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Countries by Military Spending Quiz

Name the countries with the highest annual military spending.
For the year 2017, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
North Korea may be missing due to incomplete data
Quiz by Quizmaster
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First submittedMarch 19, 2012
Last updatedFebruary 18, 2018
Times taken61,541
Rating4.86
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Spending
Country
$611 bil
United States
$216 bil
China
$69.2 bil
Russia
$63.7 bil
Saudi Arabia
$55.9 bil
India
$55.7 bil
France
$48.3 bil
United Kingdom
Spending
Country
$46.1 bil
Japan
$41.1 bil
Germany
$36.8 bil
South Korea
$27.9 bil
Italy
$24.3 bil
Australia
$22.8 bil
Brazil
$22.8 bil
United Arab Emirates
Spending
Country
$17.8 bil
Israel
$15.5 bil
Canada
$14.9 bil
Spain
$14.9 bil
Turkey
$12.3 bil
Iran
$10.6 bil
Algeria
+1
level 12
Mar 19, 2012
@BrowncoatBob Compared to the US GDP, that's not very much.
+2
level 60
May 20, 2018
It is.
+2
level 61
Mar 19, 2012
Actually we need to increase military spending. By the way, military isn't the cause of our debt program. It's entitlement programs that are eating away at our economy. You can't keep spending on people who don't contribute. The math just doesn't work. Us in the middle class are tapped out.
+36
level 77
Jan 28, 2014
The US spends way more on corporate welfare than it does on welfare for the people you claim don't contribute. Not contributing is less destructive than actively stealing, which is what Wall Street spends most of its time doing these days. But Corporate America has spent billions of dollars trying to convince everyone that the problem really is all those greedy poor people...
+1
level 67
Aug 13, 2015
+1
+1
level 50
Jan 16, 2016
True
+18
level 72
Aug 22, 2014
The reason you CAN keep spending on people who "don't contribute" is that they then become a very large pool of purchasers of goods and services that keep the economy moving. Take them out of the equation and that puts recessionary pressure on the whole country. Also, there are many passive investors who "don't contribute" either, and who earn far more than those on social programs - are you complaining about them as well? Or is the comment targeted not at unproductive people, but only the unproductive people who are struggling the most? Economically, that attitude does not help create a productive country.
+2
level 67
Aug 13, 2015
+1
+4
level 50
Jan 16, 2016
Really? More than 682 billion dollars? What's the point? We have already outspent everyone else ten fold
+8
level 62
Apr 7, 2016
The point of the government having money is to improve society and give back to the people, not to improve "the economy".
+8
level 56
Apr 12, 2016
Man, the US are such a threat to international safety. But by all means, keep your imperialism going. It's not like it ever caused a lot of trouble anywhere...
+10
level 77
Apr 16, 2016
It hasn't. There is a good reason why the world since WW2 has been a lot more peaceful than it was before, and this is why informed people refer to this period as the Pax Americana.
+7
level 67
May 19, 2018
I gotta get me a pair of those glasses.
+2
level 60
May 19, 2018
new glasses wouldn't help the blind see.
+1
level 57
May 19, 2018
More peaceful? Where exactly?
+6
level 77
May 19, 2018
tshalla: you definitely could use *something* to help you see clearly.
stubart: Earth. most peaceful time in the history of our species
war going out of style
Pax Americana explained

Confused or ignorant people might think that Pax Americana is somehow praise for the United States being noble and righteous or rightly guided. And of course that gets the bigots panties in a twist. But it's not that. It's a sound historical theory that if there is a hegemonic power in the world looking out for their own interests and therefore maintaining the status quo, this will reduce the number of large scale conflicts and lead to greater peace and stability. There was also a Pax Hellinica, Pax Romana, Pax Mongolica, and Pax Britannica, but the Pax Americana has been the most profound yet.
+1
level 77
May 19, 2018
I'm not sure I agree with everything that last video said. Here's a somewhat better description here if you want to read about it: Wikipedia: Pax Americana
+2
level 57
Sep 8, 2018
This theory is interesting, but it does seem to have gaps in it. The USA definitely has caused trouble sometimes, although compared to the Second World War I suppose it isn't "a lot". The Iraq War, for example, was effectively caused by the USA and was not a maintenance of the status quo. Does the Cold War count as part of Pax Americana? If so why attribute it to the USA rather than the USSR (as both were superpowers)? Was it not more the fact that nuclear weapons prevented superpowers from an all-out war where every effort to win was made than that either of them was all-powerful? I might be wrong here so if you have any answers please tell me.
+2
level 77
May 8, 2019
TM you're not totally wrong. I mean, I have no defense at all for the Iraq War. I never said the US was perfect I thought I made it clear that this theory did not mean that. But... most of the time... they are trying (and succeeding) at keeping the world relatively peaceful and stable with conflicts being relatively small in scale or at least contained geographically.
During the Cold War you could say that there were two superpowers or you could say that the fact that America's strength was so unchallengeable kept the USSR (and everyone else) from ever getting in to too much trouble. Russia invaded a few countries on their borders (and were pushed back), or engaged in proxy wars with US allies, but nothing even close to the scale of conflict and destruction we saw during WW1 and WW2 where many similarly-strong nations were engaged in total war aiming at completely destroying or dominating one another. Since the collapse of the USSR, American dominance just grew even stronger.
+3
level 70
Mar 19, 2012
Missed UAE. Would have never guessed that one
+1
level 29
Feb 19, 2013
I missed only UAE too :)
+1
level 80
Sep 6, 2014
Ditto
+1
level 77
Apr 12, 2016
They're off the list now
+1
level 23
Aug 29, 2019
same
+2
level 51
Mar 19, 2012
Military isn't the cause of our debt? Okay, this is not the right place to discuss politics but just wanted to remind you that the Irak war cost is estimated between 3-4 trillion.
+4
level 44
Sep 6, 2014
I think this is a GREAT place to discuss politics.
+3
level 27
Sep 6, 2014
A. it's Iraq B. $686 billion is only 1/5 of the United States' yearly budget C. a ~9 year war of 4 trillion dollars isn't enough to have the United States drown in debt.
+2
level 65
Mar 19, 2012
I'm sorry...$687 BILLION?? That's excessive. Especially when China is only spending $114 billion. And even with all that money we're still not totally safe from terroists and other potential danger!
+1
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
Terrorism is really more of a matter for the CIA, FBI, NSA, INS, and local police. None of which are included in the military budget.
+1
level 67
Apr 12, 2016
Terrorism is really more a matter of definition. The threat and use of force against civilians is overwhelmingly done by states, their police, and their armies. Top of the list since WWII, as the numbers of suggest, is the U.S.
+3
level 77
May 19, 2018
The definition you are using is wrong and the assertion you make from it is laughable.
+2
level 80
Sep 6, 2014
"Still not totally safe?" Never going to happen, no matter how much money you spend. The approach is more important than the amount.
+1
level 65
Mar 19, 2012
terrorists*
+1
level 76
Mar 19, 2012
Never would have guessed Netherlands in a million years!! Really, the Dutch? Why? Everyone loves the Dutch!!
+1
level 73
Aug 28, 2014
Not true...Austin Powers' fashah didn't like the Dutch.
+1
level 62
Apr 7, 2016
I don't know if anyone hates the Dutch, but does anyone really LOVE them? I'm sure there are people that love Amsterdam for a particular reason. But the Dutch tend to scratch up my floor-boards with their shoes.
+1
level 67
Apr 12, 2016
I know the Indonesians are not to keen on the Dutch.
+2
level 76
May 19, 2018
Probably QM doesn't like them because they border Belgium. :)
+1
level 22
Mar 19, 2012
@ctleng76 I'm sorry. What?!! Oh god, you hurt my soul.
+2
level 71
Mar 19, 2012
The USA spends so much because we protect ourselves and all our allies, including Europe. We protect more than a country, we protect the free world.
+2
level 55
Dec 5, 2016
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah
+1
level 39
Mar 19, 2012
Don't freak out about USA's excessive spending. The USA is clearly the site of the most terroristic threats, and therefore our military is highly built up to counteract any threat to our nation. If we weren't as hated by the world our military budget wouldn't be so high. Easy as that. Missed UAE :/
+2
level 40
Jan 26, 2013
Err... I think you've gotta ask yourself why the US is so hated. Also interesting that some of these countries that are supported to be so militaristic (Iran, Pakistan, North Korea etc) don't make this list.
+1
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
Your hatred of the country has been well-documented on the site Oz. So why don't you tell us? Not that we'd get an honest answer...
+3
level 69
Oct 15, 2013
You don't have to hate the USA to see why others might. The USA does tend to solve problems with violence, both within its own borders and without, and to use violence to achieve ends that benefit the USA, if not the country they are meddling in. The invasion of Iraq, for no good reason, has caused some resentment. The propping up of despicable despots (Saddam, Mubarak, Pinochet, sundry middle east families, etc) and the overthrow of legitimate governments (Allende, Mossadegh, the Sandinistas, etc) is bound to irk those on the receiving end of the USA's ire. Many of the hottest hot spots in the world today could reasonably be blamed, at least in part, on American interference - Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine... I don't hate the USA, but I do wish it would stop interfering in things it does not understand.
+1
level 77
Jan 28, 2014
I'll concede that the Iraq War was very ill-conceived but by and large the USA has been a much better steward of the world than the British, the Spanish, the Romans, the Mongols, the Arabs, the Germans, the Japanese, the French, or anyone else who has ever had a shot at controlling or influencing a good-sized chunk of it. and they actually do try to do what's best for the world more often than not. Doesn't always work out that way... but they try.
Iraq is probably worse off today than it would have been had the US not "interfered." American interference in Iran failed- and Iran is not well off. If it had succeeded, then I feel they would probably be much better off. Afghanistan is better off than it was under the Taleban. re: Israel... US involvement there has always been crucial. At which point do you feel that their lack of involvement would have led to something better? When they convinced Israel to give back the Sinai? When they stopped the IDF from taking Damascus and Cairo?
+1
level 77
Jan 28, 2014
People like Oz hate the USA because they are hateful. There's little good reason for it other than the US is just the superpower-du-jour so they make an easy target. Of course their policies end up affecting a large number of people around the world and there is plenty of cause for valid criticisms to be made but often that morphs into irrational bigotry and bias.

Anyway this conversation is silly because both the original point (that the USA is the biggest target of terrorism, or the most hated), and the counterpoint (that the USA somehow deserves to be hated) are not even true.
+1
level 69
Aug 11, 2014
Iraq is certainly worse off today than it would have been had the USA not interfered in 2003, but I was talking about even earlier, when they were responsible for the instability that allowed Saddam to take power, and the help they gave him subsequently to root out and kill socialists and to remain in power. Iran may well be a functioning democracy now were it not for US and British 'intervention' to remove Mossadegh. Same in Afghanistan - they're better off, possibly, than they were under the Taliban, but the Taliban were only there because the USA gave them the means to get there, having previously supported the Mujahideen against the Russians and caused the toppling and murder of Najibullah, under whom 40% of doctors and 60% of university students were women. That seems unimaginable in present-day Afghanistan, but unfortunately Najibullah was a socialist and therefore the target of US ire.
+1
level 77
Sep 6, 2014
Saddam came to power on his own without any help from the US. And for a while he actually did a lot of good for the country. The political situation in Iraq was no better before his rise. The Taleban were an f'ing nightmare, but the US did not create or support them- they armed the mujahadeen, the alternative to which would have been Soviet control of Afghanistan, you think they would have ended up better off then? Probably the extremists would have taken over eventually anyway, just been even more angry than they were after a prolonged occupation, or there would have been a nasty civil war raging for decades similar to Chechnya but far worse. Hard to speculate. Najibullah was a Soviet puppet. He would not have lasted, the US didn't have to do anything to topple him. Iran was never a functioning democracy in spite of pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking revisionism. There's no good reason to assume that it wouldn't have just become like it is now, only sooner, without the Shah.
+1
level 64
Nov 9, 2015
'the USA has been a much better steward of the world than the British, the Spanish, the Romans, the Mongols, the Arabs, the Germans'. They thought about themselves in the same way.
+1
level 77
Apr 12, 2016
pellam: I don't think Genghis Khan thought of himself as a steward of the world. And while Hitler might have believed killing all the Jews was doing the world a favor, I also don't feel like it's a stretch to make the moral judgment to say he was wrong. Similarly we can look at and judge these other empires for their actions and the results of those actions. We are not restricted to judging only their intentions.
+1
level 75
Mar 19, 2017
The British, Mongols, Spanish etc were all empires securing their own interests first and taking by far the largest slice of the pie. The American Empire (which is what it is) is just the same, I'm not saying it doesn't underpin European security, it does, and us Europeans are better off for it. But it will only do so so long as it is financially beneficial for them to do so. There's nothing noble about it.
+1
level 55
Jun 20, 2017
I'm more scared about China
+1
level 24
Feb 19, 2018
Actually, Iran made the list
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
nafe: I didn't call the US noble. I said they try to do what's best for the world. This is because, most of the time (present leadership excepted), the US understands that its own interests and those of the world coincide. It's in the USA's interests to have a world where economies and standards of living worldwide are growing and improving. It's in the USA's interests to keep trade lanes open and markets stable. It's in the USA's interests to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of unstable despots and terrorists. It's in the USA's interests to avoid large-scale conflict and war. It's in the USA's interests to combat global climate change and foster scientific advancement. And in the world's interests. In the cases where the US fails to facilitate these things or indeed undermines them, or when the country puts narrow corporate or economic concerns ahead of the bigger picture of general prosperity, then there is plenty of space for the valid criticisms I mentioned to show up.
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
but yes, you're more or less right. They are protecting their interests, not being magnanimous, even allowing for the fact that many Americans, do, in fact, care about the well-being of non-Americans. And policy is often influenced by this public desire, even if you want to by cynical and say it's all just to get votes. When the US Navy rushes in to typhoon-devastated Philippines to deliver invaluable life-saving aid and asks for nothing in return, I guess you could say it's all about international PR. Or maintaining a positive strategic relationship with the Philippines. Or so Obama can look good to voters back home. Or.. something.
However, I still don't think that it's fair to say that Genghis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot and Franklin Roosevelt were all pursuing their own interests or the interests of their nation as they understood them, and so they're all basically the same.
+1
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
If we accept that nations deserve to be loved or hated, which was Oz's original assertion being replied to above, then there has to be some way to assess the value of a nation and its actions as good or bad. If we take a morally relativistic stance then nobody deserves to be hated, including the US.
+2
level 75
May 19, 2018
Yea I don't see anything wrong with American dominance (present leadership excepted), and god knows the alternatives are infinitely worse.
+1
level 44
Mar 21, 2012
People in the US take security for granted, while people in many other countries live in fear. That military spending is the reason America hasnt faced large scale invasion for more than 100 years, and why America has never lost a war militarily. It's also why there hasnt been a coordinated terrorist attack in the US since 2001. Because America is always the strongest and most advanced.
+2
level 56
Jun 20, 2012
Just Vietnam...
+1
level 24
Jun 23, 2012
We didn't lose militarily, we lost economically
+2
level 77
Jan 21, 2013
@conman: which amounts to the same thing.
+1
level 67
Nov 4, 2016
LOL. You say over 100 years due to a strong army, but the US didn't even have a decent standing army until 1915. Get your facts straight and please learn the difference between causality and correlation.
+4
level 43
Mar 20, 2017
101 years is still over 100.
+1
level 44
Mar 21, 2012
And spending on military research is good for much more than just protection. Long ago, searching for stronger metals for weapons led to development of iron and from that steel as probably the greatest construction materials ever. More recently, military research and spending led to invention of the radio and the microwave oven and satellites for GPS, cell phones, and television. Even the internet started as a military project.
+1
level 67
Nov 4, 2016
False, partly true, False, mostly false, false, false. There is no way to tell why iron/steel was invented, but it was most probably for tools. The radio was an invention by many scientists based on pure science theories. microwave was invented for space travel (as a gas cooker is quite impractical on a rocket :-) ), satellites were developed for all kinds of purposes, cellphones are just a modern application of phones which were developed for trade purposes (ok one might argue that satellite telephones were the next big step towards cellphones) and the internet was absolutely NOT developed for military purposes. It was developed in CERN to be able to quicky communicate results from different locations to a central server. scientific developments can never be seen as "caused by warfare research", that is just not how stuff is invented. If you had said rocketry, i might have agreed, but your examples are just wrong
+3
level 71
Feb 20, 2018
I'm surprised that nobody's corrected MATHIAS1 on this yet. YES, the Internet most certainly *was* developed for military purposes. You're confusing the World Wide Web with the Internet – a rookie mistake; maybe you should have done a quick Google search before so vehemently correcting someone, who was completely correct.
+1
level 20
Jun 17, 2012
imagine all that money spent on aids and cancer research.
+1
level 38
Oct 3, 2012
Imagine the Constitution...spending for military is one of the 18 enumerated powers of congress under Article 1 section 8. Cancer research and Aids research isn't.
+6
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
the Constitution was designed to be a flexible document and was meant to be changed. Unlike the minds of those who are always talking about it but don't really understand it.
+3
level 71
Feb 20, 2018
Of course, in the Preamble, it does say "pronote the general welfare", so I'm guessing that the framers, despite not specifically mentioning cancer or AIDS, probably wouldn't object to spending money on them. So, what Brenok said.
+2
level 34
Dec 12, 2012
@milk the USA has lost at least 1 war militarily. The War of 1812 vs UK/Canada. You guys invaded to make Canada yours, you guys retreated and the land stayed in the UK's hands, I would consider that a military loss. I know you yanks don't consider that a loss or a win so most people down there aren't taught that war, but up here in Canada we consider it a win for us and a loss for the USA.
+1
level 77
Jan 21, 2013
While the badly planned invasion of Canada was certainly embarrassing, it was not the point of the war. The British army that landed on US soil and nearly took Washington was defeated (mostly by bad weather). If the US had lost the War of 1812, there would be no US. The war was between the US and Britain. Canada was just a British colony at the time. So... it's great that Canadian schoolchildren are taught to feel proud of this, but there really is no reason for them to. A better example of a war the US lost would be Vietnam. That's really the only one that was a clear loss for the USA.
+2
level 44
Apr 14, 2013
i'd say the US lost vietnam politically and culturally (lost the will to carry on), whereas militarily comparing the proportions of casualties on both sides and strategic territorial holdings, as well as the availability of forces and equipment to keep the war going, clearly puts American forces on the winning side.
+2
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
If the goal of the US in Vietnam was to kill a bunch of people then I'd say you are right. But the goal of the US in Vietnam was to keep South Vietnam out of the hands of the North Vietnamese. We lost. Why seems almost irrelevant. Enough casualties were inflicted on the US army, and enough resources bled out of the country, that eventually America lost the will the fight and had to completely abandon its goals.
+1
level ∞
Feb 18, 2018
This day in history: U.S. loses Vietnam War
+2
level 77
Feb 19, 2018
I know it's a satirical article... but the implication if I understand it there is just silly, QM. It was never North Vietnam's intention to conquer the United States. They wished to take over South Vietnam and unify the country, expelling the foreigners they saw as occupiers. They achieved all of their goals while the USA failed to achieve any of theirs. If Vietnam can't call that a win because they didn't go on to invade the USA... then I guess the US also lost the Revolutionary War against Britain.
+1
level 44
Apr 14, 2013
the invasion of Canada failed, yes. But like kalbahamut said, Canada was not the focus. It was mainly a war against Britain, which was won. On a side note, Americans at that time believed that Canadians, as a British colony, were like their brothers and would welcome "liberation" without much resistance. The purpose of taking Canada was to weaken the British Empire and help win the war, not just to take Canada for it's own sake.
+1
level 44
Sep 6, 2014
Is that true? I thought the northern British colonies (Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, PEI) were notorious for attracting and harboring Loyalists. I believe they (and West Florida) were all invited to the First Continental Congress and didn't go. If they wanted to join the Revolution they could have.
+1
level 77
Sep 7, 2014
As there was no Gallup or Rasmussen polling being done at the time such a claim is hard to verify or debunk.
+1
level 40
Dec 30, 2012
My understanding is that the US spends more on the military than all the other countries of the world combined.
+1
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
Oz also believes that near 50% of all Americans cannot find the USA on a map, and that Henry Ford helped plan the Holocaust. So...
+1
level 60
Feb 19, 2018
Well 20% can't find North Korea XD
+2
level 77
May 19, 2018
^ that statistic might actually be true and I wouldn't think you were a fool for believing it.
+1
level 44
Feb 7, 2013
south korea spends more than north korea?
+2
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
North Korea directs as much as 50% of their entire GDP toward military spending, according to some estimates, but their GDP is tiny compared to South Korea's. They have no real industry apart from their military-industrial complex.
+1
level 63
May 22, 2018
North Korea's entire economy is smaller than South Korea's military budget.
+1
level 44
May 9, 2013
So... if my math is correct... if the US were to cut its spending so that it was equal to that of China. it would save EVERY American man, woman, and child $1,838.48 per year?!?
+7
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
I don't know any children paying that much in taxes.
+1
level 21
May 19, 2013
everyone shut up about the USA's spending. We have the most advanced weaponry on this planet and the best of everything else. We could arguably defeat any and every other nation because of how awesome our stuff is
+4
level 77
Jun 17, 2013
Should it be a goal of the US or any country to be able to defeat the entire rest of the world in a war? What possible scenario can you come up with that this would even be necessary?
+1
level 83
Aug 29, 2014
It should be the goal of any entity that aspires to the office of "world police" to carry a bigger stick than any rogue element that might fail to meet the minimum standards of respect for state sovereignty, basic human rights, or peaceful coexistence upon which the UN charter was founded. The UN itself has no stick, except that with which the UNSC members provide it. And the UNSC is hogtied by the presence of several permanent members with veto power. So, more than any other country during the last half-century, the USA has taken the reins of "world police", most particularly when the rogue element in question impacts the economy or security of its own citizens. Do they have a perfect track record? No. But do they have a better track record than anybody else? Guess so, since there's really nobody else trying.
+3
level 77
Apr 12, 2016
Even if that's so, tschutzer, carrying a "bigger stick" doesn't mean you have to have a stick that equals the size of every other stick combined. That seems a little bit excessive.
+1
level 63
May 22, 2018
SOME OF the most advanced weaponry on the planet. Or have you not taken a look at the Royal Navy's Astute class submarines yet?
+1
level 21
Jun 9, 2013
20/20 and more than 1 minute left for the first time :). with uae i was guessing!
+1
level 35
Dec 10, 2013
Forgot Brazil, Spain, and Poland. Meh
+1
level 33
Dec 18, 2013
This type of quiz ought to have a date qualifier; UK for instance has greatly reduced it's defence spending recently.
+1
level 47
Feb 19, 2014
We're still 5th I think, ironically, we have overtaken France in the rankings. But I think basically all the countries have cut their military spending in the last few years. Having said that, I don't think that the British spending cuts have actually taken place yet, you give governments too much credit on the speed of their actions.
+1
level 63
May 22, 2018
Actually, defence spending has remained pretty much constant, with small incremental expansions of the budget. It's going down as a percentage of GDP, rather than in absolute terms.
+1
level 58
Jan 18, 2014
Really surprised that Netherlands was on there.
+1
level 18
Aug 11, 2014
Just missed Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Turkey
+1
level 72
Aug 22, 2014
Some very militarised countries like Vietnam and Burma and Pakistan aren't here. The lower military spending in many countries that are very active militarily will have a lot to do with the lower wage bills.
+1
level 83
Aug 29, 2014
That's certainly part of it, but only about 1/4 of US military spending goes to personnel pay and housing. Advanced weaponry and equipment are open-market items and are not subject to local wage restrictions. So I'm guessing that Burma doesn't have a very large fleet of stealth aircraft, nuclear submarines, or hypersonic railguns in their arsenal.
+1
level 68
Sep 6, 2014
Missed Taiwan and Turkey. I must be one of the few people who use this site to test my general knowledge, learn new facts and FOR FUN. I've got a headache after reading all the previous comments!
+1
level 31
Sep 6, 2014
15/21
+1
level 53
Sep 8, 2014
A defense budget of world conquest proportions. And if kalbah is taking about USA making sure other parts of the world are consistently in disarray and unstable than I guess that is there responsibility. It is reasonable to be imperialistic eh.
+1
level 77
Sep 10, 2014
::snore:: Bigoted American-bashing nonsense and ludicrously flimsy conspiracy theories that maintain the USA does the opposite of what it actually does aside (as declassified documents, leaked cables, and testimony from numerous whistle blowers have proven)... there is good reason why the period of relative global stability and peace of the last 70 years are referred to by intelligent people as the Pax Americana. and yes, the USA does shoulder enormous responsibility, as clearly evinced by the fact that they catch enormous flak for every decision they make to intervene, in any capacity, in any event around the world; while at the same time catching enormous flak for every decision they make to NOT intervene, in any capacity, in any event around the world. Some scenarios involving the sudden absence of the US on the world stage are as horrifying as they are probably inevitable. These things *should* be so completely obvious I feel pedantic having to mention them.
+1
level 52
Dec 4, 2014
Is it telling that the US spends more than the next 10 countries combined?
+1
level 58
Jul 14, 2015
The biggest surprise is Colombia making the list that otherwise only has Brazil from that region - no Chile, no Argentina.
+2
level 67
Apr 12, 2016
I think this quiz has more nonsensical comments than any other on the Jetpunk listing. All the individuals arguing the point above have their own agenda and support their beliefs with half truths, lies, myths, urban myths, propaganda and pure nonsense. No wonder the UN is impossible to organise.
+1
level 76
Apr 12, 2016
We are all our own best heroes.
+1
level 60
Oct 20, 2016
Yes, most of the above are either very defensive or very smug. Sure sign of lies.
+1
level 56
Apr 12, 2016
598 billion dollars is ridiculous.. the USA should really stop playing policeman of the world. Every time when they remove a dictator from a country, something worse comes. Not every country is ready for a democracy. America can better take away 300 billion of dollar and put it in the economy and infrastructure
+1
level 80
Jun 28, 2016
Sure, thanks for the advice!
+1
level 53
Feb 19, 2018
Genius idea, isn't it? It seems all too easy...
+1
level 50
Apr 12, 2016
As there are 196 recognised nations on our planet, with troops in approximately 150 of them, the U.S.A clearly has to spend a fortune. Spreading freedom through war for decades! It is all about protecting the petro dollar.
+2
level 77
Apr 12, 2016
All of these silly comments complaining about the USA's influence in the world, and nobody else is alarmed by how far up in the ranks Saudi Arabia has moved? You think the Americans are bad when you've got that as an alternative? To say nothing of China, Russia, India or North Korea. If the US went away and the top three military powers in the world were the PRC, the KSA, and Russia... yeah that would be much better.
+1
level 17
Apr 12, 2016
That is a problem that Saudi Arabia is so high up on the list but if Donald Trump becomes U.S. president he'll take sides with terrorist groups #DONALD TRUMP IS A LUNATIC
+2
level 59
Apr 12, 2016
Donald Trump is simply the far-rightist guy in the USA. There are tons of people like him in Europe, most of them in UKIP (UK, obviously) or Front National (France). There's even a far-rightist party in my home country (Estonia), it's called EKRE. And yes, they're all equally "lunatic", as you put it.
+2
level 71
Feb 20, 2018
I hope you've re-thought your assessment that ANYONE in Europe rivals Trump's lunacy, now that he actually is president.
+2
level 77
Apr 16, 2016
How do you know that? Everything Trump says he has contradicted at one point or another. He cares as much about truth as a gold fish cares about the stock market. There's no way of knowing what he would do as president, which in my opinion is what makes him really scary.
+1
level 38
Apr 14, 2016
Missed Algeria, the only African country in this quiz.
+1
level 45
Apr 15, 2016
Brazil?? i just guessed the biggest countries on the world
+1
level 45
Apr 15, 2016
i just wrote arabia!!
+4
level 77
Apr 20, 2016
Did they write back?
+1
level 13
Apr 23, 2016
I find it hilarious how little spending actually means when it comes to military might.
+1
level 77
May 19, 2018
What on Earth do you mean? All of these countries have pretty respectable militaries. The biggest expenditures : might ratio disparity I see is Saudi Arabia. They spend a ton on high-priced equipment but still don't have a very capable military. But the rest of the countries on the list? Who isn't listed that you think could take on the US, China, or Russia?
+1
level 39
Jun 13, 2016
I always forget South Korea in ever quiz :-( Surprised North Korea isn't on this list.
+1
level 63
May 22, 2018
North Korea just has an utterly tiny economy, and they don't pay their troops or update their equipment.
+1
level 29
Aug 31, 2016
Surprised not to see Turkey, Pakistan, Iran and Indonesia there. Especially shocking is Algeria is bigger spender than all of them.
+1
level 29
Aug 31, 2016
Also intersting is, UK spends almost two times more than France and yet it is not clear, if their army is not actually the weaker one of these.
+1
level 27
Dec 1, 2016
OK, I'm American, and I agree with some of the opinions about why the US needs a larger than average military budget, especially the funding of research, which is not just applicable to weapons. I have very mixed feelings about foreign aid, and I am usually against the idea of policing the world, with some exceptions. The problem that I have with our budget is that not only do we spend the most, we spend almost as much as the other top 20 nations combined (US 598, other 19 total, 692). It seems to me that about a third of that would be more reasonable, and we would still be the biggest military spender on the planet.
+1
level 77
May 19, 2018
Foreign aid is used both as an important tool for diplomacy and also as an investment that usually sees manyfold returns in the form of developing stable economies and trade relationships. It benefits the US in a lot of ways to fight the spread of dangerous disease, to stabilize disaster-struck areas and reduce the number of displaced refugees, to fight international terrorist organizations, and many of the other things that foreign aid dollars go toward. The percentage of the US budget that goes toward this is negligible. In terms of things the US spends money on that end up being worth it this is somewhere near they top- maybe beaten out by NASA, the NSF, or public broadcasting. If you want to look at budget line items that cost a ton and give us nothing in return, look at the obscenely large tax breaks and subsidies given to banks, corporations, oil companies and the wealthy. These things cost us trillions of dollars and produce little or no benefit. But Trump is expanding on this.
+1
level 58
May 19, 2018
Here, here. No further questions your honour.
+1
level 28
Jun 30, 2017
Algeria?!?!?!?!?!
+1
level 45
Jan 4, 2018
Thinking of australia...said no....then Taiwan midway through typing...time ends
+1
level 61
Feb 19, 2018
Imagine all that money being spent on health research, environmental issues, space exploration, ...
+1
level 45
Aug 29, 2019
Imagine all that money being spent on stabilizing world peace, Oh wait, it is.
+1
level 79
Feb 19, 2018
I still don't believe that Algeria has a bigger military budget than Indonesia.
+3
level 66
Feb 23, 2018
I'm surprised Israel has to spend any money at all on the military. A significant minority of the US Congress are dual citizens who put Israel's interests before America's
+2
level 77
May 19, 2018
It's a common misconception that the United States bankrolls the Israeli military; or, an even more egregious misconception- that Israel doesn't have its own military and it's actually the US that fights its wars for it. I've encountered some people who believe the latter.

This misconception is almost entirely disconnected from reality. Israelis have been defending themselves since the creation of their nation and Americans have never been as crucial to that as many believe. Prior to May 1948 it was the Czechs who were Israel's biggest arms supplier, though Israelis were manufacturing munitions and weapons themselves in secret under the noses of the British occupiers. After independence, France became the nation's most important ally. It wasn't really until the 1960s that the US began to intervene more in Israeli affairs- and it often wasn't on the side of the Israelis! When Israel conspired with France and the UK to capture the Sinai from Egypt, it was the USA that forced them
+2
level 77
May 19, 2018
to return it. When Syria and Egypt launched a surprise unprovoked invasion of Israel on Yom Kippur, and in a matter of days were stymied, repulsed, beaten into retreat- when Israel's armies were within striking distance of seizing both Cairo and Damascus, it was the USA that negotiated peace and made them go back.
The US does give money to Israeli defense. And some non-military aid, as well. But the amount of money they give is a drop in the bucket next to Israel's total defense budget. It's also much smaller than the total amount of aid the US gives to all of nearby Arab and Muslim countries and Palestine.
US politicians talk a lot about Israeli security. But that's not because they care so much about it, usually. It's because Florida is a swing state and it's full of old Jews who have nothing better to do on election day than go out and vote. Only once in a long while does someone get into office so dumb as to confuse rhetoric with real policy, like the current president.
+1
level 38
May 19, 2018
Yes! 100% first try!
+1
level 67
May 19, 2018
Algeria? Who are they arming themselves against and how are they funding it?
+3
level 77
May 19, 2018
Arming themselves against: France, Nigeria, Libya, Morocco, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, paranoid delusional fantasies about Zionists.
funding it with: oil.
+2
level 69
May 20, 2018
+ those scheming Belgians.
+1
level 73
Dec 19, 2018
And of course domestic terrorists/rebels
+1
level 51
May 21, 2018
Got them all (including Algeria which was a random guess) except for Canada, because I wouldn't have thought of them whatsoever. I'm shocked that many more obvious choices, such as the more militarised South American countries along the likes of Colombia would be on the list.
+1
level 77
May 22, 2018
Lives and bullets are cheap. The countries who show up on this list spend more on technology and sophisticated military hardware than Colombia can afford to, even if Colombia is more militarized.
+3
level 63
May 22, 2018
With Donald Trump at the helm with his tiny, money grabbing hands, I am getting worried about the increases in American defence spending, especially now he's unilaterally decided to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. Trump might be the catalyst that starts a major international war. The capability to win it doesn't help those who'll die.
+1
level 61
Jul 30, 2018
Wow, that's embarrassing... Germany spends that much on military but all the stuff falls apart.
+1
level 82
Aug 6, 2018
I'm glad that I live in Finland.
+1
level 46
Jan 30, 2019
Is nobody going to talk about why algeria is on here?
+2
level 77
May 8, 2019
We were, literally 5 comments up the page.
+1
level 49
May 8, 2019
No wonder America has no money for health care and education. Maybe if they didn't invade countries for no reason at all (i.e. Iraq) they might have money to make life better for people in the country. The idea that other countries can spend less on the military because America spends more and has their backs is false. Other countries (wealthy western countries) spend less because they don't start unnecessary wars with others and they don't anger other countries who then threaten them (North Korea, Russia.) Having said all of that, the biggest threat today is not missiles, it's cyber attacks and as we have seen first hand, the current US admin. isn't doing much about it.
+2
level 77
Aug 29, 2019
the biggest threat is the current administration
+1
level 65
Aug 29, 2019
The absence of Pakistan surprised me. They've been preparing to annihilate India for decades. Also they're one of the most populous countries in the world, so they should have some money to spend.