Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A comment regarding my post on The Two Futures Project

I do not usually post anonymous mails, but I did so in relation to this post because the author rang me and revealed his identity.

He wrote "It is illogical and embarrassing to maintain inflated military spending in this economic environment. The USA has a budget for 2009 of 651 billion dollars. That's twice the military budget of EU, and almost 10 times the military budget of China. The US military budget has risen by over $100bn from $530bn in 2007."

The writer's concern is legitimate but ill founded. We do live in a world where lust, greed, fear and other emotions drive people to do terrible things. A balance of power keeps the worst things in check.

Were it not for the military umbrella provided by the USA, most countries in the "free world" (e.g. in Europe) would have had to spend that much from their own budgets in order to maintain their sovereignty.

Now that US power is declining, we can see not only the Iranians and North Koreans posturing, but even pirates....

The lesson of history is tht when any dominant world power declines, the stage is set for struggles for global and/ or regional domination. Expect, therefore, for example, a struggle for power between Russia and the EU, and between China and other Asian powers.

The US military budget, like the military budget of some other countries contains some matters that are not exclusively military (R&D for example) which produce some civilian benefits. However, I would like all weapons to be abolished and all war to cease. But as long as we do have weapons and war, I would rather that the US (or similar countries) kept as high a military budget as necessary to keep in check powers such as China which are undemocratic and do not respect human rights.

So how do I reconcile that position with my cheering the Two Futures Project? The latter is about a common worldwide agreement to abolish nuclear weapons, just as we have had various other global treaties.

If it were possible to abolish war entirely by means of a global treaty, I would welcome that too. However, I fear that that will be beyond the bounds of possibility, this side of Heaven. Meanwhile, we must get on with what we can. Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Prabhu Guptara said...

By the way, China's military budget doubled between 2000 to 2008