...the U.S outspends Russia, the next highest spender, by more than 800 percent.
In 2008, the most recent year for which figures are available, the U.S. expenditure was 696.3 billion dollars, followed by Russia's 86 billion and China's 83.5 billion.
The U.S. defence budget is 15 times that of Japan, 47 times that of Israel, and nearly 73 times that of Iran.
Not only does U.S. spending dwarf that of other nations, but it has also grown in recent years.
The budget for fiscal year 2011 is 720 billion dollars, up 67 percent from 2001's 432 billion, accounting for inflation.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, "The Chance for Peace," speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953 (h/t Hume's Ghost):
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.
[In bold below is something to be clear about--the nature of the "enemy" at the time compared to the one offered us now. Nemesis]
And, as always, few things underscore how far to the Right our political spectrum has shifted than reading something expressed by Eisenhower, who today would not be considered a moderate Republican but, at least in some instances, marginalized as a Far Leftist or, at best, a Crazy Pacifist-Isolationist. That passage above -- like his prescient, strident warnings about the dangers of the military-industrial complex -- sounds like what one hears at a Code Pink rally or a Ron Paul gathering, but not many other places. Then again, all Eisenhower knew was the insignificant conflict of World War II and the menace of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads aimed at multiple American cities; I'm sure he would have thought differently had he known the True, Unprecedented, Existential Threat of cave-based Islamic Terrorists trying to blow up an airplane or a nightclub once every few years, or the frightening threat posed by the Persian Hitlers (our military budget is only 73 times larger than those expansionist, belligerent mullah-monsters and we're only occupying two of their bordering countries for close to a decade now with hundreds of thousands of troops and other personnel; can you believe how aggressive and threatening they are?).