World military expenditure in 2010 is estimated to have been $1630 billion, an increase of 1.3 per cent in real terms.* The region with the largest increase in military spending was South America, with a 5.8 per cent increase, reaching a total of $63.3 billion, according to new data published today by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
Asia is not supposed to catch up with western countries in economic development and defence expenditure!
Arms race is a bad thing. Only the developed countries are entitled to protect their territorial integrity and vital global economic interests including expansionism.
While it is fine for US and NATO to encircle Russia and China since the Cold War, South America is out of bounds to non-so-friendly foreign powers (Cuban Missile Crisis) and independent-minded regimes governed by "despots" and "autocrats".
It would really be strange for western economies dogged by bankruptcy and successive crises to continue spending. They should sell their arms to earn some cash. Don't be mistaken. The US is still the largest military spender in the world.
The fear is that "irresponsible" and "undemocratic" governments would be misusing their military acquisitions to threaten western interests. A more worrisome trend is emerging powers fighting amongst themselves, whether for selfish gains or as proxies, would bring about misery and major catastrophes to their innocent populations.