Military spending to be re-directed to advancing environmental, food and water security through treaties and agreements which promote a culture of peace.
Billions of dollars are spent each year on expanding military capacity for defence and war. With our societies confronted by a range of security threats including chronic poverty, climate change, environmental degradation and pandemic diseases, annual global military spending now exceeds $1.77 trillion. In a period of austerity where some of society’s basic needs are not being met, such exorbitant investment in the military is an expensive hindrance to the creation of a future-just society.
It is commonly argued that military spending increases our security. However, expenditure on nuclear weapons systems for example, has in fact created an existential threat to humanity. Rather than ‘saving’ our future, such an arsenal could in fact destroy it. In addition, scientific research into the development and maintenance of weapon systems robs such intellectual activity from our health, social and economic needs.
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its labourers, the genius of all scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Re-directing the world’s military expenditure would provide funding for all the solutions highlighted under the Global Policy Action Plan. In light of our urgent planetary crisis, such an abuse of our financial wealth and resources can no longer be accepted. Instead, such money could be put towards long term investment in our health, environment and education to the benefit of future generations.
The Bread Tank
At important global events, the World Future Council has presented an edible, life-sized tank made of bread. This unique mobile sculpture is a symbol of how the world's military budget should really be used - to fund sustainable development, fight hunger and extreme poverty, improve food and water security, and provide education and healthcare.