Ukraine in TOP 20 Most Highly Militarized States

The Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) has published its annual Global Militarization Index 2013 (GMI). The report provides data for 2012, according to which Ukraine goes 20th in the list of the most highly militarized states, Kommersant Ukraine reported.

“The Global Militarization Index 2013 contains information for 2012. Ukraine took 20th place with a militarization index of 608.2. Near our country there are Morocco and Vietnam (19th and 21st places respectively). The most highly militarized country in the world since 2007 has been Israel (794.13),” the newspaper notes.

In the 2013 rankings the TOP 5 also includes Singapore (751.97), Russia (728.87), Armenia (724.12) and Syria (714.19). With the index of 574.05 the United States is 27th, while China (431.48) – 83.
“China (GMI: 83rd place) does not only hold a top place globally but also in Asia. China alone is responsible for 40 percent of all military expenditure in the region. All in all, expenditure on the continent amounted to US $382 billion in 2012. This compares with US $202 billion in 2000, an increase of 89 percent. China stands out as far as the number of heavy weapons systems is concerned and towers over all other countries in the region. China has by far the largest army in the region and, based on the number of soldiers, also the largest armed forces worldwide (2.2 million soldiers, 26,093 units of heavy armament). However, its forces have no combat experience and would only have a limited ability to conduct complex operations far from their own territory,” the report reads. European countries, according to the rankings, have an average and low level of militarization. For example, France is 55th, Poland – 75th, Germany – 93rd, and Sweden – 94th. The most peaceful country is Iceland.

It is noteworthy that the figures in the Global Militarization Index differ from those in the SIPRI Yearbook 2012 “Armament, Disarmament and International Security”, which includes information about the armed conflicts and the arms trade in the world from 2001 to 2012.

According to the SIPRI rankings, in 2012 Ukraine ranked 71st among 158 countries. The most peaceful country by the SIPRI is also Iceland and the most militarized – Somalia.

Serhiy Zhurets, an expert at the Center for Army, Conversion and Disarmament, says various Ukraine’s estimates in the international rankings is due to different methodology of their compilation.
“For example, the SIPRI takes into account not the actual cost of weapons, and the equivalent of the average cost of similar weapons. They believe that all the tanks on average cost equally, though in fact the cost of Ukrainian tanks differ from that of the U.S. ones. The GMI calculates its performances on the basis of the ratio of GDP to weapons spending,” Zhurets explained.

The Global Militarization Index (GMI) depicts the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of one state in relation to its society as a whole. For this, the GMI records a number of indicators to represent the degree of militarization of a country: the comparison of military expenditures with its gross domestic product (GDP) and its health expenditure (as share of its GDP); the contrast between the total number of (para)military forces and the number of physicians and the overall population; the ratio of the number of heavy weapons available and the number of the overall population.

The GMI is based on data from the Stockholm Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Institute for Strategic studies (IISS) and BICC. It shows the degrees of militarization of 153 states since 1990. BICC provides yearly updates.


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