The global military expenditure rose by 3.7 per cent in real terms in 2022 to a record high of $2.24 trillion (Tian et al., 2023). The United States, China and the European Union (as the aggregated national expenditures of its member countries) make up the three largest (see first chart). Given the rising demand, governments and the defence industry are increasing their investments. Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each market will be essential in determining the necessary steps forward.
Since the overthrow of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, Somalia has been widely considered a failed state. For over three decades, the country has been afflicted by violent conflict, clan rivalries, corruption, piracy, terrorism and humanitarian disasters. These issues have had significant implications for regional and global security and stability, prompting numerous international interventions. While there have been notable successes, Somalia continues to face substantial challenges towards lasting peace, security, and socio-economic development.
On 18 September 2023, Lieutenant General Süssli announced that Switzerland will halt the selling of bunkers and reintegrate them within the national defence strategy. This decision marks a significant change to Switzerland’s previous policy (Allen, 2023, para. 2). In 2010, the Swiss Defence Minister Maurer stated: “The nature of military threats has changed. The bunkers are poorly placed and the weapons they contain will only last for another ten or twenty years. It's not worth maintaining something that you're not going to use in the future” (Allen, 2023, para. 4).
Defence constitutes a rather atypical industrial sector. Due to the sensitive nature of its products, it has long been strictly protected by states and ‘placed outside the bounds of free-market economy’. Countries with a relevant industrial base have traditionally sought self-sufficiency in arms production for national security. States’ control over their domestic industry has frequently slowed or even hindered attempts at cross-border European cooperation. This has ultimately resulted in a significant fragmentation of the European defence industry.
On 11 September, Handelsblatt (2023) reported that Germany was moving away from the Main Ground Combat System (MGCS), a Franco-German joint venture for the development of a next-generation main battle tank (MBT). On 22 September, however, a new meeting between the French and German MoDs rebuilt hope for the project, although postponing its delivery up to 2045 (Kayali et al., 2023).