There is instability in the Middle East basin, feuds and riots in Africa, growing threats from North Korea. War winds blow stronger and stronger, from East to West, from North to South. Man fondles his destructive vocation again; a simple escape route, an easy way out in front of economic and social problems. An insult to life, rights, and to dialogue, which is too often shelved and branded as a sign of weakness.
That the world is going through a period of tension and fear is proven by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s last report on military expenses. After four years of shrinking, war industry has resumed growth. In 2015, the production and sale of weapons generated a 1.676 billion dollar market, with an increase of 1% compared to 2014. That is about 2.3% of global GDP. After four years of crisis, a new golden age has begun for death manufacturers.
According to analysts, there are the reasons for this trend reversal: On the one hand the global economic situation improved after the depressive phase it had been experiencing since 2008. It promotes military investment among super powers and emerging countries. On the other hand there has been a boom of war outbreaks in geographical areas that have become unstable, such as Syria, Iraq, and Libya. All these areas are affected by the Isis phenomenon. The Jihad is a decisive factor, in a way, we may call it the “Warlords’” goose that lays the golden eggs.
In fact, the most significant increases have been recorded exactly in the Middle East. But also in Asia and in Eastern Europe (that is, Ukraine and Russia) have increased its military expenses. In the West, these numbers are still waning, but not as strongly as in the past. The United States remains the country that spends the most. Its 596 billion dollars budget has decreased by 2.4% over the last year. US is closely followed by China, which allocated a 215 billion dollars budget for military costs in 2015. In its turn, China is followed by Saudi Arabia (87.2 billion), and Russia (66.4 billion).
Over a period of ten years, Washington’s military spending has declined (-4%), whereas Beijing’s have boomed (+132%); there has been a huge increment also in Riad’s (+97%) and Moscow’s (+ 91%) military spending. France had been ranked fourth in 2014, then moved down to seventh place. It is followed by United Kingdom and India. Italy has been ranked 12th, with 21.5 billion euros (23.8 billion dollars), which constitutes 0.95% of its GDP. Italy has cut its military spending by over 10% (the strongest decline among the 28 EU member states). In Asia – still according to the Research Institute – Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam’s growth of military spending mirrors the tension between these countries and China and North Korea.
“The reasons for this trend change are Russia, the Islamic State organization, and NATO – said SIPRI researcher Sam Perlo-Freeman -. This situation mirrors the escalation of conflicts and tension in many parts of the world, but it is related also to oil.” Oil low costs and the rise of terrorism and wars, which cause instability, have certainly created the conditions for more investment in arms. And when black gold and gunpowder are mixed, the outcome is the color of blood.