Military historian Max Boot explains why the United States must always act unilaterally: our “allies” don’t have serious military forces.
According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, defense budgets among NATO members, excluding the U.S., have fallen from 2.49% of gross domestic product in 1993 to 1.8% of GDP in 2005. Britain is actually above the norm, spending 2.3% of GDP, or $52 billion, on defense. Canada, with a defense budget of $13 billion, is below the norm, at 1.1%.
But all those expenditures fade into insignificance by comparison with the U.S., which spends $495 billion a year, or 4% of the world’s largest GDP, on its armed forces. That’s more than the rest of NATO combined, even though the other countries have, in aggregate, greater demographic and economic resources.