The large slice of the global military spending pie, shared by the United States and its allies, will get significantly smaller by 2015, according to a report by a leading think tank.
Spending by the U.S., NATO, Japan, South Korea, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, dropped to 72% of the world’s military spending in 2010. Although still maintaining the largest chunk of global spending, that number is set to plunge further to 66% by 2015, the Council on Foreign Relations says.
The U.S. contribution to the pie has also dwindled over the past five years, due to faster foreign growth, and “in the absence of a new sense of insecurity,” the report predicts this trend is likely to continue.
The International Monetary Fund puts U.S. GDP growth lower than that of other military powers, meaning less money for the country to spend–a major reason for the report’s prediction.
For example in 2012 the IMF predicts the U.S. economy will grow by 2.7%, but China’s economy is predicted to grow by 9.5%.
Despite the forecast for a lessened role in global spending the U.S. is invested heavily in its military, especially the equipment used. “Just to tread water,” the report says, the U.S. must spend about 1% of its GDP to maintain military hardware alone. In 2010 that would have amounted to approximately $146 billion.