Photo: flickr user: isafmedia
The U.S. may be pulling back troops from Europe, but it doesn’t appear countries there are ready to pick up the slack.Countries in the region spend well below what the U.S. spends annually on defence, even as a percentage of the GDP.
We’ve taken a look at how military spending compares to GDP across the region, finding the European countries that might end up freeloading on the defence budgets of others.
For reference, the US spends 5.25% of its GDP on the military. Oman spends 11.40% of its GDP, the highest in the world.
GDP: $197.5 Billion
defence: $2.567 Billion
A member of NATO, Denmark contributes troops to various efforts, including 750 to Afghanistan (dropping to 650 in 2012). Thule Air Base, operated by the U.S. Airforce, is in Greenland, within the Kingdom of Denmark.
GDP: $383 Billion
defence: $4.979 Billion
NATO HQ is located in Brussels, Belgium. The central command post of NATO, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, are located Casteau, north of the Belgian city of Mons. Belgium contributes troops to various NATO efforts, including Afghanistan and Libya.
GDP: $6.59 Billion
defence: $80 Million
Montenegro is a partner of NATO and has hopes to join the organisation. However, Janes wrote earlier this year that the 'small Army of Montenegro (AoM) is a joint defence force that possesses little or no combat capability, is barely capable of minimal national security tasks such as border and coastal security and is unable to exercise effective national air policing.'
GDP: $32.31 Billion
defence: $387.72 Million
Another Baltic state, Latvia is also a member of NATO. In 2010 the country auctioned off a former-Soviet military base to raise money.
Due to their limited resources, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia band together with NATO to protect their airspace.
GDP: $39.08 Billion
defence: $351.72 Million
The country has no navy or air force, and its army only has around 430 professional soldiers, about 340 enlisted recruits, and 110 civilians. It has contributed troops to various peacekeeping operations.
GDP: $12.09 Billion (Iceland), $4.16 Billion (Liechtenstein), $9.76 Million (Monaco)
Iceland the only member of NATO with no standing military, yet it has a small armed coast guard, air defence systems, and a small peacekeeping force. The U.S. military used to have a base on the island but withdrew in 2006.
Liechtenstein has no military. Its police force only has around 85 officers.
The Vatican has no miltiary. Military support is provided by Italy.
San Marino has no regular military force (ceremonial functions are peformed by volunteers). Military support is provided by Italy.
Monaco has no regular military force - The Palace Guard performs ceremonial duties and defence is the responsibility of France.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.