How the U.S. Can Help Humanity Achieve World Peace (Yes, World Peace) | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network

18 Jan

The U.S., which continues to cling to the atavistic adage that peace can only be assured by fighting and preparing to fight, remains a major impediment to a post-war world. We insist that we are a peaceful people, and yet we maintain a global military empire, with soldiers deployed in more than 100 countries. In the past decade we have been embroiled in two major wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as contributing to the recent bombing campaign against Libya.

Consider, moreover, these statistics from SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, a respected, independent tracker of trends in conflict. The U.S. military budget has almost doubled in the past decade to $700 billion. If you include spending on nuclear weapons and homeland security, our annual outlays approach $1 trillion, which exceeds the defense budgets of all other nations combined. We spend more than six times as much on defense as China, our closest competitor, and more than 10 times as much as our former nemesis Russia.

The U.S. is also by far the world’s largest arms dealer.

via How the U.S. Can Help Humanity Achieve World Peace (Yes, World Peace) | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network.

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