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Related commentary: Arms and military expenditure

Looking back to ensure future progress: developing and improving multilateral instruments to control arms transfers and prevent illicit trafficking

Between July and September this year, the international community will be faced with the daunting prospect of concluding negotiations on an international arms trade treaty and a review of the implementation of the United Nations programme of action on small arms and light weapons.

Increased international transparency in military spending is possible

On 20 October the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly will discuss the annual report by the UN Secretary-General containing military expenditure data submitted by UN member states. In keeping with the trend seen in recent years, the number of UN member states participating in the reporting process for 2017 is comparatively low. However, analysis by SIPRI indicates that many non-participating member states, including countries in sub-Saharan Africa, now release much of the relevant data into the public domain.

How much does Russia spend on nuclear weapons?

This topical backgrounder begins with an overview of Russia’s large-scale nuclear modernization programme, which started after the adoption of its state armament programme for 2011–20. It then outlines Russia’s nuclear institutions and how the expenditure is managed within Russia’s federal budget and provides an estimate of Russian spending on nuclear weapons between the years 2010 and 2016.

To stay or not to stay: Will Europe’s new trade initiative make a difference for Iran?

‘Today we have taken a significant step forward in delivering our commitment under the Iran nuclear deal to preserve sanctions relief for the people of Iran.’ These were the words of Jeremy Hunt, Foreign Secretary of the UK, as he introduced the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), which is the latest attempt by the E3 (France, Germany and the UK) at preserving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, or the J

The crucial role of the military in the Venezuelan crisis

In January 2019 Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly swore in congressman Juan Guaidó as the country’s interim president. Guaidó’s claim to power is a severe blow against the already weakened government of Nicolás Maduro, whose re-election as president in May 2018 was widely rejected by the international community and deemed illegitimate by over 50 foreign governments.

A cautionary tale of military expenditure transparency during the great lockdown

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has dramatically changed the world we inhabit. Not only has there been unimaginable human suffering worldwide, but the necessary protective measures implemented by governments around the world have caused an economic fallout far worse than the 2008–2009 financial crisis and unprecedented since the Great Depression of 1929.

COVID-19: A new wave of European arms industry consolidation?

As coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused the most severe economic crisis since the 1930s, could we witness a new phase of consolidation within the Western and Central European arms industry? This SIPRI Essay gives an early glimpse at where these three factors stand after the ‘great lockdown’. It proposes that the European arms industry may be at the outset of a larger consolidation movement.

Autocracy is on the rise: Should we expect military spending to follow?

Autocracies are once again the global majority. The 2020 Democracy Report of the Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-DEM), ‘Autocratization surges, resistance grows’, raises the alarm that while the world in 2019 was substantially more democratic than it was in the 1970s, an ongoing trend of autocratization may reverse this scenario.