President Trump last week demanded that NATO allies, who have already pledged to increase their military spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, raise their spending to 4 percent.
This is supposedly necessary to defend against Russia. Whether or not he really thinks Russia is that much of a threat, the fact is that the European members of NATO already outspend Russia by a considerable amount.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Institute, Russia’s spending military spending last year was $66.3 billion, down from $69.2 billion in 2016.
France spent $57.8 billion, the UK spent $47.2 billion and Germany spent $44.3 billion—a combined total of $149.3 billion, more than double what Russia spent. Estimated US spending was $610 billion.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies made different but similar estimates.
Its estimate was that Russia spent $61.2 billion last year, while the UK spent $50.7…
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