American military power is a crucial part of its global reach. The US has the largest military spending of any country in the world, outspending the next ten biggest spenders combined (IISS, 2011). The defense budget for fiscal year (FY) 2011 was approximately $687 billion, including some $160 billion for ‘overseas contingency operations’ (OCO), mainly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The FY2012 budget was down to $645 billion, due to the decreased funding to such operations (with the FY2013 request down even further to $613.9 billion — with OCO down to $88.5) (White House, 2012a; cf. United States Department of Defense, 2012a). This spending goes not only to staff costs, but also to arming and equipping what is by far the most technologically advanced military in the world. That the US has managed since the start of the Cold War, when high peacetime military spending and a permanent large peacetime military was first established, to do this while only spending between 5 and 10 per cent of GDP on defense also shows very starkly the interlinking of economic and military power.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- The Evolution of Military Power: An American Way of War?
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- Chapter 4