US led global defense spending in 2020: Report

The US remained as top spender in 2020 global defense despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Thursday.

The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) showed total military spending amounted to $1.83 trillion last year, a 3.9% increase from 2019.

"This came despite the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent contraction in global economic output," the IISS said.

China, India, the UK and Russia were among the top spenders, after the US.

"The increase in the US and Chinese defence budgets accounted for almost two-thirds of the total increase in global spending in 2020: the US defence budget increased by 6.3% in 2020 in real terms, while China’s growth slowed slightly to 5.2% in 2020 from 5.9% in 2019," the report said.

Also, NATO member's spending increased by almost 20% since 2014, just after Russia intervened in Ukraine.

Noting that NATO countries remain committed to increasing their defense budgets, the IISS said: "If these spending plans continue on their current trajectory, in 2021 Europe could be the region with the fastest growth in global defense spending."

Source: AA

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