Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Defense spending: US vs the rest of the world

The picture is quite stark:

From Military Balance 2012, an annual report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies.  Of the U.S., it says:

The United States, too, has begun to reduce defence spending after a period of substantial expansion. A reassessment of policy and strategy is under way. The goal is that the long stability operations of the past decade will not be undertaken in future. ... American troop numbers in Europe will fall by 10,000 to around 70,000, while Marines are to deploy to Australia and Littoral Combat Ships to Singapore.

The Pentagon is being forced by Congress to make hard choices. In manpower terms, the army and Marines will see the largest cuts, but all services will have programmes curtailed, cancelled or delayed. Still, the extent of these cuts should not be exaggerated: the US will remain by far the world’s major military power and the only NATO member capable of sustaining large air–sea operations or of projecting substantial ground forces on a global scale for a sustained period.
No mention of Canada but by extrapolating from the circle charts at bottom, it looks like a share of about 1.3% of the global total.  Canada has at least one attack plane.

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