Global spending on nuclear weapons continues to rise: ICAN

Global spending on nuclear weapons surged by 13% to reach a record $91.4 billion in 2023, according to estimates from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), reported by The Guardian.

This increase, which is $10.7 billion more than the previous year, is primarily due to significant boosts in the US defense budget amid broader geopolitical tensions such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Israel-Hamas conflict.

All nine nuclear-armed nations increased their spending, with China being the second-largest spender at $11.9 billion, although this is far less than the $51.5 billion spent by the US.

According to the report, Russia follows as the third-largest spender at $8.3 billion, then the UK ($8.1 billion), and France ($6.1 billion). Estimates for India, Pakistan, and Israel are less clear due to their lack of transparency about nuclear programs.

Since ICAN started its research five years ago, nuclear weapons spending has jumped by 34% or $23.2 billion. US spending alone rose by 45%, and UK spending by 43%, with projections suggesting total global spending will surpass $100 billion in 2024.

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