How could the USA remain the strongest military power of the post WW2 era, when its military budget was smaller than the Soviet?

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,133
Navan, Ireland
Because that shows percentage of income?

So the USA may have spent a smaller percentage but the total amount would be greater?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,973
Dispargum
What's the source of that chart in post #1? The use of commas instead of periods suggests it's European, but a lot of these US-USSR comparisons come from US Cold War era propaganda - the Pentagon trying to justify larger US defense budgets. Depending on the source, we might have to take the data with a grain of salt.
 

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013
14,816
Europix


Any idea?
Well, that graphic show the percentage of the GDP. What counts aren't percentages but actual investments/spendings. (I might spend 50% from my 1,000 income while You are spending only 5% from Your 100,000 income, we agree You'll have the money for a better car than I, don't we ;))

US had simply a much bigger, better economy. USA's (say) 10% worth much more than the (say) 20% of URSS.

 
Last edited:
Nov 2019
334
United States
In 1980 the United States economy was 5 times larger than the Soviet Union, by the end of the decade it was 10 times larger than the Soviet Union. So despite the percentile of the economy which was superfluous, the United States was outstripping the Soviets in every way in terms of the growth of the military. In fact it was a part of the United States overall strategy during the Cold War to make the economic cost of competing with the United States so large that it would cause the Soviet economy to collapse. And it worked.
 
Jan 2019
215
Finland
In fact it was a part of the United States overall strategy during the Cold War to make the economic cost of competing with the United States so large that it would cause the Soviet economy to collapse. And it worked.
Was it? Or is that an after the fact narrative? Like are there quotes from officials of American government in the 50s, 60s, 70s, to that effect? I'm under the impression that no one in the West had any idea just how decrepit the USSR was, how bad its economy etc, so that when it fell it was incredible and that the American military build up in the 80s was because of genuine fear of Soviet military capabilites. The narrative that the US deliberately spent money to bring down the USSR seems more like Americans wanting to have a more active part in the demise of the Soviet Union when really it was a deck of cards rotten with corruption that was brought down from within.
 
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Nov 2019
334
United States
Was it? Or is that an after the fact narrative? Like are there quotes from officials of American government in the 50s, 60s, 70s, to that effect? I'm under the impression that no one in the West had any idea just how decrepit the USSR was, how bad its economy etc, so that when it fell it was incredible and that the American military build up in the 80s was because of genuine fear of Soviet military capabilites. The narrative that the US deliberately spent money to bring down the USSR seems more like Americans wanting to have a more active part in the demise of the Soviet Union when really it was a deck of cards rotten with corruption that was brought down from within.
I've read a number of articles by intelligence specialists from the Cold War spell that out very specifically. It was somewhat of a hidden process for the very reason that to do so would have made it's probability distinctly less. It became an accelerated process during the Reagan administration as he for the first time was a president who fully bought into the concept. You can see this clearly when you look at the explosion of new equipment plans and build up during the Reagan administration.