Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

RCW: A Farewell to (a few) Arms

Here is an article that was recently posted by Ray Acheson on the Reaching Critical Will blog.

After adeptly showing the defense budget "cuts" to be less than advertised, she gets to the meat of the issue:

Overall, the varying reactions to Gates’ proposed military budget are virtually devoid of any criticism of what the $534 billion is spent on—weapons of war. Weapons that are used in the wars that the United States instigates, wars which have another budget all their own. On the contrary, even those supposedly in support of arms control and disarmament have recommended the military stop wasting money on weapon systems they don’t use and spend it on weapons they do use. Further, no one seems to have questioned the need or right of the United States to use these weapons—that the US would need different types of weapons to fight new types of wars is accepted as fact. For all the talk of giving the military budget a “massive overhaul,” no one has referred to the distinction between offensive and non-offensive defence, the latter focusing on defence systems that protect a state rather than on armed attack against other states.

And no, missile “defence” is not a form of non-offensive defence, as its methods and means are inherently offensive. For example, as has even been argued by pro-missile “defence” advocates, “The mere fact that missile defense ships could be deployed to war zones as part of larger naval armadas gives them an immediately recognizable offensive dimension.” Further, as Mike Moore pointed out, “The infrastructure for a ballistic missile defense system is, in large measure, the same as that needed for an offensive anti-satellite system.”

Finally, as the military budget continues to grow even in a time of the global financial crisis, where is the money for everything else a country needs to survive going to come from? Why isn’t anybody asking that?


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