Government defence spending reached $1.738bn dollars in 2011 according to new figures from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
While the global figure is higher than that of 2010, falling US dollar prices and other price changes meant the actual figure remained essentially unchanged.
The levelling out in defence spending, according to SIPRI, is due to a mixture of economic austerity measures and international security patterns.
Strict austerity measures in the US and western European countires like the UK and France were balanced against notably higher expenditure in the Middle East caused by the Arab Spring, as well as more modest increases in Asia, Oceania, Africa and Latin America.
According to Dr Sam Perlo Freedman, SIPRI Military Expenditure Project head, it is too early to say whether the flattening of military spending in 2011 represents a long-term trend change.
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"While we are likely to see some further falls in the USA and Europe in the next few years, trends in Asia, Africa and the Middle East continue to be upward for now, and any major new war could change the picture dramatically," said Freedman.
"The after-effects of the global economic crisis, especially deficit-reduction measures in the USA and Europe, have finally brought the decade-long rise in military spending to a halt – at least for now."
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