The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the huge and excessive amounts of public money spent on the military system all over the world. We would like to build a community that can have some impact on the budget decisions made, especially at national level, so that resources can be reallocated to human and environmental needs.
The current spending level for military budget, that amount to over 1600 billion $ each year according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, is grossly excessive and, in particular, we are totally opposed to spending on weapons of mass destruction. According to the SIPRI the reduction of 10% of military spending is enough to achieve major progress on some key Sustainable Development Goals, supposing that such funds could be effectively channeled towards these goals and that major obstacles, such as corruption and conflict, could be overcome.
In several regions we must counter the tendency to engage in an arms race/vicious spiral in which states justify their increased military spending to counter that of their neighbours and while maintaining/increasing their military spending, they are reducing social budgets (education, health employment). Moreover international humanitarian, peace building and development efforts lack necessary resources.
The idea that all the 67 wars that are occurring nowadays in the world will be solved by the old-fashioned deterrence politics is absurd and therefore simply increasing military spending to obey NATO diktats is completely misguided and even dangerous. The answer is a combination of diplomacy, resort to legal arbitration (after all, that is what the World Court is for), and increased economic and environmental cooperation, in order to develop the spirit of shared stewardship of scarce resources.
In every conflict there is someone you can talk to – if you persevere you can find them. See Jonathan Powell’s interesting book Talking to Terrorists, in which he argues from experience that even the toughest opponents at some stage will be open to discussion. Our argument is that there is no magic recipe for resolving this problem; there are many factor that have to be consider, but we prefer to bet on diplomacy and non-violent solutions – but they must be massively funded! – rather than pour billions more into a military system that has visibly failed.
Nonviolent alternatives are abundant, morally superior, drastically less costly, far more appealing to the great majority of people in most countries, and thus strategically more effective. They should not be mistaken for inaction or capitulation in the face of oppression or terror.