Global military spending rose 3.5 percent last year to $1.2 trillion as U.S. costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan mounted, a European research body said on Monday in an annual study.

The United States spent $529 billion on military operations in 2006 -- a rise of 5 percent over last year -- the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) said in its latest year book.

The U.S. government had appropriated $432 billion under the auspices of its "global war on terrorism" in September 2001 to June 2006, SIPRI said.

"Taking both immediate and long-term factors into account, the overall past and future costs until year 2016 to the USA for the war in Iraq have been estimated at $2,267 billion," it said.

Military spending in China, which is modernising its People's Liberation Army, climbed to an estimated $49.5 billion last year from $44.3 billion in 2005.

"China's military expenditure continued to increase rapidly, for the first time surpassing that of Japan and hence making China the biggest military spender in Asia and the fourth biggest in the world," the institute said.

No end in site at this point.....No port protection, healthcare out of hand....