Strong economy leads to strong military
1.1 Justification of the research question
Economic strength and military power help a country bolster its image across the globe. Having an active military in place ensures that a nation can protect itself from external aggression and by extension give its citizens space to develop economically. There is a possibility that when an economy strengthens, the military is one of the beneficiaries along with other sectors of the economy. There is need to understand why nations tend to enhance their military when the economy improves
1.2. Literature review
Beckley (2010) takes the position that a healthy economy of a country leads to the development of stronger military. The reasons that Beckley (2010) gave to support the claim are that wealthy nations can quickly translate their resources to develop a stronger military power. The author also claims that economic well being of a country does not always point to a stronger military but the strategy that a nation has put in place to uplift the capabilities of its military. The points raised by Beckley are valid considering that some robust economies in the world have seen no need to have in place an active military. A report by Castillo et al. (2001) indicated that an increase in military might has always been linked to growing economies of the nations despite the presence of other reasons like fear of external aggression. The authors noted that since 18th century most economic powerhouses have routinely spent more of their military efficiently increasing the strengths of their armies. The position taken by Castillo et al. (2001) deviates from the claims made by Beckley (2001) as they pointed out those military expenditures increased each time a country’s economy improved.
Additionally, Robertson and Sin (2013) explain that nations like China have consistently improved their military strength due to their economic wealth. Robertson and Sin (2013) also claimed that only countries that are doing economically well could be able to sustain their military spending over a period. The scholars, therefore, linked the strength of the economy to the development of an active military. Robertson and Sin (2013) further related the power of a countries military to other factors like international politics and trade. Other scholars posit that a vast army is a useful economic tool that will not only keep a country safe but also appeal to foreign investors to invest in the country’s economy. Drezner and Hite-Rubin (2016) take the position that nations, irrespective of their economic wealth would like to keep a healthy military in place so that it can attract foreign investments. The researchers supported their claim by the fact that nations like the United States have an active military in place hence stand a limited chance of external aggression. Therefore, military strength increases the confidence of the foreign investors making them want to invest their resources in a safer territory. Drezner and Hite-Rubin (2016) position do not differ much from the views taken by other scholars reviewed in this section.
Furthermore, a study by Gokmenoglu et al. (2015) revealed that most countries view economic growth as a way of making their militaries stronger. The scholars using the case of Turkey noted that a nation could spend on its military, as they are located in hostile parts of the world. The country may then be forced to improve its economy so that it can be able to provide a constant source of funding to the military. The main reason for such a move is to prevent hostile neighbours from invading the country. Therefore, a nation feels that it needs to spend on the military, and improve its economy so that they can continue to enjoy relative peace for further economic growth.
In summary, most of the literature reviewed agrees that when an economy of a nation strengthens, military power in the country is increased. However, some studies analyzed do no view the economy as a reason for countries to improve their militaries. They instead point out that geopolitical reasons are the main reasons why countries strengthen their economy
Economic power will lead to a stronger military power because it is a deterrent to external aggression. Additionally having a stronger military power bolsters the image of a nation on world stage. Moreover, having a stronger military power in place, makes the country appear safe and appealing to foreign investors.
The study hypothesized that a nation with a higher GDP will have a stronger military.
The variables in the study are the economic growth and the corresponding military strength. The independent variable, in this case, is economic growth whose changes are supposed to affect the power of the military. For the study, the economic growth will be represented by the GDP while the number of active military personnel (AMP) in each country will represent the military personnel that are currently in service.
3.1 Units of Analysis
The unit under study in the research is a nation. This is because the military power and GDP are both attributes of a country. The research study population was 189. However, relevant data for 60 countries were unavailable and were omitted from the study. Therefore n=129
3.2. Operationalization of variables
The study has two variables, which include the independent variable and the dependent variable. The independent variable is economic growth while the dependent variable is the military strength. Growth in the economy is represented by the GDP while at the military growth is represented by the active number of personnel serving in the military now. Also for the study, the GDP will be taken to mean the current economic outlook of a nation while AMP will be made to indicate the current military personnel of a country.
According to Cheliotis, Lu, and, Song (2015) validity is the ability of the collected data to yield meaningful information that can be used in the study. The study relied on primary historical data posted online by the government and other trusted organizations. The data for the study was collected from the internet and government records hence they can give accurate information that can be used to finalize the survey.
Reliability is the ability of the research instruments to yield consistent results when used at different times. Since the information was gathered needed was gathered online, the researcher ensured that all the information collected were credible. The data were deemed believable if they had been posted by the departments of defence of the nations under study and the reputable organizations like IMF for the economic data. Also, to ensure the reliability of the data, only information with dates were used for the study. Data with no date were omitted as there was no way to ascertain their credibility.
3.2.3. Levels of measurement
The study used two levels of measurements to summarize and analyze the data for the survey. The first stage is the nominal level where the data collected were presented in tables under the names of countries GDP and active military staff. Since the tabulated data was still raw and unable to give meaningful information for the study, the researcher used ratio level to summarize the data and calculate the level of dependence between economic growth and military power. Therefore, the mean, mode, and standard deviation were used to analyze the data further. Also, the correlation between the variables was established using “Correl” statistical function in excel.
4.1. Test of means
The mean and the median of the data were obtained. The findings indicated that the average GDP for the nations studied was 573.79 while the mean score for the AMP was 144264. The median score for the GDP was 41.20 while the median for AMP was 44800.
4.2. Standard deviation
The standard deviation was calculated to show the spread of the values from the mean score. A smaller standard deviation indicated that the GDP and AMP values clustered near the meanwhile larger amounts suggested that the data was widely spread. The findings for the standard deviation were $2058.204378 for the GDP and 286119.8444 for the AMP. The results indicated that the values were dispersed evenly.
The study used excel to calculate correlation. The findings suggest that there was a definite correlation score of 0.731786693 between military strength and the growth in the economy since the score was moving towards one. The finding indicates that there was a strong dependence between growth in the economy and the growth in military confirming the hypothesis.
The findings of the study gave a positive result for the question that economic growth gives rise to the strong military in a country. Therefore, it true that most economies will strengthen their military personnel when they realize a positive economic growth
The study indicated that nations in the world feel the need to strengthen their militaries when they are experiencing a positive economic growth. This suggests that apart from the commercial power, military power is an essential pointer to a nation’s image on the global stage. Also, fighting strength lead to further improvement of the economy as the citizens will have peace of mind to invest in their economic well-being.
5.3. Areas for further research
Further research should be carried out on how an increase in government spending ca leads to a better economy. Also, a study should be carried out to determine why some nations will good economies are reluctant to invest in their militaries despite the fact that the world is becoming a hostile place.
Michael Beckley (2010) Economic Development and Military Effectiveness,
Journal of Strategic Studies, 33:1, 43-79, DOI: 10.1080/01402391003603581
Castillo, J. Lowell, J., Tellis, A. J., Munoz, J., Zycher, B. (2001). Military expenditures and economic growth, Rand Corporation, Retrieved on December 22, 2017, from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/2007/MR1112.pdf
Cheliotis, G., Lu, X. & Song, Yi. (2015). Reliability of Data Collection Methods in Social Media Research. Proceedings of the Ninth International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media Pp 585-589. Retrieved on December 22, 2017, from https://www.aaai.org/ocs/index.php/ICWSM/ICWSM15/paper/download/10574/10448
Drezner, D, W., & Hite-Rubin, N. F. (2016). Does American Military Power Attract Foreign
Investment? The Tobin Project. Retrieved on December 22, 2017, from https://www.tobinproject.org/sites/tobinproject.org/files/assets/Drezner%20&%20Hite-Rubin%20-%20Does%20American%20Military%20Power%20Attract%20Foreign%20Investment.pdf
Gokmenoglu, K, K., Taspinar, N. & Sadeghieh, M. (2015). Military Expenditure and Economic Growth: The Case of Turkey. Procedia Economics and Finance, Volume 25, 2015, Pages 455-462. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2212-5671(15)00757-1
Robertson, P. E. & Sin, A. (2013). Measuring Hard Power: China’s Economic Growth and Military Capacity. DISCUSSION PAPER 13.32. Retrieved on December 22, 2017, from https://ecompapers.biz.uwa.edu.au/paper/PDF%20of%20Discussion%20Papers/2013/13-32%20Measuring%20Hard%20Power-%20Chinas%20Economic%20Growth%20and%20Military%20Capacity.pdf