Defense Spending also help boost the Economy
"What has happened in Ukraine is a wake-up call and a reminder that we can't take our security for granted..." said the outgoing NATO's Secretary General, A.F.Rasmussen. Russia has over the last 5 years increased its defense spending by 50% while NATO allies on average have decreased theirs by 20%.However, the 28 members together spent US$ 270 billion on defense in 2013, which is significant. Yet, more than 50% of the fighter jets, helicopter gunships and tanks are considered as non-operational. NATO's member countries should devote 2% of their GDP to military expenditures. But this figure includes the military retirement pensions and should therefore be considered cautiously.The Eastern European countries have pledged to increase their defense spending to NATO's 2% target by 2016.But France has decided to freeze its defense budget and the UK already has cut its defense spending. Now, Russia's new diplomatic position regarding Eastern European countries has forced Western capitals to reassess their military needs. And the pressure from fundamentalist terrorist groups in Africa, the Middle East but also in Europe is another important reason to rethink or shift military budgets. But defense spending must be increased for both security and economic reasons.It will also have an effect on investment in research and technology. And, in any event, the current situation- Europe's military expenditures represent on average 1% of the countries' GDP- is not sustainable.It does not respond to the current challenges. Furthermore, in a period of economic stagnation military stimulus spending would be very useful for the whole of the European economy.