Global military spending levelled out in 2011 reaching $1.738bn dollars in 2011 according to the latest figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

While the figure is actually higher than that of 2010, in real terms the figure is essentially unchanged, due to the falling value of the dollar and price changes.

Most interestingly, however, is that for the first time in 13 years, spending has not increased but in fact levelled out.
According to SIPRI the levelling out is the result of a mixture of economic and security patterns.

A decline caused by austerity measures in the US and western Europe has been balanced against substantially increased expenditure in the Middle East caused by upheaval during the Arab Spring, as well as more moderate increases in Asia, Oceania, Africa and Latin America.

According to Dr Sam Perlo Freedman, SIPRI Military Expenditure Project head, it is too early to say whether the flattening of military spending in 2011 represents a long-term trend change.

"While we are likely to see some further falls in the USA and Europe in the next few years, trends in Asia, Africa and the Middle East continue to be upward for now, and any major new war could change the picture dramatically," said Freedman.

"The after-effects of the global economic crisis, especially deficit-reduction measures in the USA and Europe, have finally brought the decade-long rise in military spending to a halt – at least for now."

To read or download our full Global Military Spending 2011 Infographic sheet click here.

To read our full Global Military Spend report 2011 click here.