Who are the warmongers of the world we live in today?
With so many accusations and counter-accusations on who is the cause of this or that war in the world, and with the fog of war propaganda coming from all sides, I thought it would be useful to take a hard look at the facts on military expenditure as key indicators.
It is easy to refute claims about who fired the first shot and who was being aggressive or 'asking for it', or even who was 'bad' or 'immoral' or 'blasphemous' etc.
But it is not so easy to deny who is buying, selling, producing and using weapons for warfare the most.
A good source of data is the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
The charts below are taken from their 'Recent trends' section. They provide a clear flavour of the current military spenders hall of fame in the world.
The first is by the highest spenders in 2012 by country:
Another SIPRI Chart for 2012 shows military expenditure by region:
The table below was created to provide a longer-term trend analysis over the 25-year period for which SIPRI's data is available to compare 5 main regions, namely: Africa, Americas, Asia and Oceania, Europe and the Middle East.
The regions are also sub-divided into their subregions. For example Africa is divided into North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia into Central, East and South Asia together with Oceania.
The table also provides comparative time series data for the first decade of the 21st century, as well as a five-year period following the 2008 financial crisis. This allows us to assess whether and how trends have shifted over the past quarter century.
Source: SIPRI World-military-expenditure-by-region-in-2012
As the figures demonstrate, North America clearly leads and accounts for 43% of the world's military expenditures over the past quarter century.