Sri Lanka has become the South Asian region’s highest military spender for 2011. As a percentage of Gross Domestic Production, Sri Lanka has spent three percent on the military and secured the first place among South Asian countries.
Sri Lanka increased their defense spending in 2011 by eleven percent in real terms. In 2010, Sri Lanka disbursed US$ million 1,403 for the military and this made up 2.4 percent of Gross Domestic Production.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s recent report, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Nepal has spent 2.8%, 2.7%, 1.1% and 1.1% respectively of their Gross Domestic Production for military spending in the year 2011.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) is an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament which was established in 1966.
When considering the real value, India was expected to spend US$ million 48,889 for their military establishment in 2011. In 2010, India has spent US$ million 44,282 for its military. Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal were respectively scheduled to spend US$ million 6,282, 1,557 and 259 for their defense establishments in 2011.
According to this report, the United States military spending decreased by 1.2 per cent in real terms, the first fall in US military spending since 1998. But the United States is still the largest military spender. The world super power spent US$ billion 711 for 2011. China secured the second place and they spent US$ billion 143 for military power. Russia, the United Kingdom, France, Japan and India respectively spent US$ billion 71.9, 62.7, 62.5, 59.3, and 48.9 for 2011.
The SIPRI stated that China’s increasing military spending has caused concern among China’s neighbors, as well as the dominant Pacific power, the US and the recent announcement of a US ‘pivot’ towards Asia is in part a response to such concerns.
“China’s extensive and growing trade relations with the countries in its neighborhood have been marred by disputes—e.g. the border dispute with India, a dispute over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands with Japan, and contested maritime borders with several nations in the South China Sea—all of which have led to increased tensions” the report stated.
The SIPRI’s report further added that two countries where concerns over China do appear to have contributed to increase spending are India and Vietnam.
“India has increased military spending by 66 per cent since 2002. While both internal conflicts and the long-running conflict with Pakistan remain key issues, India in many ways sees China as a rival for regional power. The long-running border dispute, for example, exacerbates tensions between the two countries. Vietnam has increased military spending by 82 percent since 2003, and has made several major naval acquisitions, partly due to tensions with China in the South China Sea” they disclosed.
Source – Ceylon Today