Asian defence spending booms

Asian military spending will top that of Europe in 2012 for the first time in centuries, a global defence survey said yesterday, pointing to high regional economic growth and an increasingly ambitious China. The International Institute for Strategic Studies said US military spending was also falling with withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan – although Washington’s $739bn (£469.5bn) budget still dwarfs that of other nations. With the Pentagon explicitly refocusing its strategic attention on Asia, the annual Military Balance report said it was clear that a major historical shift was underway.