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Every year, bicc’s Global Militarisation Index (GMI) presents the relative weight and importance of a country's military apparatus in relation to its society as a whole. The GMI 2019 covers 154 states and is based on the latest available figures (in most cases data for 2018). The index project is financially supported by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
In this year's GMI ranking, the ten countries that provided the military with markedly large amounts of resources in relation to other areas of society are Israel, Singapore, Armenia, Cyprus, South Korea, Russia, Greece, Jordan, Belarus and Azerbaijan.
The authors Max Mutschler and Marius Bales put the regional focus of the GMI 2019 on Europe (Eastern Europe / NATO and EU countries), the Middle East and Asia. Russia (position 6) continues to sustain one of the largest military forces in the world. The European NATO countries, especially Baltic and eastern European states, are again continuing to arm themselves pointing to ongoing tensions with Russia. The unresolved secessionist conflict between Armenia (position 3) and Azerbaijan (position 10) over the Nagorno-Karabakh region continues to keep militarisation in the South Caucasus at a very high level. The countries in the Middle East are all highly militarised by global standards. In view of the tense security situation, Israel (position 1) is again at the top of the global ranking in 2019. The list of highly militarised countries in Asia is headed, as in previous years, by Singapore (position 2). In absolute figures, China (position 94) invests most in its armed forces in a regional comparison. Other countries in the region are also increasingly investing in their armed forces, citing the various conflicts with China.
Finally, this year's GMI looks at the link between militarisation and fragility. A comparison of the GMI with the typology of fragility constellations drawn up by the Constellations of State Fragility Project of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) points, for example, to a connection between the very low level of militarisation of a country and its limited ability to provide pivotal state-run services for its citizens Conversely, however, this does not mean that the highest possible level of militarisation is desirable. For example, among the very highly militarised countries, there are a strikingly high number of countries that score poorly on the fragility dimension of legitimacy.


BICC_GMI_2019_EN.pdf [English] (4.82 MB);
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BICC_GMI_2019_D.pdf [German] (4.85 MB)
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Cite as

@techreport{MutschlerBales2020, author = "Max Mutschler and Marius Bales", title = "Global Militarisation Index 2019", latexTitle = "Global Militarisation Index 2019", publisher = "bicc", institution = "bicc", type = "BICC Global Militarization Index", year = "2020", address = "Bonn", }


BICC Global Militarization Index