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When I used to teach undergraduate courses in International Relations and Security I would typically start any balance of power lecture by making students guess how much the United States spent on the military versus the rest of the world.  At that time, the United States spent as much as the next 12 largest spenders combined.  That gap has only widened.

While the relative difference is incredible, I would caution that it isn’t simply how much you spend, but how you spend it.  There are numerous debates about whether the military is spending its funding appropriately (case in point, the debate over the F-22) given current and likely future opponents.  One can easily relate this to business.  It isn’t simply how much a business spends on R&D, sales and marketing, etc.  It’s how the firm spends those dollars.  Are they allocated efficiently?  Are you tracking the progress (or lack thereof) of the spending, calculating an ROI, and shifting course if the return and outcome is not what you originally sought?  It’s a key distinction, one that organizations often lose sight of.