This month, Bank of America released a map in its Transforming World Atlas that shows just how much the US dwarfs the rest of the world in defense spending. The chart illustrates how America’s military budget surpasses our next 15 closest rivals—combined.
It’s little surprise then, that with only 5% of Earth’s population, the US military budget makes up nearly half of the planet’s defense spending.
Let’s face it—assuming the role of world police has real costs. It’s estimated that the Pentagon spends more money each year than all 50 states combined on health, education, welfare, and public safety put together. With our national debt expected to reach 21 trillion by the end of the fiscal year and our geopolitical rivals so clearly far behind, diagrams like these should give us pause. We’ve got hundreds of bases in at least 74 countries, and troops present in almost every country on earth.
America still can and should be a global leader, but that doesn’t require us to fill that globe with our military footprint.