Society 17:16 03/02/2017 Armenia

Armenia among top ten of Global Militarization Index 2016

The Global Militarization Index presents on an annual basis the relative weight and importance of a country's military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The annual report released by Bonn International Centre for Conversion includes covers 152 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2015).

According to the report with Armenia, Russia, Cyprus, Greece and Azerbaijan, five European countries are amongst the top 10 worldwide of the BICC Global Militarization Index (GMI) 2016. After the Russian annexation of Crimea and following the continuing tense situation in eastern Ukraine, eastern European countries show an increased level of militarization.

The report notes that while Russia (2016: position 5) continues to be among the ten most militarized countries, the risen level of militarization of Ukraine has resulted in a change of position from number 23 in 2015 to position 15 in 2016. Not only Ukraine but Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, as well as the Baltic countries increased their military expenditures, showing a simultaneous drop in gross domestic product (GDP). 

Germany is at position 100 in the index, yet the German government is planning to increase its defense spending by 6.2 per cent between 2015 and 2019.

"It is to be expected that the future President of the United States, Donald Trump, will intensify the pressure on the European NATO countries to invest more in their military to reach the goal that they have set themselves of defence expenditures amounting to two per cent of the GDP," the author of the report adds.

Author Max M. Mutschler notes that no other country spends as much money on its military as the United States does (2015: US $595 billion), however the US is only on position 31 of the GMI.

"In the context with the GDP or the overall population, the high military expenditures and the large number of military personnel in the United States are put in perspective as regards the ranking," Mutschler explains. This explains conversely, why for years small countries such as Singapore, Armenia or Cyprus are to be found in the world's top 10 in the GMI.
The top ten of the European Countries has seen almost no changes to compare with the rankings of the last year.

Armenia, Russia and Cyprus have retained their positions. Azerbaijan and Greece have switched the fourth and fifth positions. Turkey and Ukraine have improved their results by one point and Finland have registered retreat ranking the ninth.

As in the previous years the militarization levels of Armenia and Azerbaijan are based on the NKR conflict which saw a flare-up in April 2016.



Source Panorama.am
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