Mapping the War Machine


The above map almost certainly understates the U.S. role in funding militarism. The data is taken from SIPRI, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. While SIPRI cites the figure of $596 billion for U.S. military spending, a full tally of military spending across numerous departments reaches over $1 trillion per year. It is unlikely that SIPRI has under-reported or under-estimated other nations’ spending to the same extent. A rough total for the entire rest of the world is another $1 trillion per year. That $2 trillion is augmented each year by trillions of dollars in destruction by wars and trillions of dollars more in lost economic opportunities. World Beyond War argues that military spending impoverishes those nations engaged in it, rather than enriching them, and that — because a tiny fraction of military spending could end starvation, cure diseases, and otherwise transform the world for the better — we have a moral duty to make a transition.

This is not a moral duty to risk our lives, if World Beyond War is right that investing in war endangers us rather than protecting us.

For the gravest of the dangers that war investments produce, see the next page.

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