Eastern Europe’s defense spending has slowed in recent years, a trend that leaves it vulnerable to Russian aggression, writes Max Boot. While countries like the U.S. can help if needed, countries like Georgia and Hungary must bolster their own security and deter any Russian aggression by spending more of their GDP on defense and increasing the standing numbers of their militaries.
Authors: Wan-Jung Chao, Gregory Sanders, and Guy Ben-Ari
Since 2001, Europe finds itself increasingly involved in international military operations. In light of this upsurge in military preparations and deployments, the Center for Strategic & International Studies created this report to track trends in European defense spending. Ultimately, if government spending is an indicator of the priority given to policy areas, understanding trends in defense spending can shed light on whether Europe is indeed serious about improving its military capabilities.
Over the coming months, Congress will continue to debate President Bush’s record $3.1 trillion budget request. Although the Democrats and Republicans do not see eye to eye on many issues, they are in total agreement that national security should receive the highest budgetary priority. Regardless of the rhetoric that this spending makes America safer, the proposed budget continues the trend of placing inordinate emphasis on offensive military strength at the expense of homeland security, argues Scott Borgerson.
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