BRICS’s higher military spending: worrying or reassuring ?

Since the early 2000s, alarming voices have criticized the increasing scale of military spending by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, better known under the acronym BRICS. What is myth and what is reality? Why do these emerging powers increase their defense budget and to which purpose? Should the Western world fear a new arms race, or is this a chance for the European defense industry which suffered from severe budget cuts related to the economic and financial crisis? These and other questions are dealt with in this paper.