Armed forces of the United States - statistics & facts
The United States military is one of the most trusted institutions in the United States with 73 percent of the public having confidence in it in 2016. This level of public support comes after heavy involvement of the U.S. military in a number of military campaigns in the Middle East. Part of the positive view the public has for the military is sourced from the sacrifices required of their countrymen and women in places like Iraq. At times this has included the ultimate sacrifice.
That said, many servicemen and women do not endure grueling training and risking their lives purely out of patriotism for their country. A career in the military is sometimes the best option economically, raising concerns that those from more disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to end up in the firing lines of a foreign continent. A 2011 study suggested that 42 percent of women and 25 percent of men in the military joined because jobs in the regular economy were hard to find.
Nevertheless, the military might of the United States is unquestionable. The U.S. Army has the largest number of active personnel, followed by the Navy and Air Force. Despite numbering over 1.3 million in 2015, the U.S. military is outnumbered heavily by China. Where the United States truly dominates is in regards to military spending. This amounted to 1,876 dollars per capita in 2016. There appears no decrease in spending on the horizon with forecasted outlays set to reach 719 billion U.S. dollars in 2026.
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