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Military Spending Is Destroying the World

Military Spending Is Destroying the World

USA leads the way. Neocons are the worst culprits

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Al-Alam Arabic News Channel: A new cold war is looming. The global arms war has reached its highest levels in history. Military expenditures have reached $2 trillion $443 billion in the year 2023 across the five continents including the Middle East. These are record numbers. The Stockholm International Institute for Peace Research has revealed that the global military burden increased to 2.3% last year, with the rate of military spending as a percentage of government spending rising to 6.9%, and global military spending per capita reaching $309.

Washington has allocated more than one-third of the total global military expenditure for itself, around $916 billion—the highest expenditure in the world. China ranks a distant second with about $300 billion, surpassing Russia and India, while Saudi Arabia ranked first regionally and fifth globally with $76 billion, ahead of the Israeli entity.

The reports attributed this increase to the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the brutal aggression on Gaza that led to a hike in Israel's military expenditures, as well as rising geopolitical tensions in Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East.

Experts see the increase in the military expenditure as a reaction to the ongoing deterioration of global security. They warn of the danger of entering a spiral of action and reaction in light of an increasingly fragile global geopolitical and security system. Will these governments be drawn into unintended conflicts as a result of this arms sale?

That was our report. And we are going to the questions right now.

The report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute offered some figures for 2023. The USA, for example, spent $916 billion in military spending. China, $296 billion. Russia, $109 billion. India, $83.6 billion. Saudi Arabia, $75.8 billion. The Israeli entity ranked 15th with military expenditures exceeding 27 billion dollars—a 24% increase compared to 2022 due to the brutal aggression on Gaza. Iran ranked 33rd, according to Stockholm Institute, with an expenditure of only $10 billion.

We will discuss this subject with Professor Kevin Barrett. Good evening and welcome to our program. According to this report, there are two main factors in the increasing in the military budgets for those countries: The war in Ukraine and the brutal aggression on Gaza. What's the common point and the role of the United States in this phenomenon?

Both the war on Russia through Ukraine and the genocidal war against Gaza and Palestine are supported by the United States empire in general, and the neoconservatives in particular. They are extremist warmongers who are dedicated to keeping the United States empire in a position of unilateral hegemony. But that is impossible because of changes in the global economy and the spread of technology.

So we have a collapsing empire, the Zionist American empire, waging a preemptive global war to preserve its dominance. And that's the link between Ukraine and occupied Palestine, and also the increasing tensions in the South China Sea.

Professor, the United States has 40% of global military expenditures. Do you think this expenditure is necessary for the national security of America? How can we justify this expenditure by the United States of America?

The enormous military expenditure by the United States is largely a kind of subsidy to a corrupt military industrial complex, specifically the shareholders and executives of the corrupt corporations, and the bribed and profiteering generals and military people who are all making money from this.

The United States is not able to buy a mean, lean military force. On the contrary, its military is grossly inflated in its budgets and grossly deflated in its capabilities. That's why Russia is defeating the United States in Ukraine, and that's why the Palestinian resistance and indeed the regional resistance is defeating the United States in West Asia.

Again, the United States empire is decadent and collapsing. And its weakness is visible in this hemorrhaging of its financial power to prop up corrupt corporations and bureaucracies—while with a fraction of the US military budget, Iran is able to create a deterrent through its ballistic missile program that can checkmate the Americans in the region, as Scott Ritter recently wrote.

President Biden is hoping to win re-election and to continue to expand arms expenditures and supplying the Israeli entity. Do you think the American people will agree for that policy in the future?

The American people are beginning to rebel against their enslavement and occupation by the Zionist entity. We're seeing a huge anti-Zionist, anti-war movement on college campuses. Columbia University in New York City is now occupied by its students,and similar protests are happening elsewhere. The American people are turning against the Zionist genocide of Gaza. And the polls show that as time goes on, Americans are waking up to the reality of the fact that the Zionist entity is inherently genocidal and that the United States shouldn't be supporting it. The problem is that the United States is dominated by the power of Zionist billionaires, who own most of its media and dominate its financial sector. And therefore, the United States, like Palestine, needs an intifada or even a resistance movement to throw off Zionist occupation. I hope these protests on college campuses will turn into that kind of resistance movement.

There's no money to feed the poor, but they've always got money for wars. They just rammed $95 billion through the House to be given to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. I don't know what China is doing to attack the United States. This is in the imagination of some people that they are doing something, but okay. So that's one theater. Another theater is against Palestine. And another one is Russia. If we go back to the figures we talked about, the Israeli entity ranked 15th, but Iran ranked 33rd. What does that mean? Is Israel living off the wars and tension in the region and the world?

The Zionist entity only exists due to the massive support it receives from the West, and especially the United States, which has turned it into a kind of a garrison state. And it's a securitized state. It's a police state. It's got checkpoints everywhere. It's an apartheid state. And it's hyper-militarized, never more so than since October 7.

This is a tiny little country, 15 million population. surrounded by countries that have never really accepted its existence as a genocidal entity that has the right to exterminate and expel the people of Palestine. It's an artificial construct. It's a neo-crusader state.

And Iran is the biggest, most important country in the region that has said no to this genocide and that has a government that is in line with the views of the vast majority of the people of the region that the Zionist entity needs to dissolve and become Palestine again. And of course, that is intolerable to the genocidal Zionist leaders who have been essentially trying to drag the United States into a war on Iran for almost 20 years now. And they haven't succeeded for many reasons, chiefly that Iran has done such a good job of building its defenses on a very, very modest budget.

Professor, regarding the Cold War between China and the United States and NATO, do you think this new Cold War is an excuse for the United States to increase its expenditures in order to stand against China?

Yes, the military-industrial complex of the United States makes vast fortunes on international tensions. So there's always a group of lobbyists who are very well paid, who are working to try to increase the revenues of companies like General Dynamics, General Electric, Northrop Grumman, and all of these other weapons manufacturers. And they were a major factor in the coup d'etat that overthrew, or rather murdered, President Kennedy in 1963. They have been a major factor in other kinds of less bloody coups since then. And they're still a force to be reckoned with, as is the Zionist lobby in the United States.

So these corrupt lobbies are primarily responsible for this hyper-aggressive American foreign policy that is not even serving U.S. imperial interests. That is, the United States empire is likely to collapse quicker and much more violently than it would need to if it pursued a wiser policy, putting diplomacy ahead of rabid military adventures. But the people that profit from instability in the military industrial complex, and the rabid brainwashed Zionists who are just fanatical millenarian messianic extremists—those are the people who are responsible for this completely senseless and destructive and indeed self-destructive foreign policy.

Those reports indicate that expectations for global military expenditures in the next decade are over 10 trillion dollars. To what extent is this figure horrible? And will these arms be kept in storage, or will they be used in upcoming wars in the future?

The truly horrible thing about this global arms race that's being driven by the United States is not only that so many people are unnecessarily murdered and so many resources wasted, but that it makes it impossible for the leading nations of the world to cooperate in solving critical problems that the whole world is facing. There are, of course, environmental problems. And there are also problems in limiting certain kinds of technologies.

So-called artificial intelligence obviously needs to be curtailed, and it needs to be addressed by all the nations working together. Biological weaponry needs to be curtailed. And that requires fixing the biological warfare treaty and making it enforceable. COVID-19 was the product of an American bioweapons lab, and it was most likely a deliberate American attack on China and Iran. In a world in which the leading nation is pursuing such policies and wasting vast amounts of money, forcing the whole world into a desperate struggle to protect itself from this crazed declining hegemon, how is the world going to address the environmental issues, the threats posed by runaway artificial intelligence, the threats of biological warfare, and so many similar threats?

All of these issues require international cooperation.

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