Biggest rise in decades in global defence spending

Global defence spending registered the highest increase in a decade in 2019, driven by the US and China, a study said Friday, as rivalries and conflicts stoke military investment. 

The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said the four percent rise, compared to a year earlier, was fuelled by competition between major powers, new military technologies and rumbling warfare from Ukraine to Libya.

The IISS said: Beijing's military modernisation programme includes developing new hard-to-detect hypersonic missiles and is alarming Washington and helping drive US defence spending.

Its annual "Military Balance" report said the increase alone in US spending from 2018 to 2019 -- $53.4 billion -- was almost as big as Britain's entire defence budget.