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Greek military overspending

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It seems to be common wisdom that government spending is the reason for the financial crisis in Greece. But overspending on what?

The graph shows military spending as a percentage of GDP using data from the World Bank [Google]. As you can see, Greece spends considerably more on its military than the other large EU countries, more than twice as much as Italy Germany or Spain and considerably more than France or the UK.

The excessive spending is even more apparent in terms of manpower. The Greek military has 177K active personnel with a population of approximately 2 million males fit for military service aged 15-49. Greece has almost the same percentage of its population engaged in military service as Israel.

I seem to see report after report castigating Greece for its allegedly profligate welfare system but no mention of military spending as waste. Meanwhile is it really a coincidence that Japan and Germany, the two industrial countries traditionally held out as economic role models have the lowest rates of military spending? Or that the Clinton boom coincided with the post cold war 'peace dividend' and the period of stagnation under Bush with two new wars?

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