Thursday 11 Aug 2022 | 06:32 | SYDNEY
Thursday 11 Aug 2022 | 06:32 | SYDNEY

US defence spending in context


Sam Roggeveen


20 March 2009 10:19

It starting to look like Andrew Shearer was right about the Obama Administration's plans to cut defence spending, with the Boston Globe reporting that several big programs are on the chopping block. Matthew Yglesias provides some perspective:

If you had a situation where we were confident that the U.S. was spending more than the U.S.S.R., that our NATO allies were collectively spending more than the U.S.S.R.’s Warsaw Pact allies, that South Korea was spending more than North Korea, and that Japan, Australia, etc. were floating around out there as additional sources of western strength you would say that Communism was being adequately contained and deterred. These days, though, the United States is maintaining a defense budget that’s ten times what Russia or China spend and yet holding that budget flat is considered an almost outrageously dovish position. And this even though our allies haven’t vanished. The combined defense spending of the UK, Japan, Germany, and France is considerably larger than the combined spending of Russia and China. And of course our contemporary relationship with Russia and China is far better than was our relationship with the U.S.S.R.