ACTION ALERT: Reduce Military Spending, Defend People and the Planet
(April 17, 2021) — The world spent $1.92 trillion on the military in 2019, a 3.6% increase over the previous year and the highest figure since the end of the Cold War. Our governments’ ever-growing military capacities, in the name of national security, have proved themselves completely useless to defend people from the COVID-19 pandemic, nor can they keep us safe in the face of other global emergencies such as climate change. In addition, as the victims of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and elsewhere can testify, militarism makes conflicts worse rather than resolving them.
Current levels of military spending not only fail to provide true security, but they actually stand in the way of just and comprehensive solutions to the problems urgently demanding our attention. Indeed, the military power our rulers are so committed to -including new great power Cold Wars – helps create and sustain the very emergencies, tensions and injustice that they claim they are protecting their populations against.
We therefore demand that governments across the globe drastically reduce their military expenditures, especially those accounting for the largest shares of the world’s total spending, and reallocate the freed-up resources to human and common security-oriented sectors, notably for confronting the coronavirus pandemic and the eco-social collapse we are now facing.
Now is the time for a reset of our priorities as societies, and a new defense and security paradigm that puts human and environmental needs in the center of policies and budgets.
We need to defund the military if we are to defend people and the planet.
To endorse our appeal as an individual or as an organization please go to the form on our action network.
By April 26, the day when SIPRI releases new military spending data, we will prepare a press release with a list of all organizations endorsing this appeal and urging governments across the world to reduce their military expenditures.
GDAMS 10th Anniversary
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS).
Some of the key events over the month will include:
– April 26: GDAMS press conferences and twitter storm on the occasion of SIPRI’s release of new data on military spending
– April 30: International Day of Actions Against Foreign Military Bases
– May 1: International Workers Day
– May 9: Europe’s Day of Peace
– May 17: Tax Day in the US (originally scheduled for April 15)
– For a List of Global Actions by Country, click here.
The Carbon Boot-print: An IPB Information Paper: The United States and European Military’s Impact on Climate Change
(November 2019) — The US military is not only the most funded army in the world, it is also “one of the largest polluters in history, consuming more liquid fuels and emitting more climate-changing gases than most medium-sized countries”. The Department of Defence’s daily consumption alone is greater than the total national consumption of countries like Sweden, Switzerland or Chile. And the US has been continuously at war, or engaged in military actions, since late 2001.
War and militarism, and their associated ‘carbon boot-prints’, are severely accelerating climate change. However, the military’s significant contribution to climate change has still received little attention. It is not only the US army that has a severe impact on climate change, Europe’s military is also running its bases and its various operations and contributing to the rise in carbon emissions. However, obtaining accurate data about any form of military energy consumption is very difficult.
The entire IPB Information Paper by Jessica Fort and Philipp Straub is available here: IPB Information Paper – the carbon boot-print