10 Countries that spend the most on their armies about their GDP, US continues to be in a good position, they do not hold the lead in the ranking. As we know, the United States is the world’s greatest military power that does not hesitate to show muscles at the first opportunity as a common fan of the swelling. And as we know, we thought it was pointless to repeat it here, because there is a more interesting statistic than that of military spending in absolute terms: that of military spending by country about their GDP.
10The United Kingdom – 1.8% Of GDP – $50 Billion
The United Kingdom, the second largest European military power, essentially puts its army at the service of its American ally in bipartisan interventions, particularly in the Middle East. With the advent of Brexit, the British may find themselves in need of increasing this budget, as several cooperation agreements at Union level may become obsolete.
9Australia – 1.9% Of GDP – $26.7 Billion
Not particularly threatened and not particularly populated, Australia maintains its professional army by tradition and through cooperation agreements with the United States and the United Kingdom, its historical allies.
8Chinese Army – 1.9% Of GDP – $250 Billion
The second largest military power in the world after the United States, China invests massively in its army, which is primarily intended to intervene internally to protect the communist regime. China has indeed turned to an international strategy favouring soft power and seeking to exercise domination over other regions by generating economic dependencies. This is particularly the case in Africa.
7France Army – 2.3% Of GDP – $63.8 Billion
As the largest contributor to the defence budget in Europe, France compensates for its small size and low economic impact on the international scene by maintaining a strategy of military autonomy. Although the country has returned to NATO’s integrated command, it is a legacy of Gaullism to maintain a professional army and a large military arsenal so as not to be under diplomatic pressure from the United States in international political discussions.
6Indian Army – 2.4% Of GDP – $66.5 Billion
Tensions between India and Pakistan alone justify Indian investment in a defensive arsenal. Despite a rapidly growing population and significant investment, the amount of this expenditure remains measured to the size of the country and its strategic positioning in Southeast Asia.
5Turkish Army – 2.5% Of GDP – $19 Billion
In its desire to raise Turkey to the rank of an unavoidable regional power (to the detriment of Egypt and especially Iran), Erdogan has increased the country’s military spending. However, they remain low despite significant investment in terms of the country’s GDP.
4South Korean Army – 2.6% Of GDP – $43.1 Billion
South Korea’s military spending is one of the largest in Asia in terms of domestic wealth production, inherited from a fratricidal war that finally ended only 50 years after the armistice was signed. There is no doubt that the relaxation strategy initiated with the North Korean neighbor should eventually lead to a reduction in this envelope, even if the Chinese threat is still real.
3The United States – 3.2% Of GDP – $649 Billion
At an equivalent percentage of GDP invested, US military spending is therefore more than 10 times higher than that of its former best enemy. A colossal sum that justifies and maintains the status of gendarme of the world that we lend to the Americans (and that makes you relatively freaked out when you know who is in charge of them).
2Russian Army – 3.9% Of GDP – $61.4 Billion
Huge gap. Russia, which continues to position itself as an international power despite an economic downturn with a very realpolitik-nationalist-expansionist external line, still invests nearly 4% of its GDP in its army. This funding is used to finance a powerful army, an arsenal of nuclear deterrents and, of course, interventions on the ground, particularly in Syria.
1Saudi Arabian Army – 8.8% Of GDP – $67.6 Billion
Almost 9% of Saudi Arabia’s wealth, therefore, goes into the country’s military budget. It is immense, but it is justified by the American-Saudi alliance, which is a factor of stability for the United States in the region. A good part of this budget is now being spent on the war in Yemen and it is not pretty.