Military Review

All for the front, all for victory: EU countries increase defense spending

All for the front, all for victory: EU countries increase defense spending

The spread of the thesis of the "Russian threat" led to the rapid militarization of the European region. The deployment of the multinational NATO battalions in Poland and the Baltic countries, as well as exercises at the national level, conducted with increased frequency, are a continuation of the dispute over the necessary amount of defense expenditures.

One of the requirements for members of the North Atlantic Alliance is to achieve the level of funds allocated for military needs in an amount of at least 2% of GDP. Currently, this rule is followed by an absolute minority of participants in the military bloc: United Kingdom (2,21%), Greece (2,38%), Poland (2%), Estonia (2,16%).

It should be noted that from this list only the United Kingdom can maintain a “defense bar” relatively without harm to the budget. In addition, the United Kingdom has been a longtime proponent of American interests on the European continent as part of the “special relationship” model with an ally across the Atlantic. The most economically prosperous members of the European Union, such as Germany, France, and Italy, after the 2008 crisis, significantly reduced their military budgets and have since redirected financial resources to the social sector.

The fall in expenses of European NATO allies forced the United States to pay for numerous operations, exercises and training of the alliance from its own pocket: in 2013, almost three-quarters of the costs required for the activities of the military-political bloc were covered from the US state budget.

However, not only economic considerations predetermined the position of most European countries regarding military spending. With the change in the strategic situation after the collapse of the socialist bloc and the USSR, the likelihood of large-scale conflict in Europe began to rapidly approach zero. In a situation where a serious threat was not foreseen, the countries leading by the European Union (first of all, France and Germany) began to gradually move away from the idea of ​​close cooperation with the United States in the defense sphere. Instead of an abstract transatlantic association, the development of an independent military policy, including providing for independence from Washington and the creation of pan-European armed forces, became topical.

This is opposed by the United Kingdom, which calls for a sharp increase in spending within NATO, as well as some Eastern European countries, which are awaiting invasion by the Russian army from day to day. A striking example here are Latvia and Lithuania, which have increased the military budget over the past two years by one and a half times. It is important for the leadership of these countries to prove their commitment to their allied duty to the United States. At the same time, the purely economic inexpediency of the priority financing of defense is not an argument for them. On the contrary, even in the conditions of recession, deterioration of the demographic situation and decline in the standard of living of the population, the governments of the Baltic states seek to continue to choose guns instead of oil. So, Algirdas Butkevicius, who until recently held the post of Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, said: “If we estimate the allocation of funds for the defense system in our country, compared to all NATO countries, then we are no longer outsiders, but so much (funds) will be allocated. "

Summing up, it is necessary to note the lack of consensus among European countries on the issue of the size of military expenditures and the need to raise them. Attempts by some states to soberly assess the existing military threats and to abolish the atavism of the Cold War in the form of hundreds of American military bases still housed in Europe face tensions on the part of others. The difference between the two is that the former are not ready to perceive the artificially created image of the enemy in the person of Russia and, in accordance with this, uncontrolledly allocate funds for armament and the formation of new military contingents to the detriment of national well-being.

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    GOGENATOR 6 December 2016 15: 08
    If the countries of Europe, like Russia, spend more than 20% of the budget on the defense industry, then they rivet a lot more equipment. The total budget of Russia is $ 250 billion, and the German budget is $ 1500 billion. 20% of Germany’s budget is $ 300 billion, which is 10 times more than Germany’s military budget for 2016, so if Europe wants to, she can create a powerful army that is much stronger than the Russian one.
    1. jonhr
      jonhr 6 December 2016 16: 37
      If we compare the pan-European defense budget of Europe, then it already surpasses the Russian one. it's just that everyone is used to perceiving it as individual countries. but from small pebbles you can pour a mountain. exactly the same applies to human resources almost fourfold. and this is not counting the usa
      1. GOGENATOR
        GOGENATOR 6 December 2016 18: 26
        The financial forces of the EU are ten times larger than the Russian ones. The sum of the budgets of Germany, France and the UK -1500 + 1200 + 1000 = 3700 billion dollars. From the bottom, only 2-4% of the percentage is spent on the defense industry. For comparison: Russia's budget is 210 billion dollars, 50 billion or 20-25% is spent on the defense industry.
  2. Galleon
    Galleon 6 December 2016 16: 33
    Here, like nowhere else, the phrase is suitable: "Nothing personal - only money." spells about Russian aggression are the best advertisement for the military-industrial complex. Weapons are bought where there is fear, so fear should not disappear. And no matter what we do, no matter how we behave, the leading Western media ("nothing personal - but they pay for it") will talk about our stupidity and aggressiveness, about bears walking along the streets, spills of vodka and the barbarity of Russians. The arms trade, the most monetary of all, needs opposition. The confrontation needs misunderstanding and a cultural gap between peoples.
    Well, to hell with them ...
  3. Franciscan
    Franciscan 6 December 2016 16: 50
    and all these tanks will not help them.
  4. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 6 December 2016 17: 09
    2% will not be enough. How many kilotons are there, on Novaya? For Europe, it will pull, but before Greenland, you need to think about it ... Or at once Stirlitz, that would be enough for everyone.
  5. afrikanez
    afrikanez 6 December 2016 17: 25
    For the United States, deploying bases in Europe is a business. And that's it! Why is it not clear to us? To be present in a "flammable" region is one thing and to have thousands of bases is quite another.
  6. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 6 December 2016 19: 02
    It’s not tanks and bayonets that decide the war, but TOPOL - M !!!
    1. Incvizitor
      Incvizitor 6 December 2016 22: 56
      Well, the authorities there have a delay in development of 40 years, everything is "at war" with the USSR.
  7. knn54
    knn54 6 December 2016 19: 19
    EU countries increase defense spending.
    This is their personal American business ...
  8. Barakuda
    Barakuda 6 December 2016 22: 52
    Power is in the truth. And not as a percentage of GDP. Well, Latvia, Lithuania, you know yourself - a hackneyed topic. Spit on the map, and even clumsy. Why the hell do Russia need them?
  9. Incvizitor
    Incvizitor 6 December 2016 22: 54
    From whom are they "defending themselves" there with tanks?) Are they living like a "breakthrough of tank hordes" across the English Channel in the last century?)

    Note that from this list only the United Kingdom can maintain a “defense bar” relatively relatively without harm to the budget.

    And the rest seems just to the detriment of the budget the owner decided to lick)
  10. Wolka
    Wolka 8 December 2016 13: 02
    that is why NATO is bursting at the seams, but this should not be deluded, the situation in the CIS is no better, everyone wants to have modern Russian weapons, and so that "for free" as in the USSR