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Morocco-Algeria arms race escalates amid tense relations, as will global military spending – SIPRI

US army soldiers and Moroccan forces during a military exercise on 18 June 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]
Moroccan forces during a military exercise on 18 June 2021 [FADEL SENNA/AFP/Getty Images]

An international report states that the Moroccan-Algerian military arms race will continue due to the deteriorating relations between the two countries and the continuous escalation, at a time when the extent of global spending on armaments is increasing, with the intensification of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

According to the report, military spending in Africa rose by 1.2 per cent in 2021 to reach $39.7 billion.

The report, issued by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), revealed on Monday, that the North African countries achieved the total estimated military spending in Africa by 51 per cent.

Despite the economic repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, countries around the world have increased their arsenal, where the global military spending increased by 0.7 per cent last year.

"Even amid the economic repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the global military spending has reached record levels," said Diego Lopez da Silva, senior researcher for the SIPRI program on military spending and arms production.

"Due to inflation, there has been a slowdown in the growth rate in real value, but in terms of nominal value, military spending grew by 6.1 per cent," Da Silva said.

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The report placed Morocco and Algeria among the countries that allocated a huge budget for military spending during 2021, due to the increasing tensions between the two countries.

According to the report, Algerian military spending decreased sharply compared to previous years, but it stabilised at 6.1 per cent, where Algeria spent a total of $9.1 billion of its budget in the military field, while Morocco's spending increased by 3.4 per cent, as it spent $5.4 billion in 2021.

Russia's spending increased by 2.9 per cent for the third consecutive year of growth, to reach $65.9 billion.

The military spending of Ukraine has increased by 72 per cent since the annexation of Crimea; it has decreased by more than 8 per cent in 2021 to $5.9 billion. However, it still represents 3.2 per cent of Ukraine's GDP.

The report said that the United States, which exceeded all countries in spending of $801 billion, actually moved against the global trend and cut its spending by 1.4 per cent in 2021.

China came in the world's second place, with an estimated $293 billion of military expenditures with 4.7 per cent. It recorded an increase in spending for the twenty-seventh consecutive year.

According to the report, the United Kingdom came in fourth place, after increasing its military spending by 3 per cent to reach $68.4 billion. It replaced Saudi Arabia, which cut its spending by 17 per cent to an estimated $55.6 billion.

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