A Swedish research organization says global military spending has increased 45 percent over the past decade, while noting increased support for new arms control talks.
In its annual report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says international military spending reached nearly $1.4 trillion in 2007 - a six percent increase from the previous year. Arms sales by leading manufacturers during the same period jumped eight percent.
Commenting on the data, institute chief Bates Gill said there is growing urgency around the globe to bring a mainstream momentum to arms control. He also said disarmament by the largest nuclear powers - the United States and Russia - could play a critical role in spurring reduced military spending elsewhere in the world.
The report says arms sales by the world's 100 largest manufacturers totaled $315 billion in 2006 alone. It identified the United States as the largest arms supplier to other countries since 2003. It says the U.S. plus Russia, Germany, France and Britain accounted for 80 percent of all military sales over the period.