World political leaders focus on strategic “threats” while forgetting “natural” dangers. The result is an untenable trade off between military and welfare expenditure. The COVID-19 сrisis has shown us just what the real priorities should be.
Militarization is the wrong path for the world to take and it fuels tensions and raises the potential for war and conflict.
This is one of the most critical issues of our time and will make a real difference to world stability and security. World leaders must put disarmament and peace at the center of policy making and develop a new agenda for disarmament that also includes banning nuclear weapons.
The world’s annual military spending is about $ 1.8 trillion. $ 1 trillion will be spent on new nuclear weapons in the next 20 years.
Anti-NATO activists have raised concerns about U.S. preparations for nuclear conflict. In their view, the major military conflict that Defender-Europe 20 military exercise was designed to prepare for, would never occur. An armed clash between NATO and Russia would inevitably be nuclear. The victims of this conflict would be the inhabitants of Europe, including the Baltic States.
So, on February 25, 2020, during a hearing in the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services, General Tod D. Wolters, commander of U.S. European Command and NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe, declared, “Nuclear forces are the supreme guarantee of the security of the Allies, and underwrite every U.S. military operation in Europe.” This means surely that Defender-Europe 20 is not only an exercise of conventional forces, but also of nuclear forces.
The world is in a perpetual state of war, this is not by accident, the beneficiaries are corporate arms industry to the detriment of humanity and societal needs.
Disarmament is a major key to the great transformation of our economies, in which ecological challenges will be solved and global social justice will be pursued!
We waste our money on deadly armaments. But we would get much more benefit by investing in ecology and healthcare. This should be humanity’s aim. We don’t have much time to try and turn things around.
The priority of all governments should be improving the living conditions, healthcare, housing, education, healthy environment, dignity of life for their citizens.
Now the world needs to work together for future security of health well-being and an end to all conflicts. We must understand that the resources of the world need to be redirected from weapons manufacturing to meeting the needs of all human beings and life on our planet.
*Jonas Dringelis is an editor at The Baltic Word.