In response to the worsening security environment, cuts to European defence budgets are finally being reversed. In this Brief, defence spending data from 2015 are spliced by region and by category to show how the calculus is changing in defence ministries across Europe.
2015 saw Russia, Saudi Arabia and China invest heavily in their militaries, while Europeans have largely reversed long-standing defence budget cuts, too. Increases in defence spending have, however, had very different implications for the military activities of the respective regional powers.
This Brief seeks to improve the understanding of the relation between (cripplingly) expensive capabilities and complex security challenges. What are the true effects of cost escalation of weapon systems? And is European defence suffering as a result?
Despite economic growth returning to Europe, defence budgets continued to fall in 2014. Given the worsening security situation in Europe’s neighbourhood, a renewed commitment to defence would represent an important demonstration of solidarity – both within the Union and to partners across the Atlantic.
In 2014 the world spent more on defence than ever before, with three players standing out as essential drivers of this trend: China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. Are their heavy investments in defence having an impact on their behaviour in their respective regional environments?