Meeting Basic Needs, or Funding for War
In a time of such economic uncertainty how can the Government justify a 3% annual increase in military spending until 2018?
Australia's current military spending of over $20 billion per year prevents investment in vital social and environmental programs.
Military spending reduces public and private investment, diverts funds and people from civilian research and development, and holds back economic development.
The World Bank has reported that:
" .Evidence increasingly points to high military spending as contributing to fiscal and debt crises, .and negatively affecting economic growth and development." (World Development Report, 1988)
We need to lobby the Government to adopt a non-offensive defence policy, which would require less expensive and more peace-promoting military capabilities. The resulting peace dividend could fund the creation of meaningful jobs to help overcome unemployment and also to regenerate our environment.
It is time to put funds into rebuilding our rural economy, developing infrastructure and ensuring water security. We should restore our failing health, education and welfare systems, rather than spending exorbitant sums on state-of-the-art long-range weapons systems good only for fighting coalition wars, creating mistrust and fuelling arms races.
World Military Spending:
In the decade leading up to today's economic crisis (1998-2007), global military expenditure rose 45% to $US1.3 trillion in 2007 (SIPRI Yearbook 2008). The USA, epicentre of the looming global recession, is responsible for nearly half world military spending. In the following table (adapted from information available at http://www.globalissues.org/), the comparison of world military spending to other spending priorities speaks for itself.