Why we need a Peace Department
In an article entitled, “The best defence, New Scientist author Chris Langley reports that worldwide, military spending is expected to be $1 trillion for 2004.
No, I’m not one of those peaceniks who thinks we should all join hands and plant daisies together, but it’s the R&D that particularly has my interest. The US alone is spending around $63bn a year just thinking up new ways to blow stuff up.
Sometimes, stuff needs to be blown up, and by cracky, we’re the best at it. Nobody blows stuff up better than we do. (I’m including all kinds of other nasty things we know how to do under the “blowing stuff up” umbrella.)
We might actually be safer, and more secure, if we’d spend some – not all, I said I’m not a hippie peacenik, but some – of that money figuring out how to fix stuff. Innovative ways to sneak education into third-world countries. Effective treatments for malaria to stabilize countries where too many people are dying of it to run a good economy.
An infrastructure for peace studies and action, wholly owned and controlled by US. (Thanks, U.N., we’ll let you know if we need you. Go trade some oil-for-food somewhere.)
How about an assessment of the destabilizing effects of our massive arms sales. After all, no one sells more arms to the third world than we do. Even the Chinese take a back seat to our sales figures.
In the past, foreign aid has mostly wound up in the pockets of dictators while their brainwashed people only hated us more. So we’ll have to be smarter in the future. The performance requirements of Gates’ Foundation philanthropies are a good model.
How much would it cost to be running several humanitarian “Manhatten Projects?” A “Peace Department.” Would it kill us to try? Feel free to hit the “comments” link if you think it would…