Everything you need to know about NATO in charts — and how it’d fair in war against Russia


NATO’s military might

Not all the nations within NATO are powerful. Fortunately, for countries such as Montenegro with an annual defence budget of just £67million, there are some heavy hitters within the alliance.

By and large, the biggest is the US, which spends more on defence each year than double the rest of NATO combined.

The estimated US defence spend for 2021 comes to a whopping $705billion (£516billion), according to the US Department of Defence.

As well as being the biggest defence spender in the world, the US has a powerful arsenal and a huge amount of manpower – 1.3 million active troops, with another 865,000 in reserve, according to The New York Times.

The UK is the second biggest overall spender in NATO, putting nearly £50billion into defence annually, compared to Germany’s £45billion, France’s £42billion and Italy’s £20billion.

When it comes to personnel, the US is again the biggest hitter, with more than 1.3 million active military personnel, according to 2021 data from Statista.

Turkey is in second place in terms of manpower, with 445,000 soldiers, while the UK is sixth with 156,000.

When it comes to nuclear power, the US again takes the lead, with an estimated 5,600 nuclear warheads. The UK has 225.

NATO also has access to warships, tanks, frigates and air forces from its members — overall, the US comes out on top across all categories.

The US commands approximately 490 warships, while the UK has 75.

The US is believed to have around 10,000 tanks, 26 frigates, and the biggest air force in the world.


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