Europe Doesn’t Have A Russia Problem, They Have A Military Spending Problem

It’s odd to see all the panic around Russia’s potential military ambitions in Europe, panic coming from countries that could easily counter Russia if they truly felt it necessary.

Take a look at the chart below, showing military expenditures as a percentage of GDP among major powers:

Image result for Russia military spending EU chart
Chart from the Economist

What the chart makes clear is that Russia’s military might – or the perception of it – is solely because of their willingness to spend a higher percentage of their GDP on weapons.

It’s that simple.

For example, Russia and Italy have roughly the same nominal GDP. The average Italian citizen is over 2 times richer than the average Russian.

This means that Italy – on its own – could have a military comparable to Russia’s if they were willing to spend enough.

Europe would rather complain than act

It seems the European Union would rather complain about Russia’s perceived military strength than actually do something about it.

This gives the impression that Russia’s perceived power comes more from the perception that they are willing to spend more and go to further lengths to have a strong military.

All it would take to change that is a shift in mindset.

But so long as Europe prefers to complain, unnecessary fear of Russia will continue to grow.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – Twitter

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