These are the Top 10 Biggest Military Spenders on the Planet

According to a report by the Visual Capitalist, global military spending reached a whopping $2.1 trillion in 2021. 

Visual Capitalist writer Niccolo Conte pulled data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) to demonstrate which countries had the highest military spending in 2021 in addition to their proportion of military spending on a global scale. 

Unsurprisingly, the United States was the #1 leader in terms of military spending. In 2021, the US spent $801 billion, which represented nearly 38% of global military spending that year. Since SIPRI started tracking military spending figures in 1949, the US has been the premier military spending power. It has made up over 30% of the world’s military spending during the past two decades. From 2020 to 2021, US military spending grew by $22.3 billion. The US’s 2021 total was greater than every country in the top 10 spending rankings combined.

China was in second place for spending, at $293.4 billion. This constituted 14% of global military spending.  China has been increasing its military spending for 27 consecutive years. 

Russia is ranked in 5th place for military spending at $65.9 billion. One thing to note is that Russia spends a large share of its GDP on military spending (4.1%). Only Saudi Arabia tops it, with its military spending constituting 6.6% of its GDP. 

Overall, the US is a very geopolitically secure nation. It has two moats in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and a vast nuclear arsenal to keep competitors, especially those who use conventional forces, at bay. So any talk about Russia and China posing existential threats to it is utter nonsense. 

It’s high-time for the US to stop playing world police and close up its military bases abroad. In addition, it should reduce its military spending and solely dedicate its resources towards tackling genuine threats at its southern border and protecting its shipping lanes in the Western Hemisphere. Any type of military spending and operations allocated towards projects outside of the US’s historical sphere of influence will only put the country on the path to imperial overreach. 

A truly America First foreign policy is one of realism and restraint.

Our Latest Articles