This Great Graphic was tweeted as a picture by Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer. It shows the top 15 military budgets for last year.
The projection that global military expenditures are set to increase in 2014 for the first time in five years comes from an estimate by London-based IHS Jane's Aerospace, Defense & Security. It projects a 0.6% increase to $1.547 trillion.
Military spending is set to continue to decline in the US and NATO more broadly. The increase in spending is coming mostly from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia and Oman) and the arms race in Asia. Four of the five largest increases are expected to be in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia and Oman have increased military expenditures by nearly a third in the past two years. The Saudi budget has grown three-fold in the past decade.
IHS estimates Saudi Arabia military expenditures at $42.9 bln in 2013, an increase of 19%, and putting it in ninth place globally. However, the kingdom is highly secretive about such expenditures and the International Institute for Strategic Studies estimates such expenditures were closer to $59.6 bln, which would put it into fourth place.
Russia is particularly noteworthy as it moved into third place last year, behind the US and China. While some of the increased expenditures may be related to hosting the Olympic Games, IHS projects that Russia will increase military expenditures by 44% over the next three years. In 2015, IHS projects that military spending by China and Russia together will outstrip the European Union.