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Middle East leads global defence spending

The IHS Jane's Annual Defence Budgets Review has released a new report predicting that global defence spending will rise in 2014 to reach $1.547 trillion, compared to last year's budget of $1.538 trillion, making global defence spending in 2014 the highest it has been in five years.

Paul Burton, the director of IHS Jane's Aerospace, Defence and Security, noted that: "Russia, Asia and the Middle East will provide the impetus behind the growth in global military spending expected this year and will drive the recovery projected from 2016 onwards." He further explained that: "With military budgets among many of the major NATO nations due to continue to contract over the next 12 months, the centre of gravity of defence expenditure is expected to continue to shift south and east in 2014, following the trend of global economic expansion."

The report points out that several countries have increased their military spending, including Russia, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Oman, over the past two years at a time when NATO countries continue to reduce their military budgets due to the economic recession. IHS reported that Middle Eastern countries are now occupying the top ranks in terms of classified military institutions, by spending huge amounts of money purchasing fighter jets and helicopters.

Last year the US came first in terms of military spending, followed by China, while Saudi Arabia ranked first among Arab States and ninth at the international level. Saudi Arabia is believed to have spent nearly $42,858 million on defence in 2013. Meanwhile, Israel came in the 19th place spending $13,097 million, followed by Algeria with a military budget of $10,778 million.

The foundation's full report is due to be released on Thursday.

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