The North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 2011 collectively spent less money on defense, new figures released by the alliance indicate.
On several key fronts, the commitment from NATO members appears to be in decline. The alliance’s collective expenditure in relation to GDP is down to 3.0% from 3.4% the year prior. Last year saw no country’s defense expenditure to GDP ratio increase.
Twenty-four alliance members spent less than 2% of GDP on defense – one of the few exception is Greece, of all countries.
NATO’s collective defense spending in 2011 was $1.04 trillion (largely driven by the more than $700 billion in U.S. outlays). That figure is down from $1.08 trillion the year before.
In most countries, personnel costs take the largest share of the budget. At the high end is Romania, with 80%; the U.S. is at the low-end, with 41.4%. Turkey leads the way in the percentage going to equipment, with 28.6%.