Immoderate military spending by the Hashemite Kingdom

October 29, 2009

The adjective used most often to describe Jordan is “moderate.”  How does moderate Jordan’s military spending stack up against our own?


My calculations are based off  2005 figures for Jordan (with a $12.9 billion GDP and $950 million in military expenditures) and 2008 figures for the U.S.  The rates should look familiar if you saw my earlier post on Saudi military spending.

Again, as a disclaimer, this post is not about terrorist financing.  Nevertheless, Bernard Lewis, the renowned professor of Middle Eastern history, says that the traditional definition of jihad is regular warfare by a Muslim army against an infidel army…

Jordan source: “Jordan, Country Profile.” Library of Congress – Federal Research Division. September 2006

U.S. sources: CIA World Factbook and Travis Sharp, Growth in U.S. Defense Spending Over the Last Decade, Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, February 26, 2009.


  1. If compared with nations around it, Jordan’s spending is average. And it is less than Israel’s, which I assume you have no problem with it’s spending figure no matter how high or low it is….
    By the way, your GDP estimate for Jordan is a bit low (according to google in 2008 Jordan’s GDP was above 21B). And not to forget that Jordan gets around 300million dollars of military aid from the US.
    It is a pity that a growing nation spends even 6% of it’s GDP on military, but to say that they are not moderate because of that is just absurd.

    • Thanks, Zak, for your input. You’ll notice I provided the sources for my figures above rather than just using Google like you, and that I orginally posted this a year ago with the most current information available to me at the time.

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