A Short Story By Numbers
Military spending, military expenditure as a share of government spending, and countries most capable of defending themselves.
|1||US||$649 billion ($738 billion in 2020)||3.2% GDP|
Tied for 15th with Turkey is Iran and Iraq, which each spend about the same ($19 billion). The US spends more on national defense than every country on this chart combined. NATO spends over $1 trillion. The majority of all this money goes to US arms manufacturers and intelligence agencies.
-List by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
2019 Fact Sheet (for 2018)
SIPRI Military Expenditure Database (US Dollars)
Meanwhile, military expenditure as a share (%) of government spending (2018) are the highest for countries fighting and/or supporting terrorism and/or tribal ethnic or religious groups infighting, based on revenge, and/or because of their neighbours, and/or oppressing their own people.
Which brings us to the question, after all that spending, which countries are the most capable of actually defending themselves. Indeed, is their military spending not called a defense budget. Thus, and but of course, there is the Global Militarization Index (GMI), which figures out “the relative weight and importance of the military apparatus of one state in relation to its society as a whole.” For this, the GMI uses a number of indicators to represent the degree of militarization of a country:
- Military Expenditure Index Score: comparison of military expenditure with its gross domestic product (GDP) and its health expenditure (as share of its GDP);
- People Index Score: contrast between the total number of (para)military forces with the number of physicians, and the overall population;
- Heavy Weapons Index Score: ratio of the number of heavy weapons available and the overall population.
- As for nuclear weapons, having them doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to defend yourself.
Of 155 countries listed, those who are the most capable of defending themselves. According to it’s GMIndex.
2019 edition of “The Military Balance” from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) (15 February 2019). The Military Balance 2019