In this final part of the Global Annual Defense Spending Snapshot series, Forecast International analysts examine defense spending trends in regions shaping 56% of the global landscape — Europe and the USA.


European defense spending has been on the rise since 2014, but many countries struggled to meet NATO’s goal of spending 2% of GDP on defense. This resulted in weaker military capabilities across Europe. However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 served as a wake-up call. Countries like Germany and Poland are now significantly increasing their defense budgets and modernizing their militaries. In response to these efforts, Europe’s share of global defense spending reached 15 percent last year.

North America

North America, driven by the colossal U.S. defense budget, remains the world’s largest defense market by a significant margin. It currently accounts for a whopping 41 percent of global defense spending. This dominance is likely to continue, with the U.S. budget steadily approaching the $1 trillion mark, fueled by recent congressional increases and aid directed towards Ukraine. However, challenges loom on the horizon, including budgetary limitations, the debt ceiling, and potential impacts on specific defense programs.

To further explore these insights and additional spending forecasts from Forecast International analysts, please download our Global Defense Spending Annual Snapshot series at