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You may have noticed that things have been getting a little...tense.

No longer the remit of dystopian fiction and high budget / low quality American movies, a huge global conflict - also known as World War Three - is now very much a possibility.

According to the latest SIPRI data, global military expenditure is estimated to have been around $1686 in 2016, or 2.2 per cent of the global GDP.

That's an increase of around 0.4 per cent since 2015.

This could be partly due to escalating global involvement in Syria's bloody civil war, or the increasing threat of nuclear conflict between North Korea and the US.

What's clear is that, after a plateau of military spending between 2011 and 2014, this second year of increase indicates an alarming trend.

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