The North Atlantic Treaty is based on one method – to accept the political and military union of 30 member countries. They all have responsibilities to others during the war, but some countries have much stronger military and defense systems than others.
Using data from NATO for 2021, Visual Capitalist created a map of budgets, which each country spends on its defense.
The United States spends more than any other NATO country. In 2021 the defense cost the country around $811 billion. Meanwhile, the defense spending of all other NATO countries together amounted to $363 billion – $488 billion less than the United States.
NATO is one of the ten countries with the highest defense spending:
- USA – $811,140 billion;
- Great Britain – $72,765 billion;
- Germany – $64,785 billion;
- France – $58,729 billion;
- Italy – $29,763 billion;
- Canada – $26,523 billion;
- Spain – $14,875 billion;
- Netherlands – $14,378 billion;
- Poland – $13,369 billion;
- Turkey – $13,057 billion.
NATO is based on growing security and technology for common security. However, not all countries are making the same efforts in this direction. The mutual aim for European members of the organization is the expenses for the defense in the amount of 2% from GDP till 2024. However, the majority of the countries did not want to do it, although now due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine they are already reviewing their budgets for defense spending and plan to increase them.
One of the key principles on which NATO is based is collective defense – an act of aggression against one member state means aggression against all.
Besides the defense expenses, the organization also has the running costs of its maintenance. It costs about $3 billion a year.
The top ten countries with the largest share of spending are included:
- USA – 16,36%
- Germany – 16,36%
- Great Britain – 11,29%
- France – 10,50%
- Italy – 8,79%
- Canada – 6,88%
- Spain – 6,00%
- Turkey – 4,73%
- Nertherlands – 3,45%
- Poland – 2,99%
These and other countries are funded by civilian salaries and the management of NATO Headquarters. They also pay for strategic teams, joint operations, early warning and radar systems, training, and the necessary infrastructure such as harbors, airfields, communications and fuel systems.