Israel spends almost 200 times more per capita on its military machine than Iran’s defence spending, comparative military expenditures compiled by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) revealed.
In its latest Military Balance, the London-based institute cited the defence spending of Israel at Dlrs 9.8 billion in 2005, nearly twice the amount for Iran, despite having a population of less than a tenth of Iran’s 65 million.
In per capita terms, Iran’s military expenditure in 2005 was equivalent to only Dlrs 81 compared to Dlrs 1,565 spent by Israel, which was almost the same as the US and twice the proportion spent by the UK.
Iran’s proportion per head was also less than half the average of Dlrs 193 spent by other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The highest per capita military expenditure in the Persian Gulf was by Qatar, Dlrs 2,547, ahead of Kuwait’s Dlrs 1,885, the UAE’s Dlrs 999, Saudi Arabia’s Dlrs 960 and Bahrain’s 726, while Iran was by far the lowest.
In real terms, Saudi Arabia’s defence spending of Pnds 25 bn in 2005 was almost five times that of Iran’s despite having less than half the population.
Military Balance also showed that US military expenditure of Dlrs 495 bn was almost twice the total spending by other NATO countries and accounted for more than 40 per cent of the world’s total.
Among NATO members, the UK’s per capita defence spending of Dlrs 855 was almost twice the average, excluding the amount spent by the US.
In the EU, Britain’s military expenditure of Dlrs 52 bn was second to only France’s Dlrs 53 bn in 2005, but far greater than Germany’s Dlrs 38 bn and Italy’s Dlrs 31 bn.