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Global Defense Outlook 2013

Balancing security and prosperity


The economic and strategic environments of 2013 pose fresh challenges for defense policymakers, whose requirements to enforce stability and security must compete against rising demands for new social services and limited government spending.

The 50 nations whose defense budgets compose 97 percent of global defense spending now approach these challenges with sharply different strategies. Between 2006 and 2011, the Top 50 boosted defense spending by more than 20 percent as United States-led coalitions waged war in Iraq and Afghanistan and many countries modernized their armed forces.

But the end of these conflicts, along with the variation in patterns of economic growth, produced diverging defense strategies among the Top 50. Higher-income countries are slowing defense spending as regional conflicts end and as domestic demands for austerity and social investment erode previous commitment to high levels of defense spending. In contrast, lower-income countries, braced by continued economic growth and lower levels of debt, are confronting instability and regional security challenges with higher levels of defense spending.

The 2013 Global defense outlook examines current policies, practices and trends affecting the defense ministries of 50 nations whose total publicly-acknowledged spending on national defense account for more than 97% of global defense outlays. Publicly available information, interviews with officials in government and industry, and analyses by Deloitte’s global network of defense-oriented professionals share insights into the following questions:

  • How are the biggest defense spenders adapting to new global conditions?
  • What are the five new strategic realities that are likely to shape defense policy and force structure?
  • What does this mean for policymakers and business leaders?

Download the full report to learn how nations are adapting to new political and economic forces shaping policy, investment levels, and force structures.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte & Touche LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


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