October 15, 2010

U.S. military expenditure

Just a reminder. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, military spending by the United States in 2009 represented 4.3% of its 2008 gross domestic product. That put it between Sudan (4.4%) and Yemen (4.3%). The next highest European country was Greece at 3.6%, with its worries about Macedonia and Cyprus. Russia, with its volatile borders, followed at 3.5%. Next were the United Kingdom at 2.5% and France at 2.3%, the main backers of North Atlantic Treaty Organization after the U.S. Most of the rest of Europe and the "West" were below 1.5%, many below 1.0%.

U.S. military spending, $663 billion, represented 43% of the world's total. It was equal to the next 13 biggest spenders — most of them "friends" and none of them an "enemy" of the U.S. — put together (that's 14 countries spending 86% of the world's total).

Remember, too, that many of those countries use the military as a domestic police force.

What is the big threat?