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Saudi Arabia Ranks 5th Globally, First Regionally in Defense Spending- CNN

Saudi Arabia was ranked the world’s fifth and region’s first defense spender in 2023, according to a recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, CNN reported. The report stated that Saudi Arabia spent $76 billion in 2023, marking a 4.3% increase in defense spending.

This rise, which represents 7.1% of the country’s GDP, elevated the Kingdom to be among the world’s top five defense spenders after the US, China, Russia and India. The growing spending came after the increased demand for non-Russian oil and high oil prices after Russia’s war in Ukraine.

According to CNN, military spending in the Middle East increased by 9.0% to approximately $200 billion in 2023. This highlighted the largest annual increase between 2014 and 2023.

Data showed that the largest military spenders in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey. Israel was the second largest military spender in the region as its expenditure rose by 24 % to reach $27.5 billion in 2023.

On the Arab level, Algeria ranked 19th globally, with 0.7%, while Kuwait ranked 32nd 0.3% of the global share of military spending in 2023.

Furthermore, the report indicated an increase in the global military burden, from 2.2% of GDP in 2022 to 2.3% in 2023.

Middle Eastern countries recorded the highest military burden in 2023, with 4.2% of GDP. Lebanon ranked second globally with 8.9%, while Algeria ranked third with 8.2%. Saudi Arabia came in the fourth rank with 7.1%, and the Sultanate of Oman ranked eighth with 5.4%.

Total global military expenditure in 2023 reached $2.4 trillion, marking an increase of 6.8 % from 2022 and the steepest year-on-year increase since 2009.

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