We are living in a world dominated by war. For those in the middle of the wars it is a life of chaos and crisis. In the U.S. and other countries distant from the fighting, the wars have other impacts.
Regardless of what we are told, the wars have the same underlying cause. They are wars of conquest – wars to control resources such as oil, minerals and other natural resources. These wars divert the wealth of the world into the pockets of the rich and powerful.
The Cost of War: Deaths & Forced Migration
Afghanistan – After a decade fighting the invading forces of the Soviet Union and a decade of civil war, the people of Afghanistan faced a U.S. military invasion in October of 2001. This most recent war has killed an estimated 250,000 people. And an estimated 2.5 million people are refugees outside their country and one million inside Afghanistan.
Iraq Estimates of the number of people killed from the U.S. invasion of Iraq, range from 500,000 to more than one million. More than three million people are displaced within Iraq, and more than two million have fled the country.
Syria The revolt of the people in Syria against the Assad government in 2011, has turned into a proxy war between the U.S and Russia, plus ISIS supported by wealthy rulers in the Middle East. An estimated 500,000 have been killed and 4.8 million refugees are living outside the country and 6.6 million are internally displaced.
Yemen The war is being carried out by the Saudi Arabian military supplied by the U.S. There, an estimated two million children are starving and there is a massive cholera outbreak with 360,000 suspected cases in just three months.
The crisis extends around the world. The UN estimates that 65.6 million people have been forcibly displaced due to wars, economic and environmental crises. One South Sudanese refugee camp in Uganda has more than 270,000 people! This is the human cost of these wars.
Another Cost of War – We Pay, They Profit
In addition to the massive destruction of life, the resources of society, that could be used to provide housing, food, education, healthcare for all are wasted in these wars.
World military spending totaled more than $1.6 trillion in 2015. The U.S. accounted for 36 percent of the total – more than the next seven countries combined. Nearly half of our Federal taxes go to pay for current and past military expenses. Each tax dollar spent on weapons and war, is another dollar cut from providing a livable society.
We are told that the military protects us. But the U.S. is responsible for the majority of the wars in the world. The U.S. has an estimated 800 military bases outside the U.S. Russia has three outside the territory of the former Soviet Union, Britain and France have a total of around 27.
The so-called defense budget is in reality a huge handout to weapons manufacturers, suppliers and sub-contractors. In 2015, U.S. corporations had contracts totaling more than $175 billion. Lockheed Martin alone had contracts of more than $34 billion. These weapons producers also sell 33% of the weapons in the world – fueling wars everywhere.
We don’t only pay for these wars with our dollars. We also pay with our lives. Young people go into the military in hopes that they will get training and a job when they get out. Unfortunately for many, the horrors of war leave them deeply damaged, both physically and mentally and little is done to aid them when they return.
A small minority is waging war on the world’s majority. Eight men own the same wealth as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of humanity. And with this wealth and power they wage wars, control the resources we have produced with our labor and destroy life on our planet.