World Peace

With the end of the Cold War it was hoped that peace will thrive in our planet. A cursory glance at the conflict spots across the glob shows conflict is spreading out of control. Violent conflicts are not contained within states boundaries. Rather they are engulfing many states and regions.

As the aftermath of 9-11 has made it clear, the conflict has become global in nature. The main root of these conflicts is the spread of wealth, power and opportunities within a state and globally. The poorer are getting poorer while the rich are getting richer.
According to Wikipedia
• 2.8 billion people — 46% of humanity — live below the World Bank’s $2/day poverty line.
• A study found that the richest 2% own more than half of global household assets.
• The living condition of the people in the poorest states is worse now than it was three or four decades ago.

All this foments conflicts within a state as well as between regions. Some of these conflicts are strung together by terrorist groups such as Al Qaida and targeted at undermining the global status quo. The world response to this intractable problem is to spend more on defense.

Again According to Wikipedia
• In 2003 the world’s total military spending was US$956 billion.
• United States spent approximately 47% of this.
• The United States and its close allies are responsible for approximately two-thirds of all military spending on Earth
• Military spending accounts for more than half of the United States’ discretionary spending.

The Bush’s administration effort to preemptively nub these terrorist menace has proven unjustifiably expensive as well as ineffective. Over $360 billion has been spent on Iraq alone as of January 22, 2007 not to mention the human lose and suffering to US and Iraqi citizens. A similar engagement by NATO in Afghanistan is also bogged down.

A non-violent yet equally intractable and menacing outcome of this distribution of wealth and opportunity is the human wave out of poor shattered states and regions into the affluent and stable states. Millions every day try to flee their lot by immigrating to the rich states.

Rich states spend billions to dam the human wave, while they try to cope with the problem of millions underclass illegal aliens within their borders. There are an estimated eleven to twelve million illegal emigrants within the US alone and their number is growing daily. President Bush’s 2006 budget for Home land Security is about $24.4 billion.

So what would happen if all the states of the world pooled five percent of their military expenditure and invested it in economic development programs in all the regions of the world to eliminate hunger and poverty, fight debilitating epidemics and build infrastructure.
• There will be more peace and stability hence less need to spend on defense.
• The less we spend in counter productive defense the more budget for productive investment
• More productive investment resulting in more wealth creation.
• As more wealth is created the rich will get richer and poor will also get richer.

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