Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Global Militarisation Index 2022 \ Two Scenarios for the €100 billion Special Fund and a Juxtaposition of Russia and NATO

Every year, the Global Militarisation Index (GMI) of BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conflict Studies) reflects militarisation and demilitarisation trends on the basis of the latest available figures.

In 2022, the regional focus is on NATO expansion and the €100-billion Special Fund for the German armed forces, as well as rearmament in Oceania and East Asia.

The GMI 2022 not only examines the planned expansion of NATO to include the member states Sweden and Finland. Using the three parameters of personnel, financial resources and heavy weapons, it compares the extended NATO with Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). “Even if NATO is ahead in all these areas—the juxtaposition we have made between the two blocs is not intended to pave the way for a new Cold War in terms of argumentation," stresses Dr Markus Bayer, a researcher at BICC. According to Bayer, the GMI's concern is quite different: “The Index wants to encourage discussion about the use of socially available resources and to provide a fact-based basis for this discussion.“

Following this guideline, the researchers also looked at the €100 billion Special Fund for the German armed forces. They developed two different scenarios for the militarisation of Germany for the next five years. "According to the target achievement scenario, Germany is likely to have a significant militarisation dynamic in 2027. It would climb from GMI rank 103 to rank 89," Markus Bayer outlines. In the missed target scenario, on the other hand, militarisation dynamics would be lower, and Germany would only climb five places in the global ranking to 98th place.

Focus East Asia and Oceania

This year, the conflict between China, Taiwan and the so-called AUKUS countries (Australia, United Kingdom and United States) in the China Sea and the Pacific Ocean continued to escalate. GMI authors Markus Bayer and Paul Rohleder contrast the military potential of the cooperating AUKUS countries with that of China. “On balance, the comparison between AUKUS and China allows only very limited conclusions to be drawn about who would be the stronger party in a bloc confrontation. However, it does show the large amounts of resources that the two blocs devote to the military and how their arms race has a military-political impact on the entire region," the authors analyse. 

For the first time, they also estimated the degree of militarisation of North Korea and Taiwan—two key countries in the regional conflict—which would rank first and 21st, respectively, in the world. Due to the precarious data situation, however, these countries do not appear in the official ranking. 

Global Militarisation

The GMI covers 154 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2021). The ten countries with the highest level of militarisation in the GMI 2022 are Israel, Kuwait, Armenia, Singapore, Oman, Bahrain, Greece, Russia, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. These countries allocate particularly large amounts of resources to their military in comparison to other areas of society. As far as the general militarisation trend is concerned, the GMI 2022 offers a seemingly contradictory picture. It appears that the general upward trend of the previous years does not continue. “This is mainly due to the drop in relative military expenditure, which, measured as a share of GDP (gross domestic product), fell on average from 2.3 to 2.2 per cent. The main reason for this is the economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic”, Bayer and Rohleder explain. At the same time, the number of heavy weapons grew in relative and absolute terms despite a positive population trend: "Here, militarisation reaches such a high level as was last measured in 2012," the authors state.

Every year, BICC’s Global Militarisation Index (GMI) maps the relative weight and importance of a country's military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The Index is financially supported by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Press release “Globaler Militarisierungsindex 2022 \ Zwei Szenarien zum 100-Milliarden-Sondervermögen und eine Gegenüberstellung von Russland und NATO“ (pdf, in German)

Press release "Global Militarisation Index 2022 \ Two Scenarios for the €100 billion Special Fund and a Juxtaposition of Russia and NATO" (pdf, in English)

Global Militarisation Index 2022