Washington: The bad news: U.S. defense spending is likely — almost certain — to decline. The worse news — our allies spending is also likely to go down even more than it already has.
The Council on Foreign Relations has just published what most western strategists and those of our Pacific allies can only regard as a worrying study. Here is the nub: “The United States and these allies account for a formidable 72 percent of global military spending in 2010…. The United States’ and its allies’ share of world military spending fell from 2005 to 2010. It is projected to fall further, to 66 percent, by 2015.”
The study, by Neil Bouhan and Paul Swartz, also notes that the higher U.S. costs for veterans –already one-sixth of defense spending — will grow and makes U.S. spending less effective.
In the dry language of the study, those personnel costs mean that “U.S. military preeminence would appear smaller than it does using straightforward comparisons based on market exchange rates.”
Plus, since U.S. weapons are much more expensive than those produced by Russia or China — for example — “Today’s spending results in less procurement than does spending in the past.”
Add to all that the end of the Shuttle program and the House Appropriations Committee’s attempt to kill the James Webb Space Telescope and the American future cannot seem — today — all that bright