Can you guess which 2 states make up half of global military expenditure?


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I’m sure all Americans can be proud that the USA is still number one in at least one category.


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Don’t forget that most of the others on the list receive “aid” from the U.S. in the form of direct funding for military spending in order to buy U.S. made arms.

So in actuality, I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. alone accounted for closer to 2/3 of all global military spending.


I remember reading something somewhere some time ago (how’s that for being specific?) about how empires that are at the beginning stages of their declines tend to express their influence through the use of military power.


Wouldn’t that also be true of the initial stage of expansion?

To an extent these numbers aren’t surprising; I mean, the US is also the world’s largest economy, so even if per capita spending was flat across the board, we’d still be the biggest spender. I wonder if China’s rising per-cap GDP is reflected in rising military spending?

It is probably something that needs to be examined in comparison to some other economic indicators. Beginning you spend to expand, middle you spend to maintain, end you desperately spend to hold on? I think empires generally spend, spend, spend on the military. % of gdp or ranking of % of gdp might do something for empire phases. I suspect this has been studied to death and there are some answers out there.

I’d really rather be first than second (or farther down the list) in this specific case.

We, with our currently lagging economy, spend over three times as much on military compared to China with their booming economy.

We, with our population of 314 million people, spend over three times as much on military compared to China with their 1,351 million people.

Ditto, with our nearly equal areas of territory.

Ditto, with China having to defend obscene amounts of national borders while the US shares the world’s single largest undefended border.

I guess maybe the difference is that China isn’t engaged in foreign wars? (Too busy beating on Tibet, perhaps?)


Your man Chomsky suggests that US Military spend is a way of giving subsidies to industry, rather than a real response to threat. Spend seems more sensible in this light. Plus you can kick the ass of anyone who disagrees. Glad the UK has dropped in ranking from few years ago. Cos I reckon this rate of expense is not likely to be rewarded for more than the top bully.

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Maybe, if you’re planning around not having friends? Drop the US from the chart and China would be first, but still spends less than the remaining NATO countries. Being lower doesn’t exactly equate to vulnerability if you are willing to work together.

So the US expenditure might make sense if it wants to maintain a single-handed advantage against China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Saudia Arabia, South Korea, and the UK together. It would be a pretty spectacular failure of diplomacy, though, to actually need that.


California and *[Texas]?

*Apparently the GDP of Texas is higher than New York.

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I simply don’t trust the thugs who run China to stay rational. I would like to keep them in check in the event they choose to use their giant army to show off for their friends a la N Korea’s lame attempts to show power.

You don’t trust the “thugs who run China to stay rational”? When was the last time China launched an unprovoked war? Dropped a nuclear weapon on a civilian population center? Worked to help stage a coup d’etat against a democratically elected government? Your comment strikes me as oblivious US nationalism.,


Nah, I’m just not worried about us attacking us.

Edited to add that I think US over-reach is all too rational.

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I recommend that you all read this book by Ian Morris: “War! What is it good for? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots”. It provides a very long-term view of the role of war in the progress of civilization, where “progress” in this context means the reduced likelihood of dying by violent means. The end of the book is about the likely consequences of the trend where China’s military power rivals that of the USA (assuming thousands of years of human history has anything to teach us).

People always talk about the rise of Chinese militarism, but I personally think we need to be worried about this mysterious “Others” nation.


Yeah, but think of all the time you’d save dealing with all those bastards at once!

One thing that was called to my attention and plays a factor on how much we spend on defense is the treaty structure the US has. Many countries rely on the fact that the US will help them if they were attacked, and thus their budget reflects this. I’d like to see the US shrink it’s defense size down, and let our allies spend their money for their defense.

You cannot possibly be making this argument. The Chinese military buildup and foreign expansion are insane and their legal system is such that you can be imprisoned or put to death for certain religious or political beliefs.

When was the last time China launched an unprovoked war?

Define unprovoked. They attacked Vietnam for invading Cambodia to dislodge the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge in 1979? They unilaterally expanded their defence area last year to further lay claim to disputed islands, and have made numerous illegal incursions into undisputed Japanese maritime territory in the last year:

Tibet? You ever heard of that place? Myanmar? China 2.0 I mean, Taiwan?

The CCP is the coup.

I don’t trust the thugs running China either and I’m not American.

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This is true, but it’s not as if the US gets nothing out of it. Having bases around the world is pretty much the point.