Israel’s military expenditure in 2022 totaled $23.4 billion, which translates to 4.5% of its GDP and amounts to 1% of the world’s share, according to SIPRI’s Trends in World Military Expenditure, published earlier this week.
Israel is placed at number 15 on the list of countries with the highest military expenditure in 2022 - with the US ($877 billion), China ($292 billion) and Russia ($86.4 billion) taking the top three places, respectively. With a $75 billion expenditure, Saudi Arabia was placed at the fourth place, while Iran ($6.8 billion) only made it to number 34.
Total military expenditure by Mideast countries was an estimated $184 billion in 2022, which up by 3.2% from 2021 - but down by 1.5% from 2013. According to the report, the 2022 increase was mainly due to a 16% in the spending of Saudi Arabia—the largest military spender in the region and the fifth largest in the world.
The report notes that while Israel’s $23.4 billion total was 4.2% lower than in 2021, but still 26% higher than in 2013, stating that actual spending in 2022 did not align with the approved budget or Israel’s 2030 National Security Strategy - which both projected annual increases.
“Israel has been making cuts to public expenditure since mid 2021 to reduce its budget deficit—by December 2022, the deficit had become a 0.5 per cent of GDP surplus. The drop in military spending came despite intensified military strikes by Israel on Syria and heightened tensions between Israel and Palestine that regularly erupted into violent clashes,” says the report.
In general terms, the report found that world military expenditure rose by 3.7% in real terms in 2022, reaching a record high of $2240 billion. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a major driver of the growth in spending in 2022. Military expenditure in Europe rose by 13% during the year – the largest annual increase in total European spending in the post-cold war era.