Thursday, June 9, 2011

U.S. Annual Defense Budget Larger than the Next Highest 17 Countries Combined

The Economist discusses the size of the U.S. defense budget relative to that of other nations:
"China's defense spending has risen by nearly 200% since 2001 to reach an estimated $119 billion in 2010—though it has remained fairly constant in terms of its share of GDP. America's own budget crisis is prompting tough discussions about its defense spending, which, at nearly $700 billion, is bigger than that of the next 17 countries combined."
What good will it do the United States to maintain military spending at its current high levels if the result of that approach exacerbates our national debt and decreases our ability to grow the economy in a fashion that will allow maintaining a secure lead in defense spending? 

Put another way: At what point should three wars being currently waged by the U.S. be seen as peripheral to our national security compared to the need to produce sustainable economic growth?

Source:  Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

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