East-West military gap rapidly shrinking-report

By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent

LONDON, March 8 (Reuters) – Western cuts and swiftly rising defence spending in emerging economies are redrawing the global strategic map, a leading think-tank said on Tuesday, with the danger of conflicts between states also rising.

In its annual Global Military Balance report, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) said the shift in economic power was already beginning to have a real military effect and closing any strategic gap.

“Western states’ defence budgets are under pressure and their military procurement is constrained,” said IISS director general John Chipman. “But in other regions — notably Asia and the Middle East — military spending and arms acquisitions are booming. There is persuasive evidence that a global redistribution of military power is under way.”

Asian Pacific nations particularly China were increasing defence spending by double digits annually, he said, with growing evidence Western states were losing their technological edge in areas such as stealth technology and cyber warfare. [ID:nnLDE71F2EJ]

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I wear many hats but history, economics and political observance have always been a passion. I am a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Business with a degree in Information Systems and Digital Business with a minor in European History. I work for a small mom-and-pop IT consulting and software design company. We deal in servicing mostly government funded non-profit mental and behavioral health care agencies in the state of Ohio. In this I deal with Medicaid and Medicare funds and have a little insight on the boondoggles of government there. Thankfully the undemanding nature of my daily profession gives me ample time to read and stay aware of our current state of affairs which I find stranger than fiction in many instances. In addition to being in the IT field, I have also been self employed with a small contracting company so I might know a thing or two about the plight of small business that employs 71% of the American workforce. I however don't draw my knowledge from my day jobs, which I have had a few; I draw it from an intense obsession with facts and observation about the world in which I live. I do have formal education in things such as history, economics and finance particularly as it pertains to global issues, but I have come to find much of what I thought I knew from the formalities of a state university I had to unlearn through much time and independent research. I hope you enjoy what I bring you which is not often heard in the mainstream news outlets. I would like to think my own personal editorializing is not only edifying but thought provoking while not at all obnoxious. That last one may be a hard to achieve.

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