Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Netherlands reconsiders the bear

Yes, from an American context it looks like a rounding error ... but every sign of turn towards the minimum of 2% of GDP is important;
he Netherlands on Tuesday announced it will ramp up military spending in the years ahead in response to rising geopolitical tensions and criticism that austerity-driven cutbacks have crippled the country's military.

The Dutch government will increase spending by €100 million ($129 million) a year and free up money for emergency aid in war-torn regions, Dutch King Willem-Alexander said in a speech ahead of the government's 2015 budget presentation.

The government is not reversing cutbacks currently under way, which means the Netherlands still falls short of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's spending guidelines.
The Netherlands currently spends around 1.3% of its gross domestic product on the military, well below the NATO guideline of 2%.
Let's try to translate that on a national basis.

This is too simple and inexact, but roll with me here. The Netherlands has a population of ~17 million. USA has a population of ~316 million.

If you adjust that $129 million, on a per-capita basis that would be as if the US defense budget was increased by $2.4 billion.

Not pocket change.

Have every NATO nation increase their spending on their military by that amount, then perhaps Russia will take NATO a bit more seriously.

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