The United States spends about $ 596.0 billion a year on its defense expenditure, according to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Defense spending is not a unique aspect to the United States, it is a common trend worldwide, just that the United States expenditure is more than next seven biggest defense spenders put together — China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, UK, India, France and Japan ($567.2 billion). United states spend about 1/3rd of world’s total defense expenditure of $1,676 billion. Why would a country put in such amount of money in defense, an industry that does not give any returns like how technology based company would give for your investment? What makes defense industry sustainable and worth spending on? War. Then the question arises how does War – a recipe for destruction could bring profits. Let us take a sneak peak into that.
Lawmakers in the United States, quite a few of them have their investments in defense-related companies, the most prominent being John Kerry who has investments up to 38 million dollars. Many other lawmakers in the U.S. congress have their huge chunk of investments in defense-related companies. This largely explains why the US congress is hungry for war, why it chooses war over dialogues, why the U.S. largely is involved in conflicts around the world from the Balkan region in the 1990’s to the Soviet Union to Vietnam and Middle-East. But profiting from war does not end there, after the collateral damage of countries due to war, the rebuilding process is the next money minting area where huge contracts for cars, bricks, bridges and what not are grabbed by companies like Halliburton(A multi-national corporation of the United States). It is worthwhile noting that the incumbent President of Afghanistan who came to helm post – Taliban regime was a former employee of Halliburton and the former vice president of United States was the chairman and CEO of Halliburton from 1995 – 2000.
We are at a time when the glaciers are melting fast, nations are facing existential threats, agriculture yield has strained, monsoons have become erratic and there is a very stingy behavior from countries in contributing towards funds for reversing global warming. It is at this juncture that we, as nations, are embarking on ambitious defense spending that can only destroy. Nations have to come together and shun weapons that seek to destroy and build bridges that will bring people together. The present tone and distrust between countries should be shed and collectively our focus should be on creating a better world for everyone to live and for the successive generations. Global warming and climate change should be our priority, not guns, not war, not profits.