The Christian Science Monitor, Steven Kurczy: "Worldwide military spending jumped 5.9 percent in 2009 to $1.5 trillion, according to a new report that underscores the long-term decision of many countries to prioritize defense. This is despite a recession that shrunk the global economy 2.2 percent. The US remains by far the biggest military spender, followed by China, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its annual report on worldwide military expenditures, released June 2. Last year saw the steepest jump in worldwide military spending since the start of the Iraq War in 2003. But, as the world’s military spending increased nearly 50 percent over the past decade, the biggest military budget increases were seen in small, oil-rich countries flooded with new wealth."