Global military spending rose 45% between 1999 and 2008, fuelled by the US-led “war on terror” and by increased wealth in China, Russia and the Middle East. In Western and Central Europe, military spending increased at a much slower rate than in any other part of the world, while the US accounted for 58% of the global increase during the decade.
The spending is of the same order of magnitude as the bailout of the global financial system, but of course does not go in to productive assets.
Offensive spending dwarfs peacekeeping operations. In 2008, a record 187,586 people were deployed on peacekeeping missions, an 11% rise over 2007. Military forces accounted 166,146 of the personnel deployed.
Most of the missions were deployed in Africa, including in DR Congo and in Darfur, Sudan, but the largest single peace operation was in Afghanistan.