Sunday, June 6, 2010

More on Military Spending in South America

First off, props to Otto. I had a whole post ready to roll with pretty charts and data on military spending in South America when my RSSy turned blue and up pops "Military Spending in Latin America, 2009". So due props, but while the whole SIPRI study isn't available, the military expenditure database has been updated with numbers through 2009. So I'll add my two cents with a bit of a historical run-down. First, a look at total regional military expenditure 2000-2009 (in million US$, all $ figures are in constant 2008 dollars):

So there is clearly an increase in spending on military shit over the last ten years, but where is it coming from? Well, this provides some indication, as we break each year down by a country's share of the total:

It is a bit tricky to see since Brazil is such a large proportion, but that yellow one that gets much larger and the light blue above it...those are the only two countries who have seen their share of total regional military spending increase over the last 10 years. The countries, Colombia and Ecuador. The darker blue, all the way at the bottom (Venezuela), increases a bunch in 2006-2007, but is now at a lower level than in 2000.

Onwards; lets take a look at the major players but with some context, how about, spending per person (population numbers are from the IMF):

Again, as Otto points out, Hillary's scare stories about Venezuela just don't pan out in the data. Chile blows everyone else out of the water, spending over $300 per person. Next comes Colombia, followed by Brazil. In fact, both Ecuador and Uruguay spend more per person than Venezuela, but I wanted to include Venezuela in the above chart to make the point. Also interesting is that over the last four years, Chile's per person spending, while still significantly higher than anyone else, has been decreasing steadily. Not easy to take money from the Chilean military, who still have quite some clout, but well done by Ms. Bachelet, we'll see if Pinera can keep it up. On the other hand, Colombia continues to just spend more and more no matter how you look at's that for "democratic security"? Poverty doesn't drop, military spending just keeps on rising...

Finally, as if to just hammer home the point, check out The Count breakdown how little money it would take to bring all the children in the region above the poverty line...hmm, wonder where they could come up with that....

1 comment: