Last year, the U.S. military expenditure—which represents more than a third of global spending—increased for the first time in seven years. It rose by 4.6 percent, hitting $649 billion. SIPRI researcher Nan Tian said that trend is expected to continue.
"They have started to implement a new modernization program of the military that will start in 2019 or 2020," Tian explained. "This is in the region of $1.8 trillion over the next 20 years. It is a massive amount of money being spent by the U.S.—and it ranges from conventional weapons to nuclear capabilities."