Washington Peace Center: March 19th Event

If you’re in the Washington, DC area, be sure to join the Washington Peace Center for a forum on the eighth anniversary of the U.S. war in Iraq. Participants will discuss how the present economic crisis is affecting the DC area and how to work together to bring those war dollars home. GDAMS organizer John Feffer will speak at the event too — don’t miss it!

Washington Peace Center March 19 Event

Another U.S. Poll: Public prefers cutting defense spending

(Reuters) – A majority of Americans prefer cutting defense spending to reduce the federal deficit rather than taking money from public retirement and health programs, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday showed.

The poll found 51 percent of Americans support reducing defense spending, and only 28 percent want to cut Medicare and Medicaid health programs for the elderly and poor. A mere 18 percent back cuts in the Social Security retirement program.

The Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs, known as entitlements, and defense spending together account for about two-thirds of the $3.7 trillion federal budget, but they are not a major part of the debate in Congress over spending cuts.

Read the whole article at Reuters.

Libya arms bans will hit Europeans

From UPI:

BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 1 (UPI) — The arms embargoes slapped on Libya by the United Nations and the European Union could cost international defense companies, particularly those in Europe and Russia, billions of dollars.

Much will depend on how long the sanctions last and whether Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who has ruled Libya with an iron grip since 1969, wins his fight for survival against his many enemies.

There was more than a hint of irony in the EU embargo, since member states of the 27-nation alliance have been among the major arms suppliers to Libya since earlier 18-year U.N. and U.S. sanctions were lifted in 2004 after Gadhafi abandoned his clandestine nuclear program.
Those sales must be coming back to haunt Europe’s arms manufacturers now as Gadhafi uses the weapons and equipment they supplied to fight off an insurgency to topple his 41-year-old regime.

“The situation in Libya illustrates the fundamental problem that the long-term effects of arms transfers are not taken into account,” observed Bernhard Moltmann of the Peace Research Institute of Frankfurt.

Italy supplied systems that Gadhafi has supposedly also been using against his own people, although it’s not clear if these included AgustaWestland helicopters under 2010 contracts worth $96.5 million.

Italy’s Selex Sistemi Integrati signed a $17.9 million deal for gun targeting equipment in 2010 and shipbuilder Intermarine SpA opened negotiations for warship contracts worth $827 million.

Read the whole article at UPI.