Countries all around the world spend trillions of dollars arming the military and preparing for wars that might never even come. New guns, tanks, drones and technology are being developed and bought and sold all the time. On average, more than 2% of countries’ wealth is spent on the military. Four of the countries which spend the most on arms are America, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia. There are other countries not that far behind. Every day, millions of dollars go to military spending. Just 10% of all that money could wipe out poverty in all its forms.

In 2015 the United Nations agreed upon seventeen sustainable development goals to be achieved by the year 2030. The number one goal is to root out poverty all around the world. This goal however cannot be achieved because of the lack of financial growth in the poorest of countries, which are the countries who need it the most. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) an institute dedicated to research on conflict, arms control, armament and disarmament estimated that only 10% of the 1.7 trillion US Dollars spent on military could wipe out poverty and hunger by the 2030.

Some people argue that the military is useful and not only for war. It does do good, such as providing assistance in time of crises and emergencies. However, the military staff, vehicles and emergency support services are not primarily designed to be of help in these situations. For example, there is a debate about sending the army into areas where gangs are very powerful, as soldiers are not trained for this kind of intervention, and it could lead to innocent people getting hurt.

Another argument is that we all benefit from military research. In fact, the internet was first developed by money from the American Department of Defence. But surely it doesn’t have to be the Department of Defence that gets granted the funds to develop these sorts of new technologies?

Researchers have also found that in the case of a civil war, increased military presence does not always help to stop the conflict. What is more effective in preventing rebellion are good policies and administrations, so that people are properly served by the government.

However, with the world in its increasingly unstable state, countries feel threatened by other countries, and are very unlikely to decrease their spending any time soon.

But if they did, and poverty was truly alleviated all over the world, would there be such a need for all these weapons and wars? That is another question…


Tell us: Tell us: do you think that countries need to spend this amount of money on arms?