The international news agency Washington ProFile with reference to “averaged data of the CIA” published data on the military expenditures of various countries. It is said that the largest military budgets in the world belong to the following countries: US ($600 billion), China ($81.4 billion), UK ($42.8 billion), France ($45 billion), Japan ($44.3 billion), Germany ($35 billion), Italy ($28.1 billion), South Korea ($28.1 billion), Russia and India ($21 billion each).
The top twenty countries according to the volume of military expenditures also includes Saudi Arabia, Australia, Turkey, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, Taiwan and Mexico. Fifteen countries account for 83% of the aggregate military expenditures of humankind. The US alone accounts for about 46%.
Along with this, it is said that various research structures estimate the real military expenditures of the countries in different ways.
The agency reports, “Differences can be very significant. For example, with regard to the military expenditures of China there are three estimates – $62.5 billion (International Institute for Strategic Studies); $44.3 billion (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) and $81.4 billion (CIA). It is said that it is impossible to estimate the military budget of Russia with sufficient accuracy too: $21 billion (CIA), $61.9 billion (IISS) or $64.4 billion (SIPRI).”
There is a need for explanation at this point. The military budget regularly and openly is published in the law on the budget of the country for a new year. In the case of conversion of rubles into dollars, it turns out that in 2007, the military budget of Russia amounts to $30.99 billion or 2.63% of the GDP. Military expenditures are growing annually. Thus, in 2008, Russia will spend almost $40 billion on defense. Incidentally, in 2006 the military expenditures of Russia amounted only to $23.1 billion or 2.74% of the GDP. This is not much but Russia makes a certain contribution to the arms race on the planet anyway.
According to various estimates, the aggregate military budget of the world in 2006 varies from $948.5 billion to $1.2 trillion. In percentage of the GDP the biggest military expenditures are registered in North Korea – 43% of the GDP, Saudi Arabia – 10%, Israel – 9%, Turkey – 5.3%, Singapore – 4.9%, China and Greece – 4.3% each.
The biggest armed forces are in China (2.25 million people), US (1.4 million), India (1.3 million), North Korea (1.1 million) and Russia (slightly more than 1 million). However, the world leader according to quantity of reservists who can be drafted in case of war is Japan (more than 44 million reservists, whereas the Japanese armed forces have approximately 240,000 servicemen). The largest reserves are also in Russia (about 20 million people), North Korea (4.7 million), Taiwan (1.6 million), US (1.3 million) and India (1.15 million).
Research centers justly say that the world leader according to quantity of tanks is Russia (22,800). Meanwhile, there are a lot of tanks also in the armed forces of the US (7,620) and China (7,580). There are tanks also in Syria (4,600), Turkey (4,200), India (almost 4,000), Egypt (3,900), Israel (almost 3,700), Pakistan (2,500) and Germany (2,400).
Russia is also the world leader according to the quantity of armored combat vehicles (combat infantry vehicles, armored personnel carriers etc) having more than 15,000 of them. The US has about 6,700 of them, Germany has 2,300, Syria has 2,200. The US has 3,856 combat airplanes, Russia has 2,118, India – 886, Syria -632, Egypt – 572, South Korea -556, Taiwan – 479, Turkey – 445, Germany – 417, UK – 354.
China has the biggest quantity of fire support helicopters (2,643). It is followed up by the US (1,625), Russia (628), Germany (199), UK (126), Egypt (115) and Taiwan (101). The largest navy is in the US (118 large-tonnage combat ships without submarines). Russia has 66 ships, China – 63, India – 54, Japan – 53, South Korea – 43, UK and France – 34 each, Taiwan – 32.
Thus, Russia possesses a sufficiently big military potential but it is much inferior to the military potential of the US and other developed countries.