10 Facts: Sizing Up NATO’s Defense Spending
The euro crisis means NATO militaries are likely to shrink further.
- Combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of global defense spending.
- US defense spending aside, the 27 other NATO countries spent $318.7 billion on defense in 2012.
- Non-US NATO members have defense expenditures that are more than 3x Russia's total.
- Crisis-torn Greece is 2nd among NATO countries in terms of defense spending as a % of GDP.
1. Only five NATO member countries spent more than 2% or more of their GDP on defense (as of 2012).
2. They are the United States, Greece (2.5%), United Kingdom (2.5%), France (2.3%) and Turkey (2.3%).
3. Estonia and Poland are close to the 2% level — at 1.9% each.
4. Italy currently spends just 1.7% of its GDP on defense. Given the country’s high debt level, the odds are very low that it would increase defense spending.
5. Germany spends just 1.4% of its GDP on defense.
6. Still, the combined military spending of all NATO members constitutes over 70% of the world’s defense spending.
7. Leaving U.S. defense spending aside, the 27 other NATO countries spent $318.7 billion on defense.
8. Non-U.S. NATO members have defense expenditures that are more than three times Russia’s total.
9. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s defense spending in 2012 stood at 2.7% of GDP. That is a higher share than 27 of the 28 NATO countries.
10. Crisis-torn Greece is actually second among NATO countries in terms of defense spending as a percentage of GDP, at 2.5%. If anything, that figure is likely to decline in coming years given the many other priorities for rebuilding the Greek economy.
Analysis by The Globalist Research Center. Data credit: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).