What are global military expenditures?
A country’s defence budget can be generally divided into two categories: ‘recurring expenditures’, such as the payment of salaries to soldiers or funds needed for the maintenance and repair of military equipment; and so-called ‘investment expenditures’, which are funds that are invested in the expansion of military capacities (for instance development), the research in and testing of new military technologies, or the purchase of new vehicles, equipment and weapons.
It is important to note that actual military expenditures can be higher than reported in the military budget. Sometimes, expenses on the military are subsumed in the budget lines of other ministries. In the United States, for instance, the Department of Energy is responsible for maintaining the nuclear weapons arsenal. At times, the military receives extra-budgetary contributions or generates additional funds by founding its own companies. The expenditures shown here are based on annual data provided by the Swedish peace research institute SIPRI, which tries to take this into account.