The Western alliance’s defense expenditures top those of all of their major adversaries, and the world, combined. Which members of the bloc spend the most? And does higher spending actually make NATO’s armies more efficient?

The NATO military alliance is spending over $1.3 trillion on defense in 2023, up from $1.2 trillion in 2022. The USA (67%), Britain (5.3%) and Germany (4.2%) cover almost 77% of the total proxy war budget.

Russia, which is fighting in a proxy conflict against the entire Western bloc as the latter pumps Kiev up with tens of billions of dollars in weapons, has laid out about five trillion rubles, or $56.6 billion (4.3% compared to NATO budget), for defense in 2023.

China, which surpassed the US economy in GDP by purchasing power in 2020, and faces regular provocations from Washington in the South China Sea and Taiwan, is spending 1.55 trillion yuan (about $224 billion – 17.2% of NATO budget) on defense in the current year.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization received a major morale boost and cash infusion after provoking Russia into a proxy war in Ukraine, with French President Emmanuel Macron suggesting recently that Moscow had helped revive the brain-dead alliance.

While US President Joe Biden is boasting that while Russia had hoped for the Finlandization of NATO, [it] got the NATOization of Finland – and Sweden instead.

The uptick in the bloc’s expenditures goes back long before the escalation in Ukraine in 2022, with the alliance tasking all members with spending 2% or more of their GDP on defense at its 2014 summit in Wales.

This was followed up by the Euromaidan coup in Kiev and the outbreak of ethnic hostilities in Donbass. NATO consistently spends many times more on the military than its top adversaries.

For example, Russia, which is fighting in a proxy conflict against the entire Western bloc as the latter pumps Kiev up with tens of billions of dollars in weapons, has laid out about five trillion rubles, or $56.6 billion US, for defense in 2023.

China, which surpassed the US economy in GDP by purchasing power in 2020, and faces regular provocations from Washington in the South China Sea and Taiwan, is spending 1.55 trillion yuan (about $224 billion) on defense in the current year.

As you may have guessed, the USA has by far the biggest military spending footprint in the Western alliance, dedicating $877 billion (67%), about 3% of the US GDP or 12% of all US federal government spending for its war efforts in central Europe.

US defense spending has increased every year since 2015 following a five-year post-Iraq and US economic crisis-related dip, with spending trending upward for decades after the 1948 low of $9 billion (which is about $153.7 billion adjusted for inflation).

Congress recently reached a landmark debt limit deal which caps defense spending at $886 billion for fiscal year 2024.

But lawmakers from both parties have already begun brainstorming workarounds to spend more, such as using emergency supplemental for Ukraine for other Pentagon priorities.

A recent independent audit of the money the USA has spent in Ukraine over the past year conducted by the Grayzone confirmed the ease with which money for Ukraine can be diverted for other entities using taxpayers money.

Here we must think of such things as cash for foreign think tanks, Israel, media, and shockingly even private equity firms registered at Wall Street?

Last week, Senator Lindsey Graham accused the MAGA wing of the GOP of sinking the US Navy by cutting funds to build new ships, and complained that there was not a penny in [the budget] deal to keep the Ukraine proxy war going.

Second after the USA in terms of total spending are the British, which laid out the equivalent of $68.5 billion for defense in 2023, and has pledged to increase spending another $6 billion over the next two years.

This, even as the United Kingdom balances on the brink of a recession, and faces a cost of living crisis unprecedented since the 1970’s.

Germany is NATO’s third-biggest spender, committing about $54.5 billion to defense in 2023, and planning a hike of up to $10.9 billion (to €60 billion total) in 2024.

Germany, which is already in a recession, has suffered arguably the greatest losses among European countries as a consequence of the NATO-Russia standoff, losing a source of cheap Russian energy and resources to fuel its hungry industrial economy.

At the same time Germany had to face a terrorist attack against the Nord Stream pipelines by its own NATO allies.

Next are France, Italy, Poland, Canada, the Netherlands, Turkiye, and Spain, which spent the equivalent of $42.8 billion (Fr), $30.3 billion (It), $22.5 billion (Po), $21.4 billion (Ca), $18.1 billion (NL), $15.9 billion (Tu), and $13.1 billion (Sp) on defense this year, respectively.

Virtually all of these nations have pledged further hikes, citing foreign threats, as well as commitments to NATO.

France, which has faced months of protests related to government plans to raise the pension age, and which is now in flames after the police shooting of a teen outside Paris, has far and away the most ambitious defense spending plans.

President Macron is sending a $438 billion military budget plan to parliament this spring for the years 2024-2030. But a part if this needs to go to Africa to defend its colonial assets.

When it comes to these figures and numbers, we are an effective alliance and we have effective armies, but the cost level is much higher, reflecting just a higher standard of living, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said in 2019.

At that time Stolterberg was trying to explain why the bloc was continuing to raise defense spending even after outlays had reached over 20 times Russia’s budget with what it is destroying NATO’s hardware in the scrap yard of Ukraine.

Observers have different explanations, including an overabundance of well-compensated senior officers like generals and admirals, exceedingly generous outlays for procurement and supply.,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/18l033wj7urwzjpg.jpg?w=696&ssl=1

A good example is like the famous $20.2 billion per year price tag on air conditioning during US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan), and mind-boggling sums spent on prestige projects.

Also, like the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet, which has a projected lifetime cost of over $1.7 trillion, and counting, extracting it all on tax payers money income.

The same can be said of the US’ half-a-dozen or so multi-billion-dollar hyper-sonic missile projects, which have yet to enter service, while Russia, China, and Iran have all successfully already unveiled similar weapons.

The alliance has demonstrated that it can use its air power to pound smaller, militarily weaker countries into submission – case in point Yugoslavia in 1999 or Muammar Ghaddafi’s Libya in 2011, where they stole $150 billion of the legacy in gold and oil.

Yet when it comes to putting boots on the ground and keeping them there, the alliance has had far less success, with the $2+ trillion the USA and its allies spent in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021 failing to prevent the country’s government and NATO-trained army from collapsing in mere months after the USA announced its withdrawal.

But perhaps that’s the point, as now-imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said back in 2011. Because the goal is not to completely subjugate Afghanistan.

The goal is to use Afghanistan to wash money out of the tax bases of the USA, out of the tax bases of European countries through Afghanistan and flow back into the hands of the transnational security elite.

That is the goal. I.e. the goal is to have an endless war, not a successful war.

Sputnik / ABC Flash Point News 2023.

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Voix de la Paix
Voix de la Paix
02-07-23 21:56

If you expose the truth to the masses, you are branded a sex offender, or some other character destroying crime and put in jail.

Reply to  Voix de la Paix
03-07-23 04:05

You are branded a “Putin Lover ” in the UK — a “Traitor ” to your country – censorship is greater than many third world countries -brainwashed into one point of view — AMERICAN — while the NHS is being destroyed for the sake of Big Medical/Big Pharma USA . We now have to have photo ID cards just like the USA to vote – courtesy of –and yes he admitted it in public the most arrogant man in Westminster- Jacob-Rees -Mogg – quote:- ” I did it to gain more Tory votes ” in England 14,000 people were refused… Read more »

Abdul Jabar
Abdul Jabar
04-07-23 13:16

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Abdul Jabar
Abdul Jabar
04-07-23 16:59

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