26 Jun. 2007

Global Military Spending Hits $1.2 Trillion - Guess Who Is Paying For It?

As the Cold War fizzled to an end in the late 90's, who would have believed that global military expenditure was about to rise by 37 percent in a decade? The latest figures show that world military expenditure rose 3.5% to $1.2 trillion in 2006, with Bush's USA accounting for nearly half the total figure.
“The United States and the European Union countries continue to supply vast quantities of arms to the Middle East, despite the knowledge that it is a highly volatile region,” said Siemon Wezeman, SIPRI’s arms transfers project leader...

Among the top 10 importers were five Middle Eastern countries. While arms exports to Iran put Russia under the spotlight, deliveries from the United States and European countries to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were significantly larger, said the SIPRI report.

“Especially worrisome are deliveries of long-range conventional strike systems to these states and the effects this may have on regional stability. Because the development of large weapon systems is becoming increasingly costly, nearly all countries have become, or soon will become, dependent on other countries for weapons or weapon technology,” said the report.
What a scam. And we Australian taxpayers are up to our necks in it:
The 2000 Defence White Paper committed the Government to increase Defence spending by an average of 3 per cent real growth a year from 2000-01 to 2010-11, adding a further $28.5 billion of resources to Defence over that timeframe.

Now, the Government has decided to continue to increase Defence spending by 3 per cent real growth a year until 2015-16. This will mean an additional $10.7 billion for Defence over the period 2011-12 to 2015-16.

These commitments mean that the Defence budget will grow from $12.6 billion in 2000-01 to $26.7 billion by 2015-16...

A 15-year commitment to an average of 3 per cent real growth in Defence funding is unprecedented in our history.