Military Spending Over $1000 Billion, While Children Starve

Nov 13, 2006

Global expenditure on “defense” [sic] has crossed the 1,000 billion US dollar mark and is still rising. The peace dividend of the end of the Cold War does not seem to have had the desired effect on global defense spending after showing some promise in the initial post-Cold War years, said an Indian minister here on Monday.

“At the most fundamental level, this expenditure has the effect of crowding out the spending on social sector. We do not live in a world that is free from hunger and want. Even a fraction of the money that the world spends on defense could make a difference to the lives of millions of people across the world who live in abject poverty and suffer from deprivation of survival needs, said External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee at the inauguration of the three-day International Seminar on Defense Finance and Economics organized by the Department of Defense Finance in the Ministry of Defense.”

Read entire IRNA article.

The UN says that a $40 billion increase in funding could feed, clothe, and educate the entire globe. It makes me think that, perhaps, those in power want the general population undereducated, and the lower-classes basically uneducated. Would the world not be safer if everyone had the opportunity? Would the world not be safer if every child had food, clothes, shelter, and education?

Let’s be honest, for the most part the money spent on “defense” doesn’t really go to defense; it goes to offense; it feeds the profits of the military-industrial complex; it maintains the economic status quo. Would we the people not be safer if they gave us – the taxpayers – our money back? How do huge nuclear arsenals that could blow the world up 100 times over make us safer?

If they gave us our money back, we could spend it on personal self-defense, such as buying self-defense classes, pepper spray, personal alarms, etcetera. More importantly, we could afford more food, clothes, shelter, and education.

Those in power won’t give us our money back, I believe. As I see it, our only hope is to cut our losses, turn our backs on the governmental leadership, and fix our own problems by securing food, clothes, shelter, education, and safety ourselves and our communities.

What do you think?

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5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Scott
    November 13th, 2006 at 1:53 pm #

    Look, I am all for feeding the hungry and clothing the poor. I do think you numbers are off a little because it MUST be looked at in the total picture. Defense spending is actually the smallest it has been PER ECONOMIC CAPITA since before the cold war. You cant just take it at the number given to you. Of coarse 1000 billion is huge but it is all relative and a country has to have both defense and charity spending or eventually there will be no country rich enough to give any money because we will all fall and becaome 3rd world countries. No offense either but pepper spray doesn’t stop rockets and i don’t even know you but i do know you are smarter than that. There are bad people in the world that want to kill YOU just because you don’t submit to their ideology, yes they are extremist but they will not just go away if you ignore them. There is a middle ground but sometimes offense is the best defense and visa versa. Unfortunately in this world there is only black and white, while at the same time there is only gray and we all have to look at our leanings and come somewhere in the middle cause all of my ideas are not right no matter how much i think they are and neither are yours. Understanding your own bias’s(?) are the only way to really get anywhere in this GIANT issue we call the human race. Yes a day in the park with loved ones is beatiful and i believe, as ugly as it may look to get a country there, it is the only way to permanetly “fix” the starving and the hungry and the diseased. Understanding there are greater things at work and we will never rid ourselves of hurt and pain and the pain of knowing children are starving but i believe we can minimize it with Freedom. Knowin that war and killing is never wanted but sometimes a neccasary birth paing for something, for new life to emerge. There is a common ground and neither extreme is correct.

  2. mr alex weir
    November 13th, 2006 at 3:25 pm #

    yes – global politicians have their priorities wrong, but also the aid and development machine/bandwagon are largely a bunch of self-serving hypocrites who are not actually interested in achieving what is meant to be their mission statement – end poverty and oppression, attain social justice, and put themselves out of a job.

  3. Scott Hughes
    November 13th, 2006 at 3:35 pm #

    Scott,

    You make some interesting points. I think it’s your numbers that are off, though; U.S. defense spending has risen by about 34 percent since Bush came into office.

    Pepper spray won’t stop a missile, but what causes a missile in the first place? Clearly it is usually the international crimes of one’s government done in the name of one. (For example, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vCAmZel4Bs crimes of the CIA.) Please note, I am not excusing terrorism, but just pointing out that terrorism is usually a reaction to terrorism.

    Personally, I will have no loyalty to any government or organization that uses offensive force or coercion. Thus, I doubt many people will want to shoot a missile at me. (I’m not staying in the United States.)

    Of course, the irony here is that a missile is funded through military spending, and is shot through militarism, which is exactly what I am opposing… I would like to see an international decrease in military spending.

    I have no problem with solely defensive force and coercion, but adamantly oppose offensive force and coercion.

    I agree with you that freedom will reduce this problem as much as possible. Of course, ‘freedom’ means the lack of offensive coercion and governmental interference.

    Thanks,
    Scott Hughes

  4. sat mehra
    November 13th, 2006 at 5:07 pm #

    It would be better to look for root causes of the hunger and small children deaths.
    Here is the study carried out, which world organisations should
    discuss in an open forum and find solutions.

    ” ” Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

    GREEN VILLAGE REVOLUTION

    According to UNICEF Study Reports, Since 1990, there is no change in small children Malnutrition Deaths. Even a villager, earning TWO DOLLARS a day can buy Rationed Food to feed his family. But the small children under five, die of Malnutrition, due
    to lack of nutrient rich food like Vegetables. For those poor villagers, Vegetables is an unaffordable luxury. Under-nourished Children canít develop body resistance, to stand to even simple illnesses.

    The concept of Green Village Revolution, is to provide know-how and training to grow vegetables in VILLAGERSí OWN BACK-YARDS.
    Through 75% water saving Sapam Wet Irrigation System.
    The under poverty line villagers can be provided with vegetable Saplings, Piping to install the system, teach and demonstrate the working. After one time demonstration and installing one pilot project, the villagers can prepare their own wet irrigation system. The thin plastic piping material is available and is very cheap. Waste fibre and old cloths can be donated or bought. The MULCH is a Gift of God, available as wild grass, falling
    leaves and small jungle waste. Almost all villages have a clay pot maker, and the prices are very low. Even 2 litre used mineral water or soft drink bottles can be used.

    The under-poverty-line villagers have no chance (because of cultivation water shortages) to cultivate nutrient rich vegetables.. With water saving Wet Irrigation System, they can start 3 times a year vegetable cultivation. They can feed their children with nutrient rich vegetables, and sell the rest. ” ”

    Kindly save small children from slow deaths.

    Regards,
    Aloisia & Sat Mehra,
    Austria

  5. Corey
    November 14th, 2006 at 2:45 pm #

    Why don’t we stop feeding cattle and other farm animals the water and food that could feed the hungry?

    * “One third of the world’s cereal harvest is fed to farm animals.”
    - International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
    http://www.ivu.org/

    * “More than 60% of the grains and soybeans raised in the U.S. are fed to animals, rather than to the world’s 840 million starving people. A mere 10% reduction in our meat consumption would free up the foodstuffs to feed the 24,000 people who die each day of hunger related causes.”
    - ‘Veggies For Ecology’
    http://www.farmusa.org/environment/

    * “It takes 100,000 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of beef, but only 500 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of potatoes. Water scarcity is a major global problem.”
    - Compassion In World Farming http://ciwf.org.uk/eatlessmeat/html/poison_planet.html

    * “The meat production wastes a lot of foodstuff. To produce one kilogram of meat, one needs 7 – 16 kg of grain or soya beans. When “transforming” grain into meat 90% of protein, 99% of carbohydrates and 100% of fibre are lost. Nevertheless, in Switzerland 57% of grain are being fed to animals for slaughter.”
    - The Swiss Union for Vegetarianism
    http://www.vegetarismus.ch/info/e9.htm

    * “By eating 2 fewer meat dishes a week, the saving in grain would feed 225 million people every year.”
    - OneEarth.org
    http://www.oneearth.org/directory.html

    * “36% of the worlds grain supply goes to feeing livestock and poultry.”
    - OneEarth.org
    http://www.oneearth.org/directory.html

Children suffering from Poverty