Global Day of Action Against Military Spending

The Global Day of Action on Military Spending is a day to mobilize people around the world against the excessive military spending which promotes war and threatens human security. Governments that over spend on their military end up diverting resources from social services that promote stability and peace.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that 2010 global military expenditure was $1630 billion, an increase of 1.3 percent from 2009. Although this represents the slowest rate of increase since 2001, governments are still investing in war when they could actually be investing in peace and human security.

Globally it would cost $10 billion to provide universal primary education, $30 billion to eradicate world hunger, $30 billion to provide clean water to everyone without it. Which is the better investment?

SIPRI’s research indicates that the United Kingdom was third, behind the United States and China, on military expenditures in 2010. Even though it was faced with budget deficits, the UK managed to spend $59.6 billion on its military. Defence spending will be cut by by 8% over four years compared to an average of 18% across other departments. Ministry of Defence will receive an extra 100 million pounds to fund participation in armed conflict in Libya.

The UK government has also decided to postpone making a decision on renewing Trident nuclear systems until 2016. Currently, it costs the government 2.2 billion pounds to maintain current Trident nuclear weapon systems and as of January 2011, 687 million pounds had been spent on the ‘concept phase’ of procuring new systems. The government predicts that submarine and warhead replacements of Trident system will cost 20 billion pounds.

You get what you pay for. WILPF advocates that the government cut spending on war and allocate this money to providing human security, social services, jobs and equality. In the Strategic Defence Review the government stated it’s commitment to the achievement of a nuclear free world, it should act on this commitment and stop spending money on nuclear weapons.