Bulletin 1. The Global Arms Trade & the Wars it Fuels

In 2015, global military spending was $1.676 trillion (1). That is the amount spent by all nations on fighting and preparing for wars. Military expenditure constitutes a severe drain on social expenditures, especially (but not only) in less developed countries.

Some governments spend more on their military than on health care for their citizens. For example, in 2014 the government of Pakistan spent nearly 4 times as much on its military as on health care (2). Pakistan’s neighbour and military rival India is also a big military spender, and for the period 2010 - 2014 was the world’s largest importer of major weapons (3).

Although the financial value of the global trade in weapons is difficult to assess, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) states that “It is possible to estimate that the total value of the global arms trade in 2013 was at least $76 billion. However, the true figure is likely to be higher."