New Zealand: Open Letter on Military Deployment to Iraq

Source: Peace Movement Aotearoa
11 February 2015

In response to yesterday’s announcement that the New Zealand armed forces will begin specific training for a possible deployment to Iraq, more than 30 representatives of peace, justice and faith organisations and academics have sent an open letter to government Ministers and Members of Parliament today strongly opposing any military deployment and stressing there are more useful contributions New Zealand can make.
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Arctic War Games: With Oil Prices Down, Russia Cuts Spending on Everything but Defense

by Rich Smith

Russia is in trouble.

According to its own Finance Ministry, the nation depends on revenue from crude oil and gas exports to fund 50% of its budget. But with the price of crude oil itself down nearly 50% over the past year, finding money to fund government programs is getting harder.

Result: Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov recently warned that crude oil prices of $50 per barrel (oil costs about $58 now, but has fallen as low as $46 in recent weeks) could siphon as much as $45 billion in revenue out of government coffers this year. This, Siluanov said, could necessitate budget cuts of as much as 10%. But there’s one part of the Russian state budget that won’t be cut at all: defense. Read more from source: The Motley Fool

 

A Comparative Study of the Military Spending of Nordic Countries

by Julina Canga

IPB has released a paper that presents a comparative study of military spending of Nordic Countries with a focus on: Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. This region is chosen to fulfill the interest of the International Peace Bureau in regional studies and because the Nordic region has maintained a long lasting peace in a historical perspective. The Nordic region is an important region to consider as a model of unity in peace terms. Read more…

Middle East Defense Spending Fuels Security Dilemma

Written by Madeleine Moreau

Countries in the Middle East are spending more on defense than ever before. In 2013, four of the top five fastest growing defense markets were in the Middle East, most notably in Saudi Arabia and Oman. Defense spending in the MENA region accounts for 7.8% of worldwide expenditures, up from 5.2% in 2008.

Defense budgets among rich Middle Eastern countries are likely to continue to rise over the next five years. The increasing threat of radical groups such as the Islamic State, along with the sharpening divide between Sunnis and Shias in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon has created a tense security dilemma throughout the region. Nations are likely to continue maintaining defense as a key pillar to foreign policy efforts, even as the price of oil remains low. Read more…

The World Can Live Better And Fight Climate Change, UK Report Says

By Megan Rowling

BARCELONA, Jan 28 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The world can improve living standards for all while cutting climate-changing emissions to keep to an internationally agreed limit for global warming, a team led by the British government said on Wednesday.

It launched an online calculator (www.globalcalculator.org) allowing businesses, governments, researchers and the public to explore how different ways of pursuing economic development to 2050 will shape carbon emissions and rising temperatures.
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