours after being published.

The report claimed that the Israeli military acknowledged for the first time that it had provided money, weapons and ammunition to militants operating near the border with Israel.

All this is well known to your department yet somehow Australia keeps supplying Israel with weapons and equipment to ruthlessly kill and maim Palestinians.

We believe strongly that it is time stop the supply of Australian weapons and materiel to Israel.

Can you confirm that Australia will not supply weapons to Israel?

Yours sincerely


Letter 2 Saudi Arabia

Minister for the Defence Industry
The Hon. Steve Ciobo
PO Box 4922
Gold Coast MC, Queensland 9726

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Dear Minister,

Arms Trade with Saudi Arabia

The previous Minister for Defence Industry claimed that the Saudi Arabian Government and its military are not human rights abusers or aggressors in the war against Yemen.

The international community has clearly rejected this position and condemns Saudi Arabia for committing crimes against humanity and war crimes in its war against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has imposed an embargo on Yemen causing widespread malnutrition, starvation and other problems. It recently killed a busload of people, mainly schoolchildren and women.

Saudi Arabia has been running proxy wars in the Middle East by supplying jihadist groups with finance and weapons to wage war in Syria and Afghanistan. A number of these groups have been involved in fighting Australian military personnel.

These and other facts must be known by your department yet somehow Australia keeps supplying Saudi Arabia with weapons and equipment to ruthlessly kill and maim Yemeni men, women and children.

We believe strongly that it is time stop the supply of Australian weapons and materiel to Saudi Arabia.

Can you confirm that Australia will not supply weapons to Saudi Arabia?


Yours sincerely




GCOMS 2018 April 21 Event at Railway Square Sydney 11 am

d1 Master of Ceremonies
Welcome everyone who is here for the awards for the best weapons exporters for 2018.
Some deluded people call us merchants of death but we see ourselves more positively. After all, we facilitated the rubblelisation of the Middle East and now the construction or reconstruction industry. We provided the impetus for the manufacturing of prostheses to replace lost arms and legs. Isn’t all this positive??
We have raided budgets needed for ephemeral things like health and the environment in order to pay for weapons so more people can be killed and maimed. We are good friends to the funeral industry and cemetery expansionism.
d2 Master of ceremonies
These and many other achievements of the arms industry are being celebrated today and it is my great pleasure to introduce to you Madame ???, who comes to us with a background in weapons manufacture, who will present the awards.
d3 Madame ??
It is my pleasure today to first award ribbons to the three people whose countries have shown their unparalleled efforts in becoming the leading merchants of death on our planet.
Number 1 – and coming in first for the 95th year , way ahead of all other contenders – is the United States of America represented by President Trump.
Always good to have you along as you produce more than all the rest put together! Good onya Donald!
Number 2 is the United Kingdom Please come forward Prime Minister Theresa May.
Number 3 is Russia and I am delighted to present this ribbon to President Vladimir Putin.
d4 Madame ??
The star of our event today is Christopher Pyne! From Australia! the Australian Minister for Defence Industry.
Australia wins our inaugural award for the most improved merchant of death and destruction, making a stunning improvement from 20th in the world to 10th.
Just imagine people laying bleeding in the Middle East or some poor country in Africa, saying to themselves how great they feel to have been struck by Australian bullets and bombs, weapons from the home of koalas and kangaroos.
Australia doesn’t care about the finer things — it knows where to make a killing. Yes they provide $3.8 billion to subsidise more weapons manufacture. What dedication!
And here’s the man who made it all possible. This
man among men, this splendid specimen with the compassion for humanity of the average blowfly, another John Howard man of steel and no sense. It is CHRISTOPHER PYNE OF AUSTRALIA who wins the MIMOD medal.
d5 Madame ??
It gives me great pleasure to award the 2018 Medal for the Most Improved Merchant of Death to Christopher Pyne!
d6 Christopher Pyne
First of all I’d like to thank my generous sponsors – Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BA Systems, Northropp Grumann (anyone I’ve forgotten?) Oh yes Thales and Boeing – without whom my party would be short of the funds we need to keep us in government.
Next I’d like to thank the Australian public for silently acquiescing in the current, global build-up of armaments. Well done, Australia, your apathy is surpassed by none! Another world first! Also thanks for remaining inert in the face of the increasing likelihood of another major conflict flaring up.
And, of course, another major conflict is what we all hope to see. For what could be better for our economy than the huge surge in demand for weaponry that war always brings. All of us in the top strata of society can profit directly from escalating wars – and right now we see a great business opportunity, an opportunity for Australia to make a killing in the field of … er … killing.
We are certain that we can make the world a better place by producing and selling more and more items that have the sole purpose of destruction. The destruction of infrastructure is a sure stimulus for economic growth – look at what we did in Iraq. The destruction of life and creation of waves of refugees a sure stimulus for the medical and migration industries. Whichever way you look at it, we’ll be better off. So I say, we’ll encourage perpetual war – just as long as it keeps us rich, which I anticipate will be forever.
As you know, we are pumping millions of your, the Australian taxpayer’s, dollars into promoting the production and sale of ‘high-end’ military equipment. Equipment that will help regimes such as the one in Saudi Arabia keep themselves safe from all those who disagree with it, such the Yemeni people, who we all know must be terrorists, so should be killed off – preferably with Australian-made bullets and bombs.
So come on down to Pyney’s WarHouse. Get the Sales Catalog. And next year, who knows, you too could receive this most prestigious of awards. I am very happy to accept the award for Most Improved Merchant of Death and will wear it with pride.
I’m reminded of the words of Dr Martin Luther King, who described the United States as the Greatest Purveyor of Violence the world has ever seen – and I would say, look out USA, Australia is right behind you, following in your footsteps – and we’ll take that title from you if possibly can!
d7 Master of Ceremonies
That is the end of this ceremony today to present these prestigious awards. Thankyou to the winners and to all of you who came today.

Letter re Arms Trade

The Hon. Marise Payne,

Minister for Defence,

P.O. Box 6100,

Parliament House,

Canberra, 2600.


Dear Ms Payne,


As we approach, this year, the centenary of the cease fire of the war to end all wars it is disturbing to say the least that our government wants to remember the loss of sixty thousand lives with a massive programme for Australia to be a major armaments merchant. We believe that more taxpayer dollars should not be committed to the manufacture of weapons used in war. The $3.8 billion Defence Export Facility to assist arms industry companies wanting to find overseas markets serves only the forces that in fact brought us World War One.


In the spirit of the voices of over hundred years ago that called for world peace, Australia should be an independent voice seeking diplomatic and peaceful resolution of conflicts, not a country boosting the arms race and the profits of arms manufacturers who rely on the existence of conflicts. The doubling of military exports from Australia between 2013 and 2015 and a further 50% in 2015 and now the talk of further increases, is clearly not in the spirit of the mentioned forebears.

As you know the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty came into force in December 2014, and has 130 signatories, and 89 ratifications, including Australia’s.  As you know many Australians who have demonstrated on many occasions their opposition to arms trade fairs we hope you can acknowledge that they don’t want to go down the path of militarisation of society. Australia has a history of positive actions for peace internationally and whilst in recent decades this admirable record has been reversed we would ask that you join in dialogue with Australian peace groups, such as ours, to reassert Australia as a nation genuinely championing peace.


We would assert that it is not strong defence exports that will safeguard Australia against conflict, but strong and respectful relationships between Australia and countries in and outside our region.

Your Government’s assertion that arms exports will only be to countries where there are strict controls in place, is not borne out by current practice, for example where Australian firms have received contracts to supply Saudi Arabia with military equipment, despite the appalling human rights record in that country and its ongoing war on Yemen.

In this time of growing inequality in both the world and Australia our tax dollars would be better invested in areas such as health, education, transport, and import replacement initiatives that serve and develop local opportunities for the diverse regions of Australia.


The AABC along with other local peace groups believes our Government’s foreign policy should be focused on dialogue with and support for other countries to address the causes of war and offer resources to help create the conditions of peace - not actively promote measures which perpetuate war.


Yours sincerely,



Denis Doherty