by Jack Watts
President Trump has been criticized for telling Putin that the USA would “win an arms race” with Russia. To some, that might seem braggadocios, but it’s not. It’s an easily provable fact. Trump just wanted to hammer this reality home to the bellicose Russian leader. Let me explain why Trump was wise and accurate to make that statement.
The GDP of the USA is about $19.4 trillion per year. Russia’s is $1.5 trillion, making our economy thirteen times larger than Russia’s. Normally, we spend about 3.5% on defense, which equates to about $700 billion. To just keep up with us, the Russians would have to dedicate 50% of their entire GDP to their military, which would break the economy of their nation. If we raised our spending to 5%, it would require Russia to spend 97% of its GDP on armaments.
That’s not possible. No nation could do this and survive. You can’t eat bullets. So, Trump was not only accurate, he was also making a very clear statement to Putin that it would not be in Russia’s economic interest to challenge us to an arms race. When the Soviet Union, which was twice as large as Russia, tried to have an arms race with President Reagan in the 1980s, their entire system collapsed. Despite Putin’s desire to put Humpty Dumpty back again, it simply cannot be done, which Trump clearly stated.