The United States accounted for virtually all of the increase in world military spending in 2010.
And because the United States has the world’s largest economy, its share of world military spending is outsized, accounting for 43 percent of all the military spending on Earth — six times as much as China, which has the world’s second largest military budget and accounts for 7.3 percent of world military spending. Russia accounts for just 3.6 percent.
With polls showing declining support for the war in Afghanistan and increasing talk in Congress, even among Republicans, about cutting the military budget, it appears certain that the Defense Department is going to be downsized and our foreign military commitments scaled back in coming years.
This is going to require serious rethinking of what we perceive to be our strategic threats and whether the United States can continue to afford to be the world’s peacekeeper.
via Bruce Bartlett: Can We Afford the Military Budget? – NYTimes.com.
Across Europe, people are complaining that they are unfairly paying the price for the mistakes of their governments while they are growing increasingly resentful of the international banks and the preferential treatment they seem to receive. And they are getting louder.
“They took everything, and we have to pay,” said Katerina Fatourou, 30, an elementary school music teacher in Athens, summing up a common sentiment here after a large and sometimes violent general strike. It is not likely to be the last in Europe this summer.
In a vicious cycle, the rising political turmoil is sowing unrest in global financial markets, raising the interest rates paid by heavily indebted nations in Europe to ever higher levels and threatening their solvency.
European officials are also worried that if Greece’s politicians bow to popular anger and reject the austerity route, other countries might follow, with potentially dire consequences for Europe’s banks and the common currency.
via Greek Turmoil Raises Fears of Instability Around Europe – NYTimes.com.