Graph: Military expenditure (% of GDP) from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
Spending money on weapons to protect the country is a terrible waste of money, unless you know that a military attack from a foreign army is imminent, and how many countries are actually threatened by such possibilities today? Naturally the military says that such threats are real and imminent – they have a strong lobby from the weapons industry.
The military and defence activities of any country must be prepared for more than just military attacks in today’s world. The possibility of a a climate disaster is very real – heat waves, droughts and flooding are really more. Common that before. So are pollution, viruses, earthquakes, mud slides, cyber attacks and evil politicians and terrorist groups.
Trump has been berating Nato about its defence spending habits. The USA spends 4% of GDP on defence and the rest less than 2%… but just look at the graph of defence spending as a percentage of then world’s GDP for the last 60 years – it is good that this money has gone down and levelled off at around 2.2%.
People like Trump, who surround themselves with military and defence people, just do not care about peace and the quality of life. We have seen his antics in Helsinki that no white-washing at the White House can remove.
Why does any president need special jet planes and hundreds of bodyguards, and preparations that last for weeks to visit some peaceful foreign country? Why cannot he talk with ordinary people in the street without snipers? Why do these people need protecting with such wasteful arrangements when taxpayers’ money should be spent on education, healthcare, care of the young and elderly, and care of the environment?