Military Spending in Asia

How much do Asian countries spend on their military?

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Map of the military spending in Asia as a percentage of GDP.

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We recently looked at the military spending in Europe. This time we’re going to have a closer look at Asia.

Although Russia has the highest military expenditure of Europe, it is not the highest in Asia. Oman has the highest with 7.34% of GDP, followed by Kuwait (6.69%) and Saudi Arabia (6.59%).

The other countries with a higher military expenditure in Asia, are all countries that are either in an armed conflict with a neighbour or live next to a neighbour that is in an armed conflict with another nation or in civil war or might be a threat to them. We can see that Azerbaijan and Armenia both have a higher military expenditure. The same goes for a lot of countries in the Middle East. India and Pakistan also stand out compared to their neighbours. Another country that stands out is South Korea, for obvious reasons.

Mongolia has the lowest military expenditure in Asia, with only 0.66% of GDP, despite being locked in between two military powerhouses. However, it’s unlikely any of them will invade Mongolia, as this will almost definitely result in a war between Russia and China. Indonesia (0.70%) and Kazakhstan (0.87%) have the second and third lowest military spending in Asia.

How much a country spends on their military, doesn’t necessarily reflect the strength of the military. We have seen that with Russia that corruption and outdated technology/equipment can severely decrease the quality of the military, despite high funding.

The data for this map, comes from SIPRI.

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