The Price of War

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some facts about military budgets

All currency is calculated in US dollars. This is because most of the on-line information is calculated in dollars.

World military spending totaled more than 1.6 trillion dollors in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 37 percent of this total.

List of countries by military expenditures
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_military_expenditures

The US government alone spends over 700 billion dollars annually on its military.

The cost  to end world hunger  is $30 billion  per year — $737 billion per year is the amount Congress spends on Defense

The U.S’s. military expenditures exceeds the following seven nations combined, in order of expenditure: China,( For every dollar China spends the US spends $2.77) Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France, Japan: US Defence Spending Compared to Other Countires: 

I must say that India being right up there in the top seven military budgets spending a huge 53.6 billion is surprising but shocking with around 170 million people living in poverty.

The UK has a military budget of 55.5 billion dollars  but apparently under the present conservative government not enough money to adequately fund the NHS and Social Services: Cuts to benefits including those for disabled people,who people have experienced vicious cuts in benefits and services and Social services including neighbourhood services . Also cuts to school budgets of 3billion  a small amount compared to the UK’s military budget.

The USA recently dropped on Afghanistan a bomb costing $314 million yet there is not enough money for education, health care, the 50 million people who go hungry in the USA, meals on wheels, housing, the Environmental Protection Agency, Legal aid for the poor and low-income heating assistance – the last four are to be cut in accordance with the latest budget proposals

Is this what most of the world’s people want? Are we happy that our extortionate taxes pay for our governments to massacre and make destitute millions of people, not to forget animals killed in war, and the destruction of the environment. While the rich get richer and profit from the slaughter the poor die in wars, either as combatants or as civilians who readily support such conflicts, willing going to fight like lambs to the slaughter misguided by the warped ideology of patriotism or other supposedly noble notion.

There is one thing for certain wars are rarely fought for noble causes.

“All wars are fought for the acquisition of wealth” said Socrates, throughout history nothing has changed, war continues to benefit the wealthy, who are protected from its immediate effects, at the expense of the poor.  Trump will be sitting in his opulent golden tower or playing golf while tens of thousands of men women and children die in any conflict with Korea. He was playing golf on Good Friday morning at his West Palm Beach golf course in Florida as North Korea threatened to go to war with the US if provoked

I wonder how keen Trump would be if he like the Kings of times past was expected to lead his troops into battle. Would he be so all fired up to go to war if he had to leave his home and his family and put his life on the line? I doubt it. Like the coward he is he sends others to die with the callous indifference typical of a sociopath .

Apparently Pence told the Japanese that the U.S. will confront the North Korean nuclear threat:  “I say on his (Trumps)behalf today to all the people of Japan, in these challenging times, we are with you 100 percent.” Ummm I wonder where Pence will be when the bombs start dropping, in his nuclear bunker I suppose as will be Korea’s murdering sociopathic monster , the so-called Supreme leader Kim Jong-un

“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.”
Leo Tolstoy

What real say have any of us had concerning the war mongering escapades in recent decades undertaken by the US and it’s ally the UK, yet it is mostly the civilian populations that suffers . Here in the UK the mostly bitterly divided parliament almost always agree when it comes to waging war. Yet if this was put to a referendum the outcome may well be very different.

“A people free to choose will always choose peace.” Ronald Reagan

Most of us wherever we live: Syria, UK, USA, Japan North or South Korea just want to live our lives in peace. Instead our lives are destroyed by power-hungry sociopaths in their quest for power and acquisition. If given a choice most of us want this money spent on enhancing our lives, ridding the world of poverty, hunger and disease. The overwhelming majority would rather this money was spent on providing food, universal health care and services for sick and disabled people, free education, decent housing and… Well a quality of life free from the treat of war and insecurity.

What could the USA better spend 700, million dollars on : how much could that money have helped the American people. 

How about spending some of this money in combating homelessness in the USA rather than make people homeless and destitute in the Middle East and elsewhere.

How about universal health care, America’s health care is one of the most expensive in the world. It’s estimated there are between 20,000 and 45,000 deaths a year due to lack of health insurance

Under a recent proposal Meals on wheels which delivers food to elderly and disabled people and housing assistance part of the $3 billion Community Development programme is set be completely dismantled. Included in the same proposal is increased funding for the military and Trumps border wall. Yet £2.4 billion is a puny amount compared to the US’ military budget.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-budget-latest-mick-mulvaney-cuts-food-poor-meals-wheels-welfare-taxpayers-compassionate-white-a7634561.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/donald-trump-meals-on-wheels-cut-pay-mexico-border-wall-immigration-fema-us-coastguard-budget-a7632551.html

Among many inhumane proposals in Trump’s new budget ideas, is the cutting of free school lunches by raising the bar for qualification. This will cause at least 18,000 schools to no longer qualify!

There are over 50 million people in the USA who do not have enough to eat, would not this money be better spent ensuring that everyone receives enough food.

India

India has over 55 billion dollars for its military budget, more than France and is fifth on the list of countries by military expenditure . India also has highest number of people living below poverty line

India has the largest number of urban poor and landless people in the world approximately 65 -70 million people live in urban slums. According to the Hindustan Times The Delhi government is turning a blind eye to the homeless?

UK

In the UK there are almost 14 million people living in poverty

In this time of so called austerity when allegedly there is not enough money to pay for benefits for sick and disabled people or the unemployed, where 3.7 million Children live in poverty and people have to rely on food banks and suffer endless austerity measures, such as cuts to public services, there is always money for war.

We should not forget the poverty worldwide in countries such as Africa, wouldn’t the global military budget of  $1.6 trillion be better spent in providing food, clean water and medicine. 

795 million people go hungry worldwide though I rather suspect this is an understatement and the figure is far highter

“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-2016. Almost all the hungry people, 780 million, live in developing countries, representing 12.9 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties. There are 11 million people undernourished in developed countries”

Read More:
http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics/

One person every four seconds dies from hunger or hunger related diseases… Sadly, it is children who die most often.

How many people die from lack of access to clean water and life saving/enhancing medicine and health care? Here are some alarming facts: 663 million people in the world don’t have access to safe water and almost 900 children die every day from diarrheal diseases caused by dirty water.   Half the worlds Population has no access to healthcare

Here is a shocking statistic

A price has been set and estimated by the United Nations to solve this crisis (world hunger) – $30 billion a year. It may seem like a large sum of money, but when compared to the U.S. defense budget – $737 billion in 2012 – $30 billion seems more attainable.

“The cost to end world hunger…

— $30 billion per year is needed to end world hunger
— $737 billion per year is the amount Congress spends on Defense”

Read More:

The Cost to End World Hunger
https://borgenproject.org/the-cost-to-end-world-hunger/

China 

China has a military budget of 215.7 billion the second largest after the USA. In China more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as China’s poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 6.5 percent in 2012,  however still today China is one of the top five poorest countries in the world where one in ten Chinese is poor, there are at least 82 million people in China live below the poverty line. China also has an homeless population of about 2,579,000   According to the following article: There Are One Million Children Living On The Streets In China 

As with the US and UK China’s military budget (over 200 billion dollars) would most certainly improve the lot of millions of poor people.

How about the poorest country in the world which may be the Central African Republic . According to the lastest available data this country spends $54,800,000. While modest in comparison, for a country that is so poor such an amount could well be spent improving the lives of its citizens.

I could continue down the list,  in every country in the world there are poor people,  many desperately so, many go without adequate food and not all of them live in Africa either or other developing countries, though in these countires the problem is more severe of course.People go without food in rich countries such as the UK and the USA

As as a matter of interest North Korea is ranked No. 1 in the world for military expenditures relative to its Gross Domestic Product, an annual State Department report showed between 2004-2014, North Korea spent nearly a quarter of its GDP on the armed forces.

N. Korea ranks No. 1 for military spending relative to GDP: State Department report
http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2016/12/23/26/0301000000AEN20161223000200315F.html

Poverty in North Korea is extensive.
“Forty percent of the population, about 24 million people, live below the poverty line. Most workers earn $2 to $3 per month.

“Unlike earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions, war is a disaster created entirely by people, against people. It is never an accident: making war is always somebody’s decision. Nations spend vast amounts of money on training soldiers to fight and kill. They spend even more on devising and manufacturing weapons and machinery for fighting and killing. That is not the only expense. Huge sums are also needed for dealing with the damage when a war is officially over. (‘Officially’, because the effects of war continue long after the truce has been signed.)

From this evidence alone, it ought to be clear to everyone that there’s little to be said for war. But little has been done to liberate the world from it. War still fascinates and excites some people, though it fills many others with revulsion and horror. Too many people – and too many of their leaders – still think that war is defensible, and that it’s not actually wrong for people to learn how to kill each other in large numbers. 

For all these reasons, and more, the invention of war is one of humankind’s greatest blunders. It needs to be put right.”

Read More:

Why is War Wrong
http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/infodocs/st_pacifism_m1.html

“War does not determine who is right – only who is left”
Bertrand Russell

Related Links

U.S. Military Spending vs. the World
U.S. military expenditures are roughly the size of the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined.

Military > Expenditures > Percent of GDP: Countries Compared

http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Military/Expenditures/Percent-of-GDP

 

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