Some interesting figures from NATO on defence spending The graphs are from data presented in a NATO report on defence spending and other data. I have taken out the USA because they distort the graphs. The report states that they are based on a NATO standard method rather than taking figures directly from the country so might be different from what is published by the various governments. The report has actuals going back years and makes an estimate for 2007, those figures are the ones in graph Interesting to note that we come top of the shop for actual amount spent, but joint fourth (with Bulgaria) on percent of GDP. It also shows we are fifth in terms of service personnel numbers. Probably the most interesting comparison is with France as we are both similar in GDP, strategic stance, UN Security Council etc. They spend similar in money and % GDP but can maintain a mucher larger force for that and it could be argued that they have similar quality weapons etc. Percent of GDP is often used as a benchmark with which to base arguments for more spending but is this a flawed metric?