Russia uses force to 'recover lost glory', says Obama
During his last UN address as a US president, Barack Obama has accused Russia of trying to recover “lost glory” through the means of military power, though Russia is far behind the US both in military spending and deployments abroad.
“In a world that left the age of empire behind, we see Russia attempting to recover lost glory through force,” the US leader said Tuesday, addressing the UN General Assembly.
But when it comes to cold hard figures, Moscow is way surpassed by Washington in terms of its defense budget, as well as its military presence abroad.
Russia has allocated over 3 trillion rubles ($46 billion) for its military spending in 2016, which amounts to around 20 percent of the country’s total budget for the respective year.
The US, however, has allocated 11 times more than Russia for the same cause. According to the Department of Defense, the budget for the military spending in 2016 amounts to $585 billion. Last year, Washington spent over $560 billion on defense, which amounted to 54 percent of the country’s total budget.
In fact, Washington spends more on defense than the other top five military spenders combined, including China and Russia.
The US also has the upper hand when it comes to its military presence abroad. According to Gazeta.ru, Russian maintains a military base in Tajikistan (7,500 servicemen), Belorussia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan (400 servicemen), Abkhazia (4,000 servicemen) and shares a military facility in Vietnam.
In Syria, the Russian Air Force is using Kheimim base to conduct airstrikes against terrorists at the request of the country’s president, Bashar Assad. Moscow also has a navy re-supply base in the Syrian port city of Tartus. Russian peacekeepers are present in South Ossetia (4,000 servicemen) and Transdnestr.
For comparison, the US military is represented in at least 74 countries with nearly 800 bases, according to The Nation magazine.
Germany alone hosts over 140 facilities, with some 40,000 American troops, QUARTZ says, citing official numbers. And the foreign military presence costs US taxpayers a pretty penny.
The American taxpayer is forking over between $10,000 and $40,000 more annually for maintaining a single military unit abroad, compared to the same expenditure in the US, the Nation reports.
One of the key spending areas for the US has been its foreign military involvement, such as in Afghanistan, where the US military is still present with thousands of troops after 15 years of war.
According to the US Congress, the American campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have resulted in huge spending of $1.6 trillion.