Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Iran's Military Budget: "Roughly the Same as Sweden's"

The US power elite want Americans to believe that Iran will dominate the Middle East if America doesn't stop it. Paul Krugman expertly deflates the politics of fear: "we're talking about a country with roughly the G.D.P. of Connecticut, and a government whose military budget is roughly the same as Sweden's" ("Fearing Fear Itself," New York Times, 29 October 2007). Even compared with its neighbors', Iran's defense spending is quite modest. See Kaveh Ehsani's table below ("Iran: The Populist Threat to Democracy," Middle East Report 241, Winter 2006).
 

Total Defense Spending
(in dollars)

Per Capita Defense Spending
(in dollars)

Percentage of GDP

Active-Duty Armed Forces
(thousands)

Iran

4.1 billion

60

2.7

420

Turkey

10.1 billion

146

3.3

514

Israel

9.7 billion

1,561

8.2

168

Saudi Arabia

21 billion

810

8.8

199

Kuwait

4 billion

1,770

7.8

15

UAE

2.6 billion

1,025

2.8

50

Pakistan

3.3 billion

20

3.5

619

Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies, The Military Balance 2005-2006 (London, 2005)

See, also, "What Is Hegemonic about Iran?" Neo-Resistance, 29 October 2007.

4 comments:

bobw said...

What exactly is Saudi Arabia doing with all that military? Looks like a case of conspicuous consumption.

Evan said...

Saudi Arabia's percent of GDP falls in line with other countries, just a small percent more, it seems to me that they just have a lot more money to spend. They have much fewer numbers of active duty that other countries, anyway.

Naj said...

Oh this is excellent. I should leave a link to you as well.

Kemjika said...

US is also frustrated with iran because it develops and produced alot of its military weapons. THis helps them reduce cost and have great familiarity with weapons, which is what the saudis lack. Saudis have the latest american weapons, but they are not as enthusiastic militarily, and don't train to master the weapons and tech they possess.