May 16 2014
The June 2014 issue of the American Journal of Public Health notes (free PDF here; hat tip David Swanson):
Around 90% of all deaths in war are civilians:
“The proportion of civilian deaths and the methods for classifying deaths as civilian are debated, but civilian war deaths constitute 85% to 90% of casualties caused by war, with about 10 civilians dying for every combatant killed in battle.”
Swanson notes: “A top defense of war is that it must be used to prevent something worse, called genocide. Not only does militarism generate genocide rather than preventing it, but the distinction between war and genocide is a very fine one at best.”
The U.S. launched 201 out of the 248 armed conflicts since the end of WWII:
“Since the end of World War II, there have been 248 armed conflicts in 153 locations around the world. The United States launched 201 overseas military operations between the end of World War II and 2001, and since then, others, including Afghanistan and Iraq ….”
U.S. military spending dwarfs all other countries:
“The United States is responsible for 41% of the world’s total military spending. The next largest in spending are China, accounting for 8.2%; Russia, 4.1%; and the United Kingdom and France, both 3.6%. . . . If all military . . . costs are included, annual [US] spending amounts to $1 trillion . . . . According to the DOD fiscal year 2012 base structure report, ‘The DOD manages global property of more than 555,000 facilities at more than 5,000 sites, covering more than 28 million acres.’ The United States maintains 700 to 1000 military bases or sites in more than 100 countries. . . .”
Here it is in visual form:
This may not be an accident ….
The Project On Military Procurement notes:
To support its world-wide empire at the turn of the 19th century, Great Britain adopted the “two power standard,” which called for the Royal Navy to be equal to the combined strength of the next two largest navies in the world. The United States has more than doubled that standard as regards budgets, and yet our politicians and senior defense officials complain such outspending is inadequate.
In other words, America has apparently adopted an “total power standard” … spending more on military than most of the rest of the world combined:
The United States spent more on its military than the next 13 nations combined in 2011.
Not only is war bad for civilians, it is also bad for the economy and makes us poor. The oligarchs are the only ones who benefit.