Endless flow of weapons fuelling the world’s wars

Submitted by: Tony Magliano

According to a 25-year analysis of global conflicts and arms transfers conducted by the World Peace Foundation (WPF) titled “Who arms War?” all of the largest arms exporting nations continue to sell their weapons to countries even after wars start. It’s akin to pouring gasoline on a fire.

“Ethical export policy is a myth,” states the WPF. Of the 32 wars of this century that the WPF analysed all of them but one received weapons from the leading arms exporting nations – U.S., Russia, France, U.K., China, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Ukraine, and Spain – even when serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses were clearly on display. U.S. weapons to the Israeli government’s ongoing bombing of civilians in Gaza is a current tragic example (see: https://whoarmswar.tufts.edu/).

Rivers of mostly innocent civilian blood don’t deter the ongoing shipments of instruments of death. Where there’s a huge profit to be made, and power to be gained, any serious consideration of morality is virtually nonexistent among the arms exporting countries.

And to a lesser degree, it is important to note that some less affluent nations are also involved in the deadly arms business.

Corporations that are profiting the most from the immoral business of weapons production and sales are the U.S. companies Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, BAE Systems (U.K.), Norinco (China), AVIC (China).

If weapons production and subsequent weapons sales were to end, wars and armed conflicts would virtually come to a halt. Wars can’t be waged without weapons.

And think of all the good that could be done, both domestically and globally, if we ever come to our senses and transfer the vast amounts of money spent on weapons of war to building instruments of peace. Imagine seeing all of that money being used to ensure that every single person on the planet would receive basic human services like adequate food, decent housing, clean water and sanitation, health care, education, and life-enhancing jobs with a living wage. With these huge funds, we could totally and quickly move from dirty fossil fuels to clean energy for our health, the health of our common earth home, and the health of future generations yet to be born.

But very sadly, this wonderful scenario is not on the radar screens of the vast majority of rich and powerful individuals, corporations and nations.

At the Second Vatican Council the world’s Catholic bishops, in union with St. Pope Paul VI declared: “While extravagant sums are being spent for the furnishing of ever new weapons, an adequate remedy cannot be provided for the multiple miseries afflicting the whole modern world. Disagreements between nations are not really and radically healed; on the contrary, they spread infection to other parts of the earth. New approaches based on reformed attitudes must be taken to remove this trap and to emancipate the world from its crushing anxiety through the restoration of genuine peace.

“Therefore, we say it again: the arms race is an utterly treacherous trap for humanity and one which ensnares the poor to an intolerable degree.”

As dioceses, parishes and individuals we need to tirelessly urge national leaders to finally move away from the sin of war preparation and war-making to nonviolent peacemaking. It is bread, and not bombs, that humanity is hungry for.

Catholics, other Christians, and all people of faith in the God of peace who are in any way connected with the arms industry should seriously pray and think about leaving the business of making weapons. It is truly the morally right thing to do. Better to have far less money and more peace of soul. With an open heart and mind please prayerfully consider this powerful Pope Francis video

In the actual words of one of the Catholic Church’s greatest champions of nonviolence and peace, St. Francis of Assisi, let us greet everyone with “Pace e Bene” (Peace and all good)!

About the Author

Tony Magliano is not a member of the AUSCP. He is an internationally syndicated Catholic social justice and peace columnist. He is available to speak at diocesan or parish gatherings. Tony can be reached at tmag6@comcast.net.

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