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An Economic, Social, and Political Issue
By: Ryan Madramootoo
What is Military Spending?
Military spending is money spent on weapons such as guns, jets, and tanks. These weapons are suppose to aid the military in war and
to maintain a high national defense in the country. It can also be spending money to recruit more military service personnel's or even building runways for military uses.
"Mexico: U.S is arms bazaar for Mexican Cartels" - February 25, 2009
George Iknadosian, the owner of a gun store named X-Caliber Guns, will go on trial for multiple charges. These charges include selling hundreds of weapons to smugglers, knowing the weapons would end up with the drug cartels in Mexico. The weapons of X-Caliber Guns caused the death of 8 Mexican agents during the raid of a safe-house full of drug dealers. Even though the with X-Caliber Guns operations shut down, that was only 1 out of 6600 gun stores located alongside of the border.
"N.Korea diverts military budget to light industry" - January 7, 2010
North Korea wants to divert some of its military budget to the civilian sector. It hopes to increase mineral exports to China to become a prosperous nation instead of just being a powerful country. Recently, North Korea has also exported mass amounts of coal to China as well. Furthermore, a Chinese businessman has claimed that North Korea has anabundant source of graphite, which will also be exported to China.
"Defense Spending: $700 Billion a Year and We're Still Not Safe" - Jan 13, 2010
On Dec. 19, 2009, President Obama authorized a military budget plan for a record $663 billion to defend the United States, the highest since World War II. Far more money is tied up in buying weapons systems of unknown value. For instance, the Pentagon plans to spend more than $300 billion to buy thousands of F-35 fighters. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says "Our spending and program priorities are increasingly divorced from the very real threats of today and the growing ones of tomorrow."
"Canada to spend $9B on F-35 fighter jets" - July 16, 2010
Canada plans on spending $9 billion to purchase new fighter jets F-35s. The F-35s will replace the CF-18, which just underwent a 2.6 billion upgrade. Furthermore the costs may rise up $18 million billion. Although this is one of Canada's biggest military purchases, it is being heavily criticized because the Canadian government did not try to negotiate for a lower price.
"Five ways to cut military spending today" - September 21, 2010
he U.S. Military has an important purpose, protecting Americans, but that purpose has been distorted over the years. Here are five military spending cuts Congress and the President can make today while they undertake the harder task of rethinking the true purpose of the military and then restraining its use. Christopher A. Preble is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute.
"Lack of defense spending may cripple European ambitions" - November 28, 2010
all over Europe, the military budget has been significantly cut. The cuts in the European spending have caused serious tensions within NATO. The American stated that the European nations are not carrying their fair share in peace operations like Afghanistan. The European armies are undermanned to the point where they are not taken seriously and jeopardize their success on an operation. A new jet is being developed and built by a consortium of the three European nations: France, Germany and Britain. India has also shown interest to invest and produce a new fighter jet with these European nations.
"Pentagon spending binge: Part welfare, part waste" - December 1, 2010
This article explains that if the united states with its current budget being $700 billion, continues to spend on the military the way they are doing so, its annual budget will reach the $1 trillion mark by 2030. The United States defense Secretary, Robert Gates has expressed that the program must relinquish the "culture of endless money". A great deal of money is wasted because many military projects exceed over their planned budget or the military project becomes obsolete once they are completed.
"Japan unveils new defence policies, spending down 3 percent" - December 17, 2010
Although Japan has experienced mild economic decline, it still has approved its defenses because of growing threats from its neighbors: China and North Korea. Even with the military revision, Japan insists that they should not be taken as a threat. Japan is concerned with China's constant military expansion and North Korea's nuclear missile program. This leads to Japan hoping to work with the US to ensure its nations security.
"The impact of pentagon budget cuts could have on San Antonio" - January 7, 2011
Budget cuts mean cutting jobs, and forcing early retirement on existing service members. The San Antonio economy has thrived on military money being pumped into local businesses. Budget cuts could result in a lower military population, greatly affecting business owners in a struggling economy. Budget cuts equal closed doors for many business owners, due to lack of business. The entire area from the real estate market to local vencues relies heavily on the income from local military.
"Obama proposes increased defense spending" - January 11, 2011
US Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates a multiyear military budget proposal that would increase spending in 2011 by 1 percent, to $553 billion, and outstrip inflation each year until 2015 and 2016, when it would ostensibly be held flat. The US currently accounts for more than 40 percent of the world’s arms expenditures. Defense spending absorbs about 4.7 percent of gross domestic product, by far the most for the world’s major economies and over 50 percent of discretionary spending.
"Global military spending hits high but growth slows"-
Global spending rose 1.3 percent in real terms, a slowdown from 5.9 percent the year before as the economic downturn caused by the 2008 financial crisis hit military spending. The biggest cuts were in small economies in central and eastern Europe, and in crisis-struck southern European countries such as Greece.
"Poor nations boost arms spending" - June 6, 2011
Military spending by major developing countries grew faster than the global average last year, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Globally, military spending grew just 1.3% in 2010 - a notable slowdown compared with the previous decade.
Why is Military Spending a World Issue?
Military spending is a world issue because it tends to decrease an economy’s capacity to meet people’s basic needs, such as food, housing, and medical services. This is because increased military production leaves less national capital and financial institutions for the civilian part of the economy. Some government cares less about the lives of their citizens than how to make the strongest weapons. It’s possible to observe that developing countries, despite their lower incomes, tens to spend a similar and sometime larger share of their gross domestic product (GDP) on armed forces and weaponry than do wealthy developed countries. One of the examples will be North Korea, the government spends 32% of their GDP on weapons, rather than try to stimulate their economy, and give their civilians basic food and clothing.
How has the issue evolved over the time frame of your scrapbook?
First it starts off by how the developed countries spend more a lot on military, for example the U.S. Then it shows what effects it has on the cities like the economic decline in San Antino. the last article refers to the rapidly deveopling nations like China, have seen their economies boom in recent years. In addition, high and rising world market prices for minerals and fossil fuels have also enabled some nations to spend more on military.
What are the viewpoints?
The right-wing viewpoint of military spending includes people who believe pumping mass amounts of money into the military budget will ensure their security. They also believe a larger military will prepare the nation for war if ever, another nation chooses to attack them. they also think that if they spend more money on the military, much more weapon industries will open up and create jobs.
On the other hand, the left-wing viewpoint regards military spending as a waste of money. They think that instead of spending money on the military, it would be much more beneficial to spend money on civil programs like healthcare and education. The left-wing said also believes military spending just provides a massive pay cheque for the head of corporate weapon industries.
How does the issue relate to other categories?
- wealthy nations spend big amounts of money on the military to improve the security of the nation and its people but some counties spend themselves into debt. For example, the U.S spent themselves into billions dollars of debt due to wars, weapon systems, etc. These wealthy nations also invest into weapon systems for their allies. For example, the U.S spent millions of dollars to build missile defense systems for their ally, Israel, just in case Iran decides to attack them. Although, military spending creates jobs, the cities that adopt weapon industries become too dependent on them for income. Once the government decides to make cuts in the military budget, it can put these cities like San Antonio into economic decline because they have to layoff workers and force early retirement on military service personnel's. On the other hand, countries cannot substain their great power status because they cannot afford to update their army causing struggle in ambitions.
The people living in wealthy nations usually purchase firearms to ensure protection. There are people who shouldn't be able purchase firearms somehow manage to get their hands on them. Innocent civilians in these impoverished counties live in fear because the wrong people are the ones carrying the weapons. There is a lack of public programs to help people survive because of lack of funding, which is used to purchase weapons.
Governments feel spending money on military is much much more important than spending it on healthcare or education. They feel a well-defended nation will further ensure the safety of its people and sustain its great power status. The government will spend money on its military to make it a much more powerful nation like North Korea. Government leaves its people to die because they would rather modernize their military rather than setup civil programs like healthcare.
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