Long-Term Economic and Military Trends, 1950-2010
This Note presents estimates of certain key economic and military trends for the period 1950-2010 for 15 countries (the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, China, West Germany, the United Kingdom, France, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico). These economic and military trends are summarized in terms of three major indicators--gross national product, annual military spending, and accumulation of military capital stocks. The time series estimates for each of the three indicators are designed to be internally consistent over time and among the 15 countries. The U.S. share of the global product remains remarkably stable over the next two decades, while that of Japan rises, and that of the Soviet Union declines. The findings suggest that the latter part of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st century will be characterized by a continuing shift of economic and military power toward the Pacific Rim countries, and toward such middle regional powers as India, Brazil, Korea, Turkey, and perhaps others. In this changing environment, the orientation of Japan and China toward the United States and each other--whether they are allied, friendly, neutral, or belligerent--may well be as important for U.S. interests as the continued adversarial posture of the Soviet Union.