Free Copies of the Book
Scribd has a copy of Collapse of an Empire: Lessons for Modern Russia
The Decline of the British Empire
Though Britain and the Empire emerged victorious from the Second World War, the effects of the conflict were profound, both at home and abroad. Much of Europe, a continent that had dominated the world for several centuries, was in ruins, and host to the armies of the United States and the Soviet Union, to whom the balance of global power had now shifted. Britain was left virtually bankrupt, with insolvency only averted in 1946 after the negotiation of a $3.5 billion loan from the United States, ($39 billion in 2011) the last installment of which was repaid in 2006.
Britain adopted a policy of peaceful disengagement from its colonies once stable, non-Communist governments were available to transfer power to. This was in contrast to other European powers such as France and Portugal, which waged costly and ultimately unsuccessful wars to keep their empires intact. Between 1945 and 1965, the number of people under British rule outside the UK itself fell from 700 million to five million, three million of whom were in Hong Kong
US Finances now
The US is spending 5-10% of GDP on defense depending upon whether items like the Veterans Administration and other items are included.
Defense-related expenditure 2012 Budget Request DOD spending $707.5 billion Base budget + "Overseas Ops" FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget. International Affairs $5.6–$63.0 billion Energy Department, defense $21.8 billion Veterans Affairs $70.0 billion Homeland Security $46.9 billion NASA, satellites $3.5–$8.7 billion Veterans pensions $54.6 billion Other defense mandatory $8.2 billion Interest debt from past wars $109.1–$431.5 billion Total Spending $1.030–$1.415 trillion
Foreign holders of US Treasuries
As of January 2011, foreigners owned $4.45 trillion of U.S. debt, or approximately 47% of the debt held by the public of $9.49 trillion and 32% of the total debt of $14.1 trillion. The largest holders were the central banks of China ($1.1 trillion) and Japan ($885 billion). The share held by foreign governments has grown over time, rising from 25% of the public debt in 2007 and 13% in 1988