with Putin in Russia (see more recent post) consolidating absolute power and securing his borders to the East with solid economic ties, Asia and the subcontinent (as well as myriad proxy wars in Africa) will be very "interesting" places to be. Lest we not forget that Russia has "historically" (read: always) regarded central Asia as its property...
LONDON (Reuters) -'s overtook 's for the first time last year, the International Institute for Strategic Studies ( ) said on Thursday, reflecting 's military rise and shrinking European economies.
In its annual report on the world's militaries, it said China's defense spending in real terms rose 8.3 percent between 2011 and 2012, while inas a whole, spending rose 4.94 percent last year.
At the same time, nominal defense spending among European NATO members had shrunk to around 2006 levels due to budget cuts, the IISS said in "The Military Balance 2013".
"Indeed, the increase in Asian spending has been so rapid, and the defense austerity pursued by European states so severe, that in 2012 nominal Asian spending ($287.4 billion) exceeded total official defense spending not just in NATO Europe, but across all of Europe, including spending by non-NATO European states," it said.