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By 2021, total spending by NATO nations falls below non-NATO spending for the first time in decades.*

Western military services become smaller but more expensive, particularly the infantry. Tradeoffs between security and fiscal responsibility spur wealthier nations to rely increasingly on alliances. NATO’s Smart Defense program is an example, under which members agree to concentrate on national strengths and coordinate planned defense budget cuts. R&D spending declines. In the 2000s, militaries rely on stealth, speed and precision to stay ahead. By 2020, these evolve into survivability, computation and persistence — all capabilities allowing for constant, undetected monitoring at very high levels of resolution.

See: Global defense outlook 2014

 

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* “As West cuts, global defense industry balance shifts,” Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/12/us-arms-companies-global-idUSBREA1B18N20140212.