Global Day of Action on Military Spending
an article by The GDAMS team of the International Peace Bureau
The International Peace Bureau is happy to announce
that the date of the 4th edition of the Global Day
of Action on Military Spending has now been fixed:
Monday, 14 April 2014.
click on photo to enlarge
It coincides, once again, with the release by the
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
(SIPRI) of their annual statistics on global
In the USA, Tax Day actions will be held on 15
April and some groups will combine the GDAMS
actions with those. Peace Action through Judith Le
Blanc, is the U.S./North America Coordinator.
In other places, activists may prefer to do an
action on the weekend, i.e 12-13 April. This could
be followed by an extra activity on the Monday,
and/ or the release of an action-report to the
media on that day, together with the latest SIPRI
So you see there are a number of options available
in terms of timing. Whatever works for you!
Similarly, the themes featured by each group will
vary according to domestic and regional political
circumstances. Some groups are focusing on
opposing the governments’ purchase of more war
hardware: F-35 and Gripen fighter planes and
drones; re-negotiating the Pentagon budget in the
U.S.; calming the drumbeat on regional political
tensions; resisting amendments to laws that would
lead to militarism; demanding an end to military
violence, and the ultimate goal of persuading
governments to reallocate military expenditures to
peace, sustainable development, environment
(especially climate change and biodiversity loss),
social justice and green employment creation. We
are building this in in the materials and
resources we are creating centrally.
All we ask is that everyone makes an effort to
make known the actual global spending figures
which had reached 1.75 Trillion US dollars in
2012. After all, even if in some countries the
national military budget is not so very large, or
is even being reduced, it is the overall global
total which is the real political and moral
Here at IPB Secretariat we will do all we can to
ensure a smooth coordination of our activities.
Among other things, we will negotiate with SIPRI –
as in previous years – a pre-view of the basic
data which can be made available to partners one
week ahead of time, subject to signing an
agreement not to release it ahead of 14 April.
More on this in due course and please come back to
this website often. New materials will be posted
here and in the IPB website.
Do try to draw in a wide range of partners in your
area/country/sector as early as possible in the
process. For inspiration, you may find it fruitful
to look back at the actions done in each region in
the previous editions of GDAMS.
Send us details of your plans and we will post
them in the world map of GDAMS actions.
(Click here for a Spanish version of this article or here for a French version)
Question(s) related to this article:
Does military spending lead to economic decline and collapse?,
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Latest reader comment:
I think it was Marx who said that military spending is like throwing money into the sea, since it does not produce anything of value for people.
We could saw this previously in the case of the Soviet Union that was driven into bankruptcy by the arms race, which was a deliberate and successful strategy of NATO.
But now, if we look clearly, we can see it is now the case for the United States which produces very little for export and imports enormously (especially from China), while it spends most of its wealth on arms production.
Arms production is hidden in the official government budget of the United States. First, the government adds in social security which does not come from taxes, but which is simply a form of saving by those who pay into the system. Then it hides much of military spending in other budgets (for example nuclear production is hidden under energy). And finally, it fails to mention that most of the enormous budget item of debt payment is actually the payment for previous wars and arms production.
According to the careful research of the War Resisters League (available at their website, almost half of the federal budget of the United States is for present and past military expenses. This amounts to over 1.3 trillion dollars a year!