By Shar Lichty
The first ever Global Day of Action on Military Spending took place on April 12 with over 100 events in 35 countries in response to the release of the report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute on military spending. Here are some major highlights of the report:
- The US now accounts for over 40% of the global total.
- Although the rate of increase in US military spending slowed in 2010, the global increase in 2010 is almost entirely down to the US and accounts for $19.6 billion of the $20.6 billion real-terms increase.
- The US spends a higher proportion of its GDP on the military than any other country outside the Middle East.
- World military expenditures increased slightly in 2010 and are now estimated at roughly $1.6 trillion.
PJALS organized an event for GDAMS with volunteers distributing information to nearly 100 individuals and collecting 60 more signatures for our Bring Our Billion$ Home campaign, including the Easter Bunny. Other peace groups in the region have organized tax day events around this day of action as well. Western Washington FOR has organized actions at numerous Bank of America branches for 4/18 where they will distribute literature on the two fat, sacred cows: military spending and corporate tax loopholes. Idaho Peace Coalition in Boise is working with United Vision for Idaho and has organized a day of events on 4/15 at the Capitol. Missoula Women for Peace is working with Community Action for Justice in America, Africa & Asia to distribute literature on US military spending and the budget with a focus on cuts to social services and on corporate tax dodgers for 4/18.
For more information on GDAMS, go to www.demilitarize.org. For the full report on military spending, go to www.sipri.org. For more information on our Bring Our Billion$ Home campaign click here.