We must counter the tendency to engage in an arms race / military bloat vicious spiral in which states justify their increased military spending to counter that of their neighbours, while they reduce social budgets (education, health employment) and don’t allocate enough resources to diplomacy, cooperation, humanitarian and development aid or peacebuilding.
The idea that all 67 wars occurring nowadays in the world will be solved by the old-fashioned deterrence politics is absurd. Increasing military spending to obey NATO diktats is extremely misguided and dangerous. The answer should instead be a combination of diplomacy, transparency, resort to legal arbitration and economic and environmental cooperation, in order to develop a spirit of cooperation, solidarity, just distribution and shared stewardship of scarce resources.
Our argument is that there is no magic recipe for resolving this problem; there are many factors that have to be considered, but we are absolutely convinced that diplomacy and non-violent solutions will yield much better results than pouring more billions into the military, which has ostensibly failed over history.
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 of course should never be mistaken for inaction or capitulation in the face of oppression or terror.
We, as active members of global civil society, need to combine our voices and efforts with others in order to name, protest and change the injustice military spending represents and perpetuates. We cannot overstate that militarization is profoundly rooted in a predatory economic system, which is destroying life-support systems and generating increasingly obscene levels of violence and inequality. It is therefore essential to incorporate an intersectional and all-encompassing analysis that can connect the dots between different trends and emergencies and, on the basis of that diagnosis, offer alternatives that are peaceful, sustainable and just.
The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness on the excessive amount of public money spent year after year on the military system all over the world. Our growing community intends to impact at the budget decision-making, especially at the national level, so that resources are reallocated to human and environmental needs.