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Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Ted Rudow III, MA, a member of the Palo Alto High School community
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports that world military expenditures average between $900 billion and $1 trillion a year. Using the $1 trillion figure, that means an astronomical $2 million are spent worldwide on the military every minute! The U.S. military spends 42 percent of this.
A $30 billion, 10-year plan to provide clean water to the poor of the developing world would cost just 10 days of military spending. Eighteen days of military spending yearly could eradicate malnutrition worldwide. Experts believe that $200 million, or about three hours of military spending, could wipe out the diseases of diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, measles and polio, which together kill 4 million children every year.
Former U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower highlighted the wanton waste of war when he declared, “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. The world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children … Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron ... Is there no other way the world may live?”