Morocco allocated MAD 35.1 billion for the military in the 2019 Finance Bill.
Rabat – The US Central Intelligence Agency has issued new “World Factbook” figures on global military expenditures.
Morocco was ranked 26th in the ratio of military spending to GDP because it spent 3.28 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on the military in 2016, just behind the US at 3.29 percent.
Morocco’s GDP in 2016 was $103.35 billion, according to Statista.com.
Algeria remains the top spender compared to GDP in Africa and the fifth in the world. Morocco’s eastern neighbor spent 6.55 percent of its GDP on the military in 2016.
Oman topped the list globally, spending 13.73 percent of its GDP on the military, while South Sudan spent 10.93 percent.
Several countries in the Middle East spend a significant portion of their GDP on the military. Saudi Arabia ranked third globally at 9.85 percent, while the UAE came sixth with 5.66 percent.
Kuwait and Lebanon ranked 9th and 10th.
Tunisia was ranked 40th at 2.32 percent and Egypt came 63rd at 1.67 percent.
In recent years, Morocco has been determined to upgrade its military by acquiring new military equipment from its biggest supplier: the US.
Morocco has allocated MAD 35.1 billion for its military in 2019. The budget has slightly increased (2.3 percent) from the 2018 military budget of MAD 34.3 billion. The government seeks to reinforce its ability to protect national sovereignty and to defend the territorial integrity and stability of the country.
The Global Firepower (GFP) index ranked Morocco 55th among 136 countries in the 2018 military strength ranking.
The GFP report said that “the Moroccan military uses a mix of old and new equipment while having several hundred thousand active and reserve personnel on call.”
This week, the House of Representatives passed Law 44.18, reintroducing mandatory military service for young people aged 19 to 25. Starting in September 2019, the delegate minister of the National Defense Administration, Abdelatif Loudiyi, expects that 10,000 new conscripts will join the military each year.
The military has budgeted MAD 500 million to pay for the mandatory military service.
GFP also stated Morocco owns 284 aircraft, including 56 fighters, 56 attack planes, and 130 helicopters. Algeria has 528, including 97 fighters, 107 attack planes, 280 helicopters, and 46 attack helicopters.
Despite recent purchases and Morocco’s strategy to upgrade its military, Morocco country spends less on its defense that Algeria, which spends $10.57 billion annually.