US prepares to downsize its military

Top 15 national military budgets

Top 15 National Military Budgets
Source: BBC/The UK International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

As United States defense secretary Chuck Hagel leads a cost-cutting drive that would pare down the US military to its smallest size since after World War Two, there will probably be a lot of rancor on Capitol Hill, considering the US is gearing up for midterm elections in November.

It is useful to consider the 2013 US military budget relative to that of other countries. The UK International Institute for Strategic Studies graphic shows the size of the US military budget relative to those of the next 14 largest militaries.

Note the US military budget is roughly the size of the combined military budgets of the other 14 countries. Note also the size of the Saudi Arabian military budget which is the forth largest, superseded by only the US, China, and Russia, and note that of Iran which is the smallest of the fifteen.

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