By Latheef Farook
He World military expenditure exceeded two trillion dollar for the first time. According to a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on 25 April 2022 the total global military expenditure increased to 2113 billion dollars.
SIPRI monitors developments in military expenditure worldwide and maintains the most comprehensive, consistent and extensive publicly available data source on military expenditure
The five largest arms exporters in 2017–21, amounting to 62 percent of the total, were the United States, Russia, France, China and Germany. The five largest arms importers were India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Australia and China.
Weapons industry flourishes on wars which causes death, destruction and human misery.
In the US and Europe weapons industry plays a crucial role in the political and economic fields. Weapons industry makes and unmakes politicians and politics, controls the media and shape people’s mindset to suit their evil agendas.
They always concentrate on manipulating counties where there is wealth.
For example in 1979 Islamic revolution in the oil rich Iran overthrew Shah’s pro-western regime. Iran ws a huge market for weapons industry while people suffered in abject poverty.
There was chaos in Iran. In the midst US and Europe and Israel got together with Saudi and Gulf stooges and put forward Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to invade oil rich Iraq. The result was the eight year Iraq-Iran war which destroyed the two countries, killed over a million people and help US-European and Israeli weapons industry flourish- involving around 800 billion dollars.
After the war, bankrupt Iraq started border dispute with Kuwait. Exploiting the dispute the US used its ambassador in Iraq April Gaspie to mislead Saddam Hussein, during her meeting with him, that if Iraq interferes in Kuwait, US would consider it an Arab-Arab affair.
Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. Under the guise of liberating Kuwait, the US mobilized a global coalition, invaded Iraq and virtually destroyed Iraq and Kuwait.
US-European and Israeli weapons industry flourished.
US got oil rich Gulf sheikhs to foot the bill for the war. The war also divided the Arabs for generations to come for the benefit of Israel.US also got the contracts of reconstruction exclusively for US companies.
In its wake Zionist Jews wanted to destroy Iraqi war machine once and for all. They, together with US, manipulated the next war on Iraq when the US falsely accused Iraq of possessing weapons of mass destruction.
There was no such weapons in Iraq and United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter submitted several reports to that effect. However US exploited UN to pass resolutions, bribed and blackmailed countries to invaded Iraq and turned this almost developed but war battered country into a graveyard.
Millions of innocent Iraqis were slaughtered. Former US President Jimmy Carter said Iraq was sent back to middle age .Once again US-European and Israeli weapons industry flourished on the blood and flesh of millions of innocent Iraqi men, women children and the aged.
Almost ten years later when the Arab Uprising began US-Europe and Israeli manipulated the crisis to suit their agendas and turned oil rich and almost developed Libya and Syria into killing fields. Millions were driven to refugee camps where they still languish in abject conditions.
Thalifdeen-Senior Editor and Director, UN Bureau. Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency
Commenting on this United Nations in New York based popular veteran Sri Lankan journalist Thalifdeen, , who has been covering this field for more than 50 years, had this state in a special interview to VIRAKESARI;
As global military spending reached a staggering $2 trillion dollars last year — for the first time ever– one of the results of this prolific expenditure was an increased flow of weapons from the world’s arms manufacturers.
The ongoing military conflicts and civil wars in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Myanmar and Libya were fueled by weapons from the world’s major arms producers, mostly the US, Russia, China, France and UK, the five permanent members (P5) of the UN Security Council.
Ironically, they are mandated to “maintain international peace and security”, according to the UN charter. But instead, the Big Five were pre-occupied arming the various warring parties.
The conflict in Yemen, for example, has been aggravated by US and French arms supplies to Saudi Arabia. In Syria, the weapons to the Assad regime are from Russia and in Myanmar the primary arms supplier is China.
The United Nations has rightly described the deaths and devastation in war-ravaged Yemen as the “world’s worst humanitarian disaster”— caused mostly by widespread air attacks on civilians by a coalition led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
But rarely, if ever, has the world denounced the primary arms merchants, for the more than 100,000 killings since 2015– despite accusations of “war crimes” by human rights organizations.
And despite concerns in the U.S. and U.K. about Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen, both weapons suppliers continued to export arms to Saudi Arabia—with 73 percent of Saudi Arabia’s arms imports originating in the U.S. and 13 percent from the U.K.
Meanwhile, as the 20-year-old occupation of Afghanistan came to an inglorious end in August last year, there were heavy losses suffered by many– including the United States, the Afghan military forces and the country’s civilian population.
But perhaps there was one undisputed winner in this trillion-dollar extravaganza worthy of a Hollywood block buster: the military-industrial complex which kept feeding American and Afghan fighters in the longest war in US history.
US President Joe Biden, in a statement from the White House, was categorically clear: “We spent over a trillion dollars. We trained and equipped an Afghan military force of some 300,000 strong. Incredibly well equipped. A force larger in size than the militaries of many of our NATO allies.”
Of the staggering $1 trillion, a hefty $83 billion was spent on the military, at the rate of over $4.0 billion annually, mostly on arms purchases originating from the US defense industry, plus maintenance, servicing and training.
The Afghan debacle also claimed the lives of 2,400 US soldiers and over 3,800 US private security contractors, plus more than 100,000 Afghan civilians.
Disclaimer: Flourishing weapons industry
Source of human misery worldwide. - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view