…Imagine all the people living for today
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you
You may say I'm a dreamer …….
John Lennon/Yoko Ono wrote this iconic song, which John sang. But indeed it is a pipe dream.
Data from Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) shows that the world’s ten biggest arms exporting countries made armament transfers worth more than $25 bn in 2018. Army-technology.com lists the top ten arms exporting countries based on SIPRI estimates of values of arms transferred in 2018.
The top ten arms exporters of 2018, from smallest to largest, are: Italy (707 mn); United Kingdom (741 mn); China (1.04 bn); South Korea (1.08 bn); Spain (1.18 bn); Germany (1.27 bn); France (1.76 bn); Russia (6.4 bn); and the USA (10.5 bn). The SIPRI study shows that between 2010–14 and 2015–19, exports of major arms from the USA grew by 23 per cent, raising its share of total global arms exports to 36 per cent. In 2015–19 total US arms exports were 76 per cent higher than those of the second-largest arms exporter in the world, Russia.
Among the top 10 arms exporters outside Europe and North America, Israel and South Korea showed the biggest increase in exports. Israeli arms exports increased by 77 per cent in 2015-2019 — a record for the country and South Korea showed a 143 per cent increase.
Wikipedia shows the list of biggest postwar (1950-2017) arms exporters. The list is very predictable. The first 10 countries in the list are: USA (682607 bn); UK (141385 bn); Russia (140057 bn); France (122558 bn); Germany (86740 bn); China (54395 bn); Italy (32855 bn), Czech Republic (29320 bn); Netherlands (24302 bn); and Israel (17457 bn).
Arms industry - Wikipedia
The world's largest arms manufacturers and other military service companies who profit the most from the War economy are located in USA, UK, Italy, Germany, and Israel. The biggest US companies along with their Defense revenues are Lockheed Martin (47.2 bn); Boeing (29.1 bn); Northrop Grumman (26.1 bn); Raytheon (23.4 bn); and General Dynamics (2.0 bn). We do not have any mechanism of adding the indirect revenues of other companies such as Google, Amazon, or Microsoft. Five other big arms manufacturers are from Europe.
Arms imports by countries in the Middle East increased by 61 per cent between 2010–14 and 2015–19, and accounted for 35 per cent of total global arms imports over the past five years. Saudi Arabia was the world’s largest arms importer in 2015–19. Its imports of major arms increased by 130 per cent compared with the previous five-year period and it accounted for 12 per cent of global arms imports in 2015–19. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been militarily involved in Libya as well as Yemen over the past five years and was the eighth-largest arms importer in the world in 2015–19.
India, my country, was the second-largest arms importer in the world, over the past five years.
Does the aforesaid data support the oft-repeated statement that religion, and particularly Islam is the cause of hatred and war? Which religion teaches arms production for killing others? As far I remember, Moses was given only a stick.
The data, in my opinion, shows that Capitalism in the postwar period could re-invent colonialism through the route of arms manufacture and exports to the willing parties. And who knows the role that the manufacturers play in the armed conflicts around the world. Data shows that the areas exporting countries sell arms to both parties in conflicts - to West Asia and to India and Pakistan.
I have also often heard that scientific pursuits and their applications are pure and benevolent. But is it so easy to protect fruits of scientific achievements from greed of men? To what extent science and technology have contributed to the welfare of the planet and to what extent it has contributed towards the creation of killing machines and poisons? I have an opinion that scientists are innocent pawns at the hands of much bigger sharks. Which scientist could stand up to dropping of bombs on cities of Japan?
With aforesaid data in the background, I ask readers to enquire into and discuss if possible four questions: 1) Is it correct to say that religion is the main cause of war and killings? 2) Is it correct to say that Islam is the main cause of conflicts in the world? 3) What worldview drives the materialistic motivation of maximising profit from war economies for the companies and countries? 4) What peaceful loving individuals can do to mitigate the demonic power of private merchants of death? and 5) What scientists can do to minimise damages from potential misuse of scientific and technological advances?