Saturday, March 27, 2010

Europe is not a DMZ

Matt Yglesias makes a good point graphically:

Europe is not a demilitarized zone.

5 comments:

CJWilly said...

The world is relatively demilitarized today (even the U.S.). It is all relative. 20 years ago still Europe was the home of the biggest assemblage of nuclear and conventional weapons in human history. Lucky nobody ever lit that bonfire. Where defense once meant 10% of GDP for many country, now you can count it on the fingers of one hand. Et c'est tres bien !

Anonymous said...

Why people like to use a lot of money in the field of military, but not more on education, healthcare and so on..... so bad..... :(

Boz said...

Come on, we know statistics are misleading at best. This says nothing about the actual burden per capita, in which case a poorer country like Greece would score much higher, while a richer country like the Netherlands would be much lower. Plus, although there's a link, spending does not equal capability. Almost none of those countries (France/UK are somewhat exceptions) has the air and sea lift capability to project power much beyond their own borders, where it so happens every problem conveniently lies.

Eric Brandom said...

"...beyond their own borders, where it so happens every problem conveniently lies."

guns and tanks are not only used overseas for 'defense,' but also at home for 'security.' police power these days is increasingly militarized, in France as in the US. It would be interesting to see numbers about spending on this kind of thing. i assume the french 'defense' budget does not include the CRS?

Unknown said...

Eric, The bulk of military spending is for high-technology weaponry, not troops. One can have a lot of police power for very little money. But I'm curious about your impression that the French are spending a great deal on police and using the military for domestic police purposes. I don't think so. Compared with the 1950s and 60s, when violent revolution was a real possibility and the police were everywhere, and highly militarized, it seems to me that domestic police activity is much reduced and concentrated on a few "sensitive" zones.