Finally, I found some sensible mainstream publication article that tells the public the same thing as I did for years.
This recurring concern with European defense spending is understandable, but it mostly misses the point. Why? Because the fundamental problem isn’t inadequate latent capacity or even a lack of mobilized resources. The only “clear and present” military threat Europe faces today is a resurgent Russia (though this threat may not be nearly as great as alarmists maintain), and NATO’s European members possess the wherewithal to deal with the challenge on their own. Leaving the United States and Canada out of the equation, NATO’s European members have nearly four times Russia’s population, and their combined GDP is more than 12 times greater. More importantly, even at today’s supposedly “inadequate” spending levels, every year NATO’s European members (again: not counting the United States and Canada) spend at least five times more on defense than Russia does.
The problem, in other words, is not the amount of money that European countries devote to national security. The problem rather is that they don’t spend these funds very effectively and don’t coordinate their defense activities as well as they could. Despite numerous attempts, Europe’s long-promised “Common Foreign and Security Policy” remains an aspiration, not a reality. This failure isn’t at all surprising, because CFSP is an EU initiative and the EU is still more of a collection of nation-states rather than a fully integrated community. The key point, however, is that throwing more euros (or kroner or zlotys) at the problem won’t fix it.
On this occasion I'd like to present you the current IISS infographic on global military spending.
|click to enlarge, source: IISS|