How and Why Russia Has Come to Be Such a Military Powerhouse

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Eric Zuesse

America, which nominally spends around 37% of the world’s military expenses, but actually spends around 50% by financing some of its necessary military expenses in other-than-military (i.e., non-Pentagon) categories, such as the Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Justice Department, and U.S. Treasury Department, has, ever since the 1975 termination (and American defeat) in its war against Vietnam, had a long history of losing wars that it had expected to win, and of Pyrrhically (or futilely) ‘winning’ other wars (such as against Iraq, and Libya) that produced nothing but destruction — all costs, and no benefits, to anybody (except to the billionaires in American-and-allied oil, gas, armaments, and high-tech companies). The biggest winners of America’s recent wars have actually been America’s billionaires (look at this graph, which shows that ever since the 1991 termination of the Cold War on Russia’s side, America’s armaments-makers’ profits soared, instead of plunged), but the targeted countries experience only destruction, and the American public experience only taxes (and a few corpses, plus many crippled former troops), in order to jack-up, even yet higher, America’s economic inequality (boosting the billionaires’ armament-firms, at everybody else’s expense) — it just grinds the public down, in order to further-enrich America’s billionaires. And none of those invaded countries had ever invaded or threatened to invade the United States! This isn’t merely evil, but it’s been pure waste. In fact: the U.S. ‘Defense’ Department is the ONLY unaudited Department of the U.S. federal Government; and, routinely, trillions of dollars spent there have gone to persons unknown, for purposes unrecorded. And yet, the U.S. military is the most-respected of all American institutions, by the (incredibly deceived) American people (since the same billionaires control the press who control the armaments-makers and the extraction-corporations — and select and promote the winning politicians).

By contrast, ever since Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia on the final day of the 20th Century (31 December 1999) — and immediately told Russia’s billionaires that they’d never again control Russia (like they had done under Yeltsin, who was himself controlled by the CIA) and that they would be prosecuted if they even tried to — Russia has never lost a war that it participated in, and hasn’t produced evil results like America has done in America’s 46 “Military Operations” since 1 January 2000.

The U.S. ‘Defense’ Department (or Pentagon) is the organization that shells out trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to buy the phenomenally overpriced products of firms such as Lockheed Martin; and, as a result, Russia, which never privatized its armaments-production but retained Government-control over all of its armaments-manufacturers, doesn’t need to worry about the country’s billionaires when deciding how much and what to spend on its weapons — and (also unlike the U.S.) it does audit where that money went, and who got each ruble that was spent. So: the difference is like the difference between night and day (just as the results have been).

Here are the latest Wikipedia lists of how much each country spent on the “Military” during the latest official year (but notice that the figures shown for the U.S. are ONLY what the Pentagon’s budget was — it’s a considerable deceit, a big understatement):

List by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

2022 Fact Sheet (for 2021)[1]

SIPRI Military Expenditure Database[5]

Rank Country Spending

(US$ bn) % of GDP % of Global Spending

World total 1,981 2.4 100%

1  United States 778.0 3.7 39%

2  China[a] 252.0 1.7 13%

3  India 72.9 2.9 3.7%

4  Russia 61.7 4.3 3.1%

5  United Kingdom 59.2 2.7 3.0%

6  Saudi Arabia[a][b] 57.5 8.4 2.9%

7  Germany 52.8 1.4 2.7%

8  France 52.7 2.1 2.7%

9  Japan 49.1 1.0 2.5%

10  South Korea 45.7 2.8 2.3%

11  Italy 28.9 1.6 1.5%

12  Australia 27.5 2.1 1.4%

13  Canada 20.8 1.3 1.1%

14  Israel 21.7 5.6 1.1%

15  Brazil 19.7 1.4 1.0%

List by the International Institute for Strategic Studies

2022 edition of “The Military Balance” from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)

Top 15 Defence Budgets 2021[6]

Rank Country Spending

(US$ bn)

1  United States 738.0

2  China 193.3

3  India 64.1

4  United Kingdom 61.5

5  Russia 60.6

6  France 56.8

7  Germany 51.3

8  Japan 49.7

9  Saudi Arabia 48.5

10  South Korea 40.4

11  Australia 31.3

12  Italy 29.3

13  Brazil 22.1

14  Canada 20.0

15  Israel 19.9


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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February 26, 2022

Sir, you are very correct in your analysis, but to be fair to the US in Vietnam, technically they were fighting China, ditto in the war in Korea.. The Chinese supplied weapons to both Korea and Vietnam, and probably technical expertise.. In the interviews with president Vadimir Putin, he made clear that he would Not make the mistakes of the old Soviet Union in having a bloated military budget. The Russians have made massive technological advances in weaponry, without trying to ape the US with it’s massive military spending. RUSSIA has now hypersonic missiles, and hypersonic gliders, things the US… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Ozy
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
February 26, 2022

Just building an over All picture,of the rise of Russian power, and it’s reasons for using force to defend it’s self against Western military alliances,I’m just an amateur pundit, like most people on here, but also interested in Not having World War 3.

Last edited 4 months ago by Ozy
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
February 26, 2022

A hundred minutes to midnight,the reason I put my two cents in..

February 26, 2022
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