The world’s 10 costliest militaries

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by youngindian, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. youngindian

    youngindian Senior Member Senior Member

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    NEW YORK (24/7 Wall St.) — America is the arms merchant to the world and is likely to sell $50 billion in weapons this year. Business may not be as good in the near term, however.

    Military spending among all countries totaled $1.63 trillion last year, but that was up just 1.3% from the year before. Spending includes weapons, soldiers and the cost of maintaining a country’s military infrastructure. The U.S. defense budget is by far the world’s largest, and that has been the case since World War II. Last year that figure was just below $700 billion, largely because of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The U.S. is the only country that maintains naval, air force and ground troops in nearly every part of the world, from South Korea to Europe to the Persian Gulf.

    The worldwide slowdown in military spending is a product of two things: the recession, and the austerity following it, and decisions by big nations such as Germany that they do not need large military presences beyond their borders.

    Many countries have not turned their backs on defense spending at all, but they are nations with relatively small overall budgets. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which provides the numbers 24/7 Wall St. used for its analysis of global arms spending, military spending in Africa and South America rose nearly 6%. That is barely enough to make up for cuts by larger nations.

    24/7 Wall St. looked at military spending in the 10 countries that are the biggest spenders over a period of a decade. China, the world’s second largest nation by GDP and largest by population, had the biggest military-spending increase of any country. Its military spending rose 189% from 2001 to 2010, reaching $119 billion. And many experts believe China underreports this spending, which now represents 2.1% of GDP. The comparable figure is 4.8% in the U.S., so, should China decide to match America’s spending on a percentage basis, its military budget would be closer to $300 billion. That may take on added relevance, since the Obama administration is expected to slash the Pentagon’s budget. A review of the numbers leads to three important questions. The first is whether the large industrial nations of Europe and Japan will continue to see high military expenses as unaffordable. The second is whether an arms race between China and the U.S. will emerge — one that compares to the one between the Soviet Union and the U.S. running from the 1950s through the 1980s. And the last question centers on whether military activity in the developing world will expand further. Expenditures in places like the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan could certainly rise sharply soon.

    There is not currently a weapons race among the largest nations. There is, however, enough global unrest for that to change.

    10. Italy

    2010 spending: $37 billion (estimated)

    Change 2001-10: -5.8% (est.)

    Share of GDP: 1.8% (est.)

    Italy spent the 10th greatest amount on the military in 2010. Its 5.8% decline in military spending since 2001 is the greatest decrease among all the countries on this list. One reason may be that the number of volunteer troops is being cut, according to an Italian nonprofit organization, the Istituto Affari Internazionali. Italy’s defense budget is expected to be cut further this year to reduce the country’s debt.

    9. India

    2010 spending: $41.3 billion

    Change 2001-10: 54.3%

    Share of GDP: 2.7%

    India spent the fifth largest amount on their military among all the Asian countries and the ninth largest in the world. The country underwent the largest absolute decrease in military spending from 2009 to 2010, spending $1 billion less than it had a year before. This decrease will likely not amount to much in the long run because in February India increased its defense spending by 11.6%. This was undertaken largely in response to the growing military strength of China and Pakistan.

    8. Germany

    2010 spending: $45.2 billion (est.)

    Change 2001-10: -2.7% (est.)

    Share of GDP: 1.3% (est.)

    Although Germany has one of the world’s largest military budgets, its military spending as a percentage of GDP, at about 1.3%, is not especially high compared with other countries. It is the second-smallest percentage, in fact, among the countries on this list. Spending in 2010 decreased 1.3%, after the country’s Defense Ministry recommended Germany close several army bases and cut the number of troops from 250,000 to 180,000.

    7. Saudi Arabia

    2010 spending: $45.2 billion

    Change 2001-10: 63%

    Share of GDP: 10.4%

    Saudi Arabia’s level of defense spending is all the more impressive when one considers the size of the country’s economy. The $45.2 billion the country spent in 2010 was 10.4% of the country’s GDP. That percentage is more than double that of any other country on this list. Saudi Arabia also underwent the largest increase in military spending from 2009 to 2010, 4%. It had the largest absolute increase in the Middle East, as well, at $1.6 billion.

    6. Japan

    2010 spending: $54.5 billion

    Change 2001-10: -1.7% (est.)

    Share of GDP: 1%

    Japan has kept its military expenditures at about 1% of GDP since 1967. As a result, the amount spent on defense turns on the strength of the economy. While military spending in the entire East Asia region has increased by more than 55% over the last decade, Japan’s has decreased by 1.7%, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.

    5. Russia

    2010 spending: $58.7 billion (est.)

    Change 2001-10: 82.4%

    Share of GDP: 4% (est.)

    Although Russian military spending decreased 1.4% from 2009 to 2010, it increased 82.4% over the entire decade. According to the BBC, Russia has plans to spend $650 billion on defense between now and 2020. According to Russian Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, this money would be used to modernize the country’s armed forces. It currently relies heavily on a nuclear arsenal built during the Cold War.

    4. France

    2010 spending: $59.3 billion

    Change 2001-10: 3.3%

    Share of GDP: 2.3%

    While France’s military spending increased 3.3% over the past decade, it decreased a stunning 8.4% from 2009 to 2010. This decrease, which is by far the largest on our list, is mostly the result of the global economic crisis. The crisis was severe in Europe and hit France especially hard. This has caused the government under Nicolas Sarkozy to make large cuts to rein in the deficit.

    3. United Kingdom

    2010 spending: $59.6 billion

    Change 2001-10: 21.9%

    Share of GDP: 2.7%

    The U.K., home base of defense contractor BAE Systems UK:BA. 0.00% , surpassed France in amount spent on military in 2010. Despite growth of 21.9% in spending over the decade, military expenditures dropped 0.8% from 2009 to 2010. This amount will most likely decrease more in 2011. In late 2010, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the country would be making defense cuts, including cutting 17,000 troops, to help bring down debt. The country will instead focus more on special forces, which includes counterterrorism units.

    2. China

    2010 spending: $119 billion (est.)

    Change 2001-10: 189%

    Share of GDP: 2.1% (est.)

    China spent the second greatest amount on the military in 2010, and that amount is growing quickly. From 2001 to 2010, the country’s military expenditures increased 189%. This is more than double the amount spent by any country on this list. Weak economic performance in 2009 kept the 2009-10 increase to only 3.8%. Spending in 2011 will increase by 12.7%, according to the BBC. It should be noted, however, that many analysts believe China’s defense spending is higher than the country reports.

    1. United States

    2010 spending: $698 billion

    Change 2001-10: 81.3%

    Share of GDP: 4.8%

    The United States — home to such defense-contracting giants as Boeing BA +0.41% , Northrop Grumman NOC 0.00% , Lockheed Martin LMT +0.59% , Raytheon RTN +1.20% and General Dynamics GD +0.59% — spent just under $700 billion on its military in 2010, more than all the other countries on this list combined. The proportion of GDP that goes to the Pentagon has risen from 3.1% in 2001 to an estimated 4.8% in 2010. This is the highest among countries with reliable military spending data outside of the Middle East. Even with the country’s large budget deficit, military spending seems to be untouchable in the political realm. As the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s report says: “President Obama’s FY2012 budget announced a 5-year freeze on non-security-related discretionary expenditure, but military spending, along with other security spending such as intelligence and Homeland Security, is exempt.”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-worlds-10-costliest-militaries-2011-04-18?pagenumber=1
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
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  3. p2prada

    p2prada Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Figure for India does not look right. Our defence budget is $36B only this year. We shouldn't even have been on the list.

    EDIT: Also the change between 2001 and 2010 for India has been 400% and not the paltry 54.3%. Heck we had a major 36% rise only 2 years ago.

    Then our defence to gdp ratio is less than 2.5%. More in the range of 2.25%.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  4. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    They must have registered that when the Euro was at its low, because France spends more than UK now.
     
  5. Vladimir79

    Vladimir79 Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    When Russia kicks in its new budget, we will rival China. Our kit will be better quality too putting us back in the #2 position.
     
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Saudis are spending 10%+ of their GDP, other than Iran who is the major threat?
     
  7. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    We dont even spend as much as Italy!!! We have our own Fighter Aircraft, Aircraft Carriers(under construction), Attack and Multi-roll choppers, Tanks, Armored Vehicle production, Nuclear-Subs, Destroyers, Naval Ships, Massive Missile program, Jet engine research and various other JVs and not to mention we maintain almost 2.5 million armed forces all under an budget less than Italy. :clap:

    Kudos Kudos Kudos for the Scientists and the men in Uniform for the gallantry performance! :thumb:

    The Saudis and even the Italians dont produce as much as we do in terms of missiles and military equipment!
     
  8. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    The list is deceptive, as its in nominal figures.

    In terms of PPP, India spends more than $100 billion.
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    Much of the Italians spending maybe their share in NATO?? Saudis import almost everything but 10% of GDP is a high level for a nation.
     
  10. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    What do you mean. Explain briefly.
     
  11. Virendra

    Virendra Moderator Moderator

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    I think we've been put up there because of the usual (read negative) hype created in international media about defense deals and purchases being made by south Asian countries. We're a nuclear hot bed you know :p
    Anyways, now that the point has come to focus - our defense expenditure could be down significantly if we reduce imports and focus on self reliance, technology development.

    Regards,
    Virendra
     
  12. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Italy pays a high wage to their soldiers and scientists... Kudos to GoI for paying jawans and scientists next to nothing?
     
  13. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    To put it briefly, $1 buys a lot more in India than it does in, say, Italy.
     
  14. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    In India what you say next to nothing is a good amount nevertheless, I am an engineer by French standards i should be getting more than 35000Euros/annum roughly i get only 12000Euros/annum roughly, but that is more than enough for me in India !
     
  15. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Yes i get that part but the price of petroleum, raw materials for missile making, tank making, etc., are pretty much in international rates. I think we are doing a very good job for what we spend.
     
  16. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    Well, the import of raw materials is not included in the defence budget as far as I know.
     
  17. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    Well Jawans get free housing,education for children and pension etc., but yes their salary is bad, the scientists Salary on the other hand is not that bad and could vary a lot.

    Even then i am amazed by what we do with that sort of money. We are even experimenting with Missile defense Shield.
     
  18. Armand2REP

    Armand2REP CHINI EXPERT Veteran Member

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    Jawans are committing suicide because the life of an Indian soldier is not a good life. They work in poor conditions, little pay, little leave, high stress and not much to look forward to. A shack and a pittance cheque don't cut it. Education... you mean the same failing all of India? 54,000 take early retirement each year for it is better to work for a private security firm. DRDO scientist salary says 27k Rs... like €425 a month. Hardly a middle class lifestyle in any country like a scientist should get. Turnover is among the highest in the world for defence researchers. They are going for better paying corporate jobs.

    You mention how India does so much on so little, but there is a price you pay for giving the short end of the stick. Indian arms exports = next to nothing. Indian arm imports = highest in the world. 2.5 million army that can't suppress a rebellion. Can't keep its officer corps staffed, low moral, a paramilitary that breeds corruption. All of which effects combat effectiveness.
     
  19. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    figures for india are completely wrong.


    exchange rate taken as 44.50/usd.

    india's defence budget 2011: rs1,64,415.49crores (36.92b usd) (in ppp terms the figure is 97.47b usd, with ppp gdp estimated at 4.2122-4.2714t usd)

    revenue expenditure (inclusive of salaries/pensions): rs95,216.68crores
    capital expenditure: rs69,198.81crores

    india's estimated gdp for fiscal 2010-11(ending march 2011) with possible upward trend= rs71,00,000-72,00,000crores (1.5955-1.6179t usd)

    defence outlay as a % of gdp = 2.2819-2.314%
     
  20. Koovie

    Koovie Regular Member

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  21. Godless-Kafir

    Godless-Kafir DFI Buddha Senior Member

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    '


    And you know all this sitting there in France reading articles? How many Army men have you meet to come to some sort of conclusions by yourself? Army is a Government job and government jobs are typically low pay but they come with lot of perks and job security.

    I will agree on the point of army jawans getting low pay but you make it sound so disgustingly negative that everything good done by the Jawans and Scientists and Nation as a whole seems to go completely over looked and uncredited by you. Even if be both agree on the low pay i cant agree with your attitude.
     

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