Can We Afford the Military Budget? By BRUCE BARTLETT Bruce Bartlett held senior policy roles in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and served on the staffs of Representatives Jack Kemp and Ron Paul. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/can-we-afford-the-military-budget/ An examination of the latest NATO data shows that in 2010, the United States spent 5.4 percent of its gross domestic product on its military â twice as much as spent by Britain and three to four times as much as most of our NATO allies, as shown in the following table. A crucial reason for this gap is that the United States spends almost as much today as it did during the Cold War. Every other NATO country spends substantially less.