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But it's also a system in evident decline, hastened by overreach in the war on terror and paid for in blood and treasure both by Americans and across the world. US military spending is larger than the combined spending of the next 20 powers combined, its troops stationed in a majority of countries.
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Does the next in the underlined part mean developed countries? I do try to get the meaning from the context itself.
"North Korea is the most militarized country in the world today, having the fourth largest army in the world, at about 1,106,000 armed personnel"
Korean People's Army - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
North Korea isn't a developed country, but it has the 4th largest military.