The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world where humanity’s priorities should lie. This major attack on people’s security across the world shames and discredits global military expenditures and proves them an outrageous waste and loss of opportunities.
Consider what could be done worldwide with the current military spending of 1.92 trillion US$ each year. Here is a graphic illustration from the Global Day of Action on Military Spending – GDAMS- 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic must be addressed by supporting healthcare and other life-sustaining activities, not by spending on military equipment and personnel. The fact that military assets are being deployed during this crisis can be profoundly misleading: it doesn’t justify their bloated budgets, nor does it mean that they are solving this crisis. It shows quite the opposite: we need fewer soldiers, jets, tanks and aircraft carriers and more doctors, ambulances and hospitals.
Major reductions in military expenditures would free up resources not only to provide better healthcare and long term care, but also to tackle climate and humanitarian emergencies, especially in countries of the Global South, where Ebola, Cholera, Polio as well as Covid-19 are causing widespread suffering and death. Cutting military spending would also allow us to provide appropriate funding to institutions that work for human and common security, particularly the United Nations and its agencies.
A petition campaign, “Healthcare Not Warfare”, is underway in preparation for the next UN General Assembly meeting this fall. If you have not yet done so, please sign the petition at www.change.org/healthcarenotwarfare.