The Scope of U.S. Defense Spending

Yesterday I wrote about the lies coming out of Washington on defense spending, misrepresenting the minuscule cuts being proposed as slashing the budget and compromising “national security.” The truth is that what is being proposed are minor reductions in the rate of growth in projected defense spending and would really only bring the Pentagon’s base budget down to 2007 levels (if the cuts were even imposed in a substantive way).

Veronique de Rugy at the Mercatus Center:

The United States spent $728 billion on its military in 2010, about 45% of the world’s $1.6 trillion total (blue portion). U.S. spending amounts to more than the next fourteen largest military spending countries combined (bar chart). In fact, the U.S. spends nearly 6 times more than the next largest military spender, China. In addition, most of the top-spending countries are American allies.

8 thoughts on “The Scope of U.S. Defense Spending”

  1. Israel spent roughly $13 billion in 2010.
    It was not included in the next top 14 because it spent below Turkey ($15.6 bn).
    Therefore Israel is accounted for in the Rest of the World portion of the chart.

    However it is useful to note that SIPRI, where the data comes, recognizes the challenges of accurately measuring such spending, "In practice it is not possible to apply this definition for all countries, since this would require much more detailed information than is available about what is included in military budgets and off-budget military expenditure items". Therefore off-budget military expenditures and the like may not be accounted for. Data for countries that receive immense military aid from the U.S. may tell very little of the actual cost of defense; such spending would be accounted for in the U.S. budget and not the receiving country's. This may be a possible reason for why Israel is not in the Next Top 14.

    But either way, this chart speaks volumes about the magnitude of U.S. defense spending.

  2. I´d like to see "per capita" statistics on defense spending. What is the anual cost for each citizen?

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