Ludwig von Gress
Poor, benighted Trump made another shocking faux pas. He dared to say that Europe should contribute more to its defense. North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries are bound to spend no less than 2% of their respective Gross Domestic Product on their safety. Very few do.
Statistics, to put it mildly, are unreliable. Governments are habitually lying and government statistics? Dishonesty squared. Further, official defence expenditure figures are subject to strategic deception. If you are weak you may try to deter your potential enemies by inflating the numbers, or alternatively you may try to lull your target countries into complacency by pretending your are spending hardly anything at all. Luftwaffe? What Luftwaffe?
I have to ignore, for lack of space, so woolly figures as GDP.
Not all money spent on military serves the ostensible purpose. Spending on horseshoes in 1950, Atari computers in 1995 or F-35 today is counted as defense spending, though the contribution to a state’s war waging ability is minimal.
One of the sad examples: “The Defense Department on Tuesday denied it tried to quash a 2015 study that found it could save $125 billion in noncombat administrative programs but admitted it has so far only found a small fraction of those savings.
As Stars and Stripes’ Travis Tritten reports (via Military.com), the department hopes to save $7.9 billion during the next five years through recommendations in the study of back-office waste, which itself cost about $9 million to complete, the Defense Department’s acting deputy chief management officer told a House panel.”
Australia’s defense spending is allegedly 1.9% of GDP which at glance is not too bad. However, if the costs of the submarines which are greater danger to the sailors in them than to anything else on the seas; the grossly inflated, shelter workshop civilian administration; the feel-good, planet saving and LGBT II appeasing programmes are deducted, the real figure is probably a half of the official one.