Instead of pursuing negotiations for worldwide abolition of nuclear weapons, the US is planning a total overhaul of its nuclear weapons program, including new generations of nuclear warheads, bombers, land-based missiles, air-launched missiles and submarine. The projected price tag? About $1 trillion over the next thirty years, or an average of $30 billion a year until the middle of the 21st century! For more on US plans for GDAMS 2016, see FULL TEXT
by Ted Rall
NEW YORK – Late last year, I interviewed Bernie Sanders while working on my biography “Bernie.” I asked him if he planned to reduce the defense budget if elected president. “We will take a hard look at that,” he told me, agreeing that there’s an awful lot of bloat in America’s military spending that ought to be cut.
Why doesn’t he say that now?
PRIME symposium “World Military Expenditure and Japan’s Choices”
This first Japanese Prepcomm for the Berlin congress was held on January 31, 2016 under the auspices of Meijigakuin University. Professor Takao Takahara (International Peace Research Institute (PRIME), Faculty of International Studies) put together an interesting programme.
The speakers examined first the global picture of military expenditure (Colin Archer, IPB), and US spending and research funding for military projects (Subrata Ghoshroy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), then at PM Abe’s new reforms of Japanese military policy (Akira Kawasaki, Peace Boat), and finally militarisation of outer space (Atsushi Fujioka, Ritsumeikan University).
The symposium was attended by some 60 participants, both students and activists, and was moderated by Prof. Takahara himself and Yayoi Tsuchida of Gensuikyo. While the meeting did not formulate any specific conclusions, the presentations are worth reading as background material on these important and indeed complex topics.
PRIME plans to come up with further public fora like this one, before and perhaps also after, the Berlin Congress, since, according to Prof Takahara, “the topic is especially important in the contemporary Japanese context; we might observe a major change to our demilitarized economy and society.”
This report summarizes the main statistics on global military spending, production and international transfers of conventional arms. The data in this report mainly comes from the databases of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), supplemented by socioeconomic statistics from Eurostat, the World Bank, the UN agencies specialized press. A section fed by data of the Small Arms Survey (Geneva) is devoted to the particular issue of small arms and light weapons.
MORE INFORMATION HERE!
The International Peace Bureau (IPB) has worked for over 10 years to develop a programme on Disarmament for Sustainable Development. A primary topic within this programme is military and social spending. The Congress — Disarm! For a Climate of Peace – Creating an Action Agenda — from 30th September to 3rd October 2016 at the Technical University of Berlin will bring together a wide variety of experts and advocates from around the world.
The aim of this Congress is to bring the issue of military spending into the broad public debate and to strengthen our global community of activism. The enormous global challenges of hunger, unemployment and climate could be brought closer to a solution by real disarmament steps – steps that need to be clearly formulated and put into political reality.
MORE INFORMATION HERE!