Militarism and the World Military Order - A Study Guide for Churches

Publisher:  Project Ploughshares, Conrad Grebel College,, Waterloo, Canada
Year Published:  1980  
Pages:  70pp  
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX2126

Abstract:  This booklet is one of several published by the World Council of Churches (WCC) dealing with militarism and the arms race and their social and economic consequences. The author, Ernie Regehr, begins by presenting information and statistics about the world' nuclear and conventional arsenals. He also exposes the underlying political motives of various countries (especially the two super powers) which fuel the arms race. he also documents new trends in the militarism area - a technological shift from defensive to offensive nuclear weapons capability, and the growing acquisition of nuclear weapons by such countries as Israel, South Africa, Argentina and Pakistan.

This booklet examines the central role developed countries play in promoting Third World militarism, economic dependency and political repression. Increased military purchases starve struggling economies of funds for agricultural, health and construction programs. This in turn leads to the export of raw materials and cash crops which compounds food shortages and economic dependency leading to more social unrest and increased military expenditures for "internal order". This cycle of violence, once begun, becomes increasingly difficult to break.

The author believes that there is hope for reorienting the present military economic order. As one alternative he outlines a "sword-into-ploughshares" program whereby the diversion of only 10% of world military spending to development projects would yield $42 billion. The booklet claims that with such a goal the world could be a more just and humane place by the end of the century.

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