By Jorn Madslien
Business reporter, BBC News
Global military spending rose 45% between 1999 and 2008, fuelled by the US-led "war on terror" and by increased wealth in China, Russia and the Middle East.
In Western and Central Europe, military spending increased at a much slower rate than in any other part of the world, while the US accounted for 58% of the global increase during the decade.
In 2008, a record 187,586 people were deployed on peacekeeping missions, an 11% rise over 2007. Military forces accounted 166,146 of the personnel deployed.
Most of the missions were deployed in Africa, including in DR Congo and in Darfur, Sudan, but the largest single peace operation was in Afghanistan.
Mergers and acquisitions have dominated the aerospace and defence industry over the last decade, driven by sharp growth in demand for aircraft and equipment from both airlines and ministries of defence.
With the onset of the recession, both the size and the frequency of the deals fell sharply. In 2008, the total value of deals in the sector halved and preliminary data for 2009 suggests activity remains subdued.
The sharp rise in global military spending has benefited the defence industry. In total, the 100 leading defence manufacturers sold arms worth $347bn during 2007, the most recent year for which reliable data are available.
Since 2002, the value of the top 100 arms sales has increased by 37% in real terms, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).