Center for Arms Control

Security Spending

by Christopher Hellman [contact information]

by Travis Sharp [contact information]

The FY 2009 Pentagon Spending Request - Global Military Spending

February 22, 2008

On February 4, the Bush administration released its budget request for Fiscal Year 2009, which begins on October 1, 2008. For FY 2009, the White House is seeking $711 billion for the military -- $541 billion for the Pentagon and the nuclear weapons-related activities of the Department of Energy, and, according to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, at least $170 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States is far and away the global leader in military spending. Consider the following:

  • The United States spends more than the next 45 highest spending countries in the world combined.
  • The United States accounts for 48 percent of the world's total military spending.
  • The United States spends on its military 5.8 times more than China, 10.2 times more than Russia, and 98.6 times more than Iran.
  • The United States and its strongest allies (the NATO countries, Japan, South Korea and Australia) spend $1.1 trillion on their militaries combined, representing 72 percent of the world's total.

U.S. Defense Spending vs. The World

U.S. MILITARY SPENDING VS. THE WORLD
(EXPENDITURES IN BILLIONS OF U.S. DOLLARS)

Country Military Spending (Billions of $) World Ranking
United States 711.0 1
China 121.9 2
Russia 70.0 3
United Kingdom 55.4 4
France 54.0 5
Japan 41.1 6
Germany 37.8 7
Italy 30.6 8
Saudi Arabia 29.5 9
South Korea 24.6 10
India 22.4 11
Australia 17.2 12
Brazil 16.2 13
Canada 15.0 14
Spain 14.4 15
Turkey 11.6 16
Israel 11.0 17
Netherlands 9.9 18
United Arab Emirates 9.5 19
Taiwan 7.7 20
Greece 7.3 21
Iran 7.2 22
Myanmar 6.9 23
Singapore 6.3 24
Poland 6.2 25
Sweden 5.8 26
Colombia 5.4 27
Norway 5.0 28
Chile 4.7 29
Belgium 4.4 30
Egypt 4.3 31
Pakistan 4.2 32
Denmark 3.9 33
Indonesia 3.6 34
Switzerland 3.5 35
Kuwait 3.5 36
South Africa 3.5 37
Oman 3.3 38
Malaysia 3.2 39
Mexico 3.2 40
Portugal 3.1 41
Algeria 3.1 42
Finland 2.8 43
Austria 2.6 44
Venezuela 2.6 45
Czech Republic 2.5 46
Romania 2.3 47
Qatar 2.3 48
Thailand 2.3 49
Morocco 2.2 50
Argentina 1.9 51
Ukraine 1.7 52
Cuba 1.7 53
Angola 1.6 54
New Zealand 1.5 55
Hungary 1.3 56
Ireland 1.1 57
Jordan 1.1 58
Peru 1.1 59
North Korea n/a n/a
Global Total (not all countries shown) 1,472.7 n/a

*NOTES: The figure for the United States is the budget request for Fiscal Year 2009 and includes $170 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as funding for DOE nuclear weapons activities. All other figures are projections based on 2006, the last year for which accurate data is available. All countries that spent over one billion per year are listed.

Sources: International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2008, U.S. Department of Defense.


For more information:

Christopher Hellman 202-546-0795 chellman@armscontrolcenter.org

Christopher Hellman is the Military Policy Fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation where his work focuses on national security spending, military planning and policy, trends in the defense industry, global military spending, and homeland security. Hellman is a frequent media commentator on these issues. Previously, Hellman worked for the Center for Defense Information, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and spent ten years as a congressional staffer working on national security and foreign policy issues.

Travis Sharp

Travis Sharp is the Military Policy Analyst at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation. He has published articles on defense policy in scholarly journals, internet magazines, and local newspapers, and has appeared on or been quoted in media venues such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, CNN, and Al Jazeera.

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