Saudi Arabia outperforms Britain as the world’s fourth largest defence spender

Saudi Arabian air force F15 Aircraft

Saudi Arabia outperforms Britain as the world’s fourth largest defence spender in 2013, a report prepared by London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies said, as Western cuts and Asian and Middle Eastern growth shift the global balance of military power.

The report concluded Saudi Arabia was spending USD 59.6 billion, beating Britain at USD 57 billion. Saudi spending increased 8.6 percent in the 2012-13 period, it said.

Nevertheless, one of the central reasons for Saudi Arabia outpacing Britain was a shift in exchange rates, researchers said, meaning this could be reversed in 2014.

Vast majority of top global spenders by percentage of gross domestic product were in the Middle East – Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Bahrain, Libya, Algeria, Yemen and Jordan.

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