Global Military Spending Reaches Record High

Global Military Spending Reaches Record High

Global defense spending reached an all-time high of $2.4 trillion last year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (sipri) reported on April 22. This marked an increase of 6.8 percent over the previous year, the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009.

This past year also marked the first time since 2009 that annual spending has increased in all of the major five geographical regions defined by sipri. “It’s a reflection of the deterioration of peace and security around the world,” said senior sipri researcher Nan Tian. “There’s really not a region in the world where things have gotten better.”

The data highlighted how imbalanced the fight between Russia and Ukraine is. Russia’s military spending in relation to its gross domestic product was 5.9 percent, its highest point since the end of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, Ukraine spent a stunning 37 percent of gdp on defense.

nato has also drastically increased its military spending. Fear of Russia is prompting the alliance to militarize rapidly. In 2023, 11 out of 31 nato members reached or exceeded the 2 percent of gdp target, marking the highest number since the commitment was made at the end of the Cold War. While the United States still holds the largest share of nato military spending (68 percent), European countries are moving forward rapidly with a combined share of 28 percent.

At the same time, Israel’s military spending grew by 24 percent this past year, driven by a large-scale offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, 2023. The Middle East as a whole saw its highest annual growth rate in the past decade, as many countries fear a region-wide conflict. Iran, which recently launched its boldest attack on Israel yet, was the fourth-largest spender in the Middle East.

But the wars in Gaza and Ukraine are only the most prominent in a world full of conflict. Major regional conflicts are also raging in Africa, Eurasia and Central and Latin America.

Governments in Mexico and El Salvador have increasingly used their militaries to suppress gang violence and organized crime. The Dominican Republic also drastically ramped up military spending due to the crisis in neighboring Haiti.

In Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo recorded the largest increase in military spending (105 percent) as it struggles with an extended conflict between the government and non-state armed groups. South Sudan recorded a whopping 78 percent increase in spending, largely because of the Sudanese civil war.

India, Japan, South Korea and other nations in East Asia have also continued to build up their military capabilities as China’s threat to take control of Taiwan and the South China Sea intensifies.

All of this unprecedented military spending demonstrates one overarching point: The world is again preparing for large-scale war.

During His ministry on Earth, Jesus Christ prophesied that man’s history would be full of “wars and rumours of wars … but the end is not yet” (Matthew 24:6). Christ told us that seeing these wars all around us does not indicate the end of the world is near. Instead, He warned about a specific conflict.

“For then shall be great tribulation,” Christ warned, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved [alive]” (verses 21-22). This is about world war in a nuclear age—when man has the ability to completely wipe himself out. Man now has that ability. That’s why these “rumours of wars” are much more concerning than the warfare that has continued throughout history. They are signs we’re heading toward nuclear World War iii.

This Great Tribulation will be driven largely by a devastating global nuclear war. The U.S. and Russia already have massive nuclear arsenals. China is quickly expanding its arsenal of nuclear weapons, and the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea and Israel have these unfathomably destructive weapons. Germany is voicing stronger calls for nuclear weapons in Europe. Iran is also very close to developing a nuclear bomb.

“We are now at the edge of this nuclear abyss!” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry notes in his booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’ “Many nations have weapons of mass destruction— including nuclear bombs. The Prophet Daniel called this ‘the time of the end’—or as Moffatt translates it, ‘the crisis at the close’—the crisis of all crises!”

To learn more about what lies ahead and how God will save mankind from complete annihilation, order a free copy of Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’