World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers 1996   [open pdf - 14MB]

Key military indicators reported in this 25th edition of World Military Expenditures and Arms Transfers (WMEAT) suggest that 1995, the last year shown, may prove to be a pivotal year. Military spending took an upward turn in the developing countries as a group as well as in a number of regions, notably East Asia and South America, after dropping since 1986 except for the Gulf War years. Arms imports by the developing countries also turned up sharply in 1995, with increases appearing in the Middle East, East Asia, South America, and South and Central Asia. Armed forces numbers did not generally increase in 1995, but neither have they shown recent signs of falling appreciably in the developing group. On the other hand, for the developed country group all these indicators of military effort continued their decline from Cold War levels in 1995, with little sign of abatement. Although the full long-term implication of these trends may be cloudy, it is clear that the work of arms control and nonproliferation is far from over. That conviction is supported by the difficulties being encountered in many of the growing number of international peace-promoting efforts, the ominous threat of terrorism, the military disorder in a number of regions, and the persistence of armed conflict potential around the globe. In fact, the work of arms control and nonproliferation is daily facing new challenges and taking new paths. It is imperative that the toilers in this vineyard maintain and even increase their dedication, their persistent efforts, and ultimately, their successes, despite setbacks and discouragements.

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