$1.7 trillion wasted on war | The Jackal

23 Apr 2012

$1.7 trillion wasted on war

Last Friday, Greenpeace reported:

What would you do with $1,738 billion (US dollars)? If you were told you had to spend it this year on making people safer, what would you spend it on?

$1,738bn is how much was spent on the world’s military last year, according to estimates by the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI).

With expenditure on military being one of the few areas not facing massive government cut backs we should ask: is our world becoming a safer place?

What consolation can be sought in the world’s awesome military might by the parents of the 7.6 million children under five who die each year, mostly in developing countries?

What consolation is it in a world where 925 m people do not have enough to eat, 98% of whom live in developing countries? What peace does it bring them?

With barely 14% of what is actually required being spent on global food aid, you've got to wonder why the worlds unproductive armies control such a huge amount of funding?

Spending so much money on war is not only a waste because there are far more humanitarian and productive undertakings that deserve those funds, it's a complete waste of human potential as well. There have been approximately 12 million documented war deaths since WW2, and likely many more unreported civilian casualties besides.

Imagine the world we could have created by now if our governments weren't so infatuated with warfare. Money for irrigation projects and distribution networks would mean there was no starvation, homelessness would be a thing of the past and many diseases would not be around anymore because of properly funded research and development incentives.

With most countries not moving fast enough to embrace alternatives to fossil fuels, we're likely to see an increase in wars for oil that will mean even more lost human potential and wasted money... all of which will degrade our humanity even further.