Today I participated in the Global Day of Action on Military Spending – a global effort to draw attention to the amount of money countries spend on defense, war, and their military vs. other issues and human needs like clean water, basic sanitation, primary schooling for all, eradication of HIV/AIDS and other major diseases, etc – all of which can be accomplished by spending just a small fraction of what the world spends on war-making. My good friend, mentor, and fellow peace educator, Barbara Wien, invited me to facilitate a session on peace education and nonviolence during a teach-in event that was held during the day of action on American University’s campus. The goal for our session was for attendees to not just be aware about how much money is spent on war-making and the nefarious interests that profit from it, but to actually start thinking about alternative approaches, specific actions, and examples of how people, communities, and government’s can create security, fight for human rights, and advance social justice, without violence and war. Continue reading to learn more about the day and the issue.
Over the past five years the United States has spent, on average, about $700 billion per year on the military and defense, which is over 50% of the U.S. government’s discretionary budget. This is more money spent on defense than all other countries in the world…COMBINED! Here are some other great videos to help you visualize how much money is spent on war vs. other basic human needs.
Trailer from Eugene Jarecki’s film, Why We Fight, one of my favorite documentaries.
Ben Cohen’s (from Ben & Jerry’s) Budget Presentation w/ Oreos