Medium’s Robert Beckhusen argues that Ethiopia makes very good use of its military budget. I would add that part of it may have to do with the weakness of opponents, like Eritrea never mind Somali warlords. Still, interesting.
“In part due to previous lessons learned, to date Ethiopia has been able to foil any significant terrorist attacks by Al Shabaab, though not for lack of trying by the terrorist organization,” OE Watch, the U.S. Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office monthly newsletter, recently noted.
The Ethiopians “scare the Hell out of everybody,” Alexander Rondos, the European Union’s representative for the Horn of Africa, said in 2014.
By global standards, Ethiopia’s military spending as a percentage of its GDP is low—only around 0.8 percent—which puts it in the bottom half of countries.
By African standards, the dollar amount spent—around $330 million per year or so depending on the source—is middling. Ethiopia is one of the few countries on the continent that decreased its defense budget during the past decade, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Despite this, Ethiopia has one of the strongest armies in Africa, arguably outmatched only by Egypt, Algeria and South Africa. And these three countries spend far more on their militaries, both in per capita terms and in actual dollars, than Ethiopia.