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Global military spending hits almost $1.5 trillion in 2008 - study

© Alexey Vladikin / Go to the photo bankGlobal military spending hits almost $1.5 trillion in 2008 - study
Global military spending hits almost $1.5 trillion in 2008 - study - Sputnik International
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Global military spending totaled $1.464 trillion last year, a real-term increase of 45% from a decade ago and 4% rise year-on-year, a prominent political think tank said on Monday.

STOCKHOLM, June 8 (RIA Novosti) - Global military spending totaled $1.464 trillion last year, a real-term increase of 45% from a decade ago and 4% rise year-on-year, a prominent political think tank said on Monday.

The figures were published in the SIPRI Yearbook 2009, released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on Monday.

This year's edition said the current amount of military spending corresponded to 2.4% of world gross domestic product (GDP), or $217 a year for every person in the world.

U.S. military spending totaled $607 billion in 2008, and accounted for about 42% of the

world total.

According to SIPRI, Russia occupies 5th place in the list of "big spenders" with an annual defense budget estimated to be $58.6 bln, although Russia officially announced a smaller sum of about $43 bln.

"Russia continued to increase spending and is maintaining plans for further increases despite severe economic problems," the publication said.

The United States and Russia remained by far the largest exporters of weaponry with 31% and 25% of the global share respectively, followed by Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

"Together these five countries accounted for 79% of the volume of exports for 2004-2008," SIPRI said.

According to SIPRI estimates, there are around 8,400 operational nuclear warheads in the world, and almost 2,000 of these can be launched within minutes.

The SIPRI yearbook includes reports detailing research into international security, armaments and disarmament, major armed conflicts and multilateral peacekeeping operations, and is highly valued and respected by military experts all over the world.

The SIPRI Yearbook was first published in 1969 and is now in its 40th edition.

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