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I mostly agree, but the EU doesn't by far spend as much on defence as the US does. The Americans spend about $1900 per capita, the EU about $600. Furthermore, the US gets huge economies of scale because they have one military (even though with huge inter-service rivalries) instead of 27 different militaries.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 05:15:51 AM EST
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I was accepting Jerome's assertion, (Except this is not even true,) at face value.  Your figure is closer to what I recalled, along with the fragmentation of forces into so many pieces and a command structure tailor made for US use only.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 10:15:59 AM EST
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Maybe Jerome was referring to European NATO members (including Turkey), however, the EU has more people, so the lower per capita spending isn't equivalent with equally lower total spending. I have read something like Europe is spending 70% of the US, but that was before the most recent increases in the US, while e.g. in Germany military spending probably didn't even increase with inflation.

But what is the use of higher military spending? Alone France and Germany for sure are spending a similar amount of money as Russia. There is just no way how Russia could win a conventional war against the EU, even if the US would stay out completely. Even during the cold war, most likely the Warsaw pact would have lost a conventional war in Europe. Now the Baltics, Poland, eastern Germany,.... have joined the west. If at all our defending capabilities against an conventional land strike are unecessary big, not too small.
Furthermore it is possible, that Russia is especially suspicious of NATO enlargement, because NATO is already so strong. One can reasonably ask, as a non-NATO member, what are these guys preparing for with all their weaponry? Who is spending so much money he could spend for other things on defense, if he doesn't want to do provocative things?

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Sun Aug 17th, 2008 at 05:27:38 PM EST
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