An escalating arms race will not solve the world’s multidimensional problems
The process did not begin with the war in Ukraine but, seen from a Western perspective, it is undoubtedly the factor, along with the perception transmitted in recent years that China’s emergence as a global power poses a threat, that best explains the now seemingly unstoppable arms race.
According to the latest data, collected by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), global military spending in 2021 was up 0.7 per cent on the previous year, and 12 per cent compared with the figures from 2012. This level of growth not only represents an all-time record since 1987, amounting to over US$2.1 trillion (2.2 per cent of global GDP) but also confirms the upward trend of the last seven years. These figures and trends seem surprising at first sight, considering that they coincide with a global economic and financial crisis (2008) and the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic (2020).