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Why the World will never see Peace


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War is profitable.

Which country dominates the global arms trade?

By Tim Bowler Business reporter, BBC News
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US F-35B fighter jets drop GBU-32 bomb during a training at the Pilsung Firing Range on September 18, 2017Image copyright South Korean Defence Ministry Image caption US F-35 fighters on a training exercise in South Korea, 12 countries are due to operate the aircraft, including South Korea

Brutal civil wars in Syria and Yemen, coupled with the return of great power rivalries between the US, Russia and China, have brought the world's arms trade into sharp focus.

And unsurprisingly it is a thriving global industry, with the total international trade in arms now worth about $100bn (£74bn) per year, Pieter Wezeman, senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri), tells the BBC.

In its latest figures, the defence industry think tank says that major weapons sales in the five years to 2017 were 10% higher than in 2008-12.

And it is the United States that is extending its lead as the globe's number one arms exporter, adds Sipri.

It estimates that the US now accounts for 34% of all global arms sales, up from 30% five years ago, and are now at their highest level since the late 1990s.

Saudi army officers walk past F-15 fighter jets, GBU bombs and missiles displayed during a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of the King Faisal Air Academy at King Salman airbase in Riyadh on January 25, 2017Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Saudi Arabia is now the world's top importer of US arms

"The US has been open to supplying arms to a large variety of recipients, and there are a large number of countries ready to acquire weapons from the US," says Mr Wezeman.

The US's arms exports are 58% higher than those of Russia, the world's second-largest exporter. And while US arms exports grew by 25% in 2013-17 compared with 2008-12, Russia's exports fell by 7.1% over the same period.

It is Middle East states that have been among the US's biggest customers - Saudi Arabia tops the list - with the region as a whole accounting for almost half of US arms exports during 2013-17.

Yemen's civil war

This comes as arms imports to the region have doubled over the past 10 years, driven by widespread conflicts across the area - most notably the civil wars in Syria and in Yemen, which the UN has called the world's worst man-made humanitarian disaster.

A Yemeni child looking out at buildings that were damaged in an air strike in the southern Yemeni city of Taez.Image copyright Getty Images Image caption About 75% of Yemen's population are in need of humanitarian assistance

Since Yemen's civil war started in 2015, Saudi Arabia and eight other Arab states have carried out an air campaign in support of forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

These are fighting Houthi rebels said to be backed militarily by Iran.

The UN says that as of last November, at least 5,295 civilians had been killed and 8,873 wounded, although the actual figures are likely to be much higher.

The bitter conflict in Yemen has brought the ethical issues of international arms sales into sharp relief in many western countries, which have seen Saudi Arabia and its allies use their advanced weapons systems in the country.

"Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates were major arms importers anyway," says Sipri's Pieter Wezeman. "The major difference is that now they are using these weapons - in Yemen."

Smoke billows following an air-strike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting the Al-Dailami air base, in the capital Sanaa on April 5, 2018Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Saudi Arabia and eight other Arab states are carrying out air strikes to restore President Hadi's government

The UN says that Saudi-led coalition airstrikes continue to be the leading cause of child casualties as well as overall civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, rebel forces have fired artillery indiscriminately into cities such as Taizz and Aden, killing civilians, and also fired rockets into southern Saudi Arabia.

"There is a clear risk that arms sales contribute to human rights violations," says Oliver Feeley-Sprague, arms trade expert at Amnesty International.

"There are clear violations being committed by all sides. But in general, the more weapons get supplied, the more they risk being used."

The scale of the war in Yemen has led some countries to act: Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany among others, have all recently restricted arms sales to the region.

China's growth

Across in China, its economic rise has been mirrored by a growing defence budget and its increasing importance as a global arms supplier.

The country is now the world's fifth largest seller of arms. This puts it behind the US, Russia, France, and Germany, but ahead of the UK.

Chinese soldiers applaud during a military parade in China's northern Inner Mongolia region on July 30, 2017Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China is now the world's fifth-largest weapons exporter

China's arms exports rose by 38% between 2008-12 and 2013-17, and the country now has the world's second-largest defence budget after the US - $150bn compared to the latter's $602bn in 2017.

As China spends more on its defence industries, it means that it is it is also increasingly challenging the West when it comes to the technological sophistication of its weapons systems, says Meia Nouwens, research fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

"There should be no doubt that the PLA [People's Liberation Army] today is no longer far behind the West when it comes to certain areas of defence technology," she says. "The West's superiority in the air is under growing threat.

"China may not yet be able to produce high-performance military jet engines, but with the rate they are innovating they are not light-years away from being able to do it."

China's aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, arrives in Hong Kong on July 7, 2017Image copyright Getty Images Image caption China's first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning: China is said to be planning to have four carrier battle groups

China's increased military spending comes as it is moving from being a land-based military to becoming a naval-based power - and has poured huge sums into its growing navy.

Since 2000 it has built more warships than Japan, South Korea and India combined - the total tonnage of new warships and auxiliaries launched in the last four years is greater than that of the French navy. Other countries across, such as Japan and India have responded by spending more on naval power.

Japan Maritime Self Defence Forces latest warship, the helicopter destroyer Izumo at its base in Yokosuka on March 31, 2015Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Asian military spending: Japan's latest helicopter carrier Izumo, though officially a "destroyer", is its biggest warship since World War Two

"China has grown at a staggering rate, economically, and is seeking to transform that into a military power that is consistent with a regional hegemonic position," says Veerle Nouwens, research analyst at Royal United Services Institute (Rusi).

Part of this strategy includes China's efforts to export its arms. It sold weapons to 48 countries during 2013-17, with Pakistan being its top customer, and it is making inroads into some of Russia's traditional export markets.

The Indian Navy's third Scorpene-class submarine, Karanj, is pulled into the Arabian Sea after its launch ceremony at the Mazagon Dock Shipyard in Mumbai on January 31, 2018Image copyright Getty Images Image caption India is also spending more; its defence imports rose 24% between 2008-12 and 2013-17 and is building six of these French-Spanish designed submarines

"They are both selling to similar customers - countries that the west won't sell arms to - like Iran, Venezuela, Sudan and Zimbabwe," says Dr Lucie Beraud-Sudreau of the IISS.

African conflicts

In a world where arms sales are rising, the major exception to this seems to have been Africa. Between 2008-12 and 2013-17 arms imports by African countries fell by 22%.

Global weapons trade

Yet crucially, the figures here do not tell the whole story. Internationally, arms sales are measured by the total value of the contract - but this downplays the significance of small arms and light weapons to continuing conflicts in Africa, most notably South Sudan's civil war.

"We are not seeing significant reductions in the fighting in South Sudan, and this is clearly being fuelled by significant purchases of small arms and light weapons," says Amnesty International's Oliver Feeley-Sprague.

"For instance, three shiploads of machine guns, which would make a huge difference to armed groups on the ground, yet would not even show up in the statistics."

Major arms exporters

In 2014 the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) came into force, with the aim of regulating the international trade in conventional weapons.

It requires states to monitor arms exports, and ensure that their weapons sale don't break existing arms embargoes, or end up being used for human-rights abuses, including terrorism. Yet so far its impact has been limited, say critics.

"We are disappointed by the way a number of states have decided to implement it, says Amnesty's Oliver Feeley-Sprague.

"We think the UK, US and France among others, by continuing to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies in the coalition operation in Yemen, are clearly violating the ATT's provisions."

Soldiers of the Sudan People Liberation Army (SPLA) sit in a pick-up truck at the military base in Malakal, northern South Sudan, on October 16, 2016.Image copyright Getty Images Image caption About a third of South Sudan's population has been displaced by the conflict, which broke out in December 2013

Last July, the UK's High Court ruled that the UK government's arms sales to Saudi Arabia are lawful.

However, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) has been given permission to appeal against this ruling, and the case will now go to the Court of Appeal.

The UK government says it has "one of the most robust export control regimes in the world".

The ATT may have had a bigger impact on curbing the flow of weapons to non-state actors, says Sipri's Pieter Wezeman - but so far it has not had any visible impact on the overall trade in arms.

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Timely article Malcolm.

I feel that is why the U.S. always has a 'conflict' on the back burner somewhere.  My opinion is that China is telling North Korea to play nice, which clears the field for them to extend their influence in the region, and the U.S. will not take on the Chinese as long as they hold financial sway.

Therefore, to keep the military industrial complex happy, they turn up the heat in the middle east once again.

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27 minutes ago, deicer said:

Timely article Malcolm.

I feel that is why the U.S. always has a 'conflict' on the back burner somewhere.  My opinion is that China is telling North Korea to play nice, which clears the field for them to extend their influence in the region, and the U.S. will not take on the Chinese as long as they hold financial sway.

Therefore, to keep the military industrial complex happy, they turn up the heat in the middle east once again.

of course deicer, some folks blame only the US, but then the numbers are given a closer look.

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Of course.  It is a global 'phenomenon'. 

It is interesting to see that the traditional 'foes' pick sides in pretty much every conflict.  Can't let the other guy get a leg up, can they?

Makes one wonder what would happen if they put that R & D money into things that would benefit the people of the world.  Say, such as cures for diseases, more reliable and healthy food stocks, education, cleaning the environment.

Then again, those are big money makers too, eh?

 

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Fun fact: Canada ranks as the 15th (or so) largest exporter of arms... LOL, cool eh?

 In addition to actual arms, there is a huge loophole that allows component parts to be shipped abroad and then incorporated in weapon systems for onward sale. Too many chickens returning to even count; lest we cast dispersions on others...

 

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3 hours ago, deicer said:

Of course.  It is a global 'phenomenon'. 

It is interesting to see that the traditional 'foes' pick sides in pretty much every conflict.  Can't let the other guy get a leg up, can they?

Makes one wonder what would happen if they put that R & D money into things that would benefit the people of the world.  Say, such as cures for diseases, more reliable and healthy food stocks, education, cleaning the environment.

Then again, those are big money makers too, eh?

 

deicer, here is the rub.  All of the things you suggest would only result in more humans on this already overburdened planet, wars on the other hand help to keep the numbers down. Birth control would work as well of course but that only seems to work in a very small area of the globe. 

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10 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

 Birth control would work as well of course but that only seems to work in a very small area of the globe. 

So very true.

And, from a revised Roman empire perspective, it's alive and well in (dare I say it) the first world... hence the push for immigration as we abort more than we import, and continue to import in an attempt to maintain the level of growth required to finance (tax) our collective future and pay (by taxation) our collective bills. The purest form of madness. It has already been proven to qualify as faulty logic. Look to the fall of Rome to see where we are headed.

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1 hour ago, Malcolm said:

deicer, here is the rub.  All of the things you suggest would only result in more humans on this already overburdened planet, wars on the other hand help to keep the numbers down. Birth control would work as well of course but that only seems to work in a very small area of the globe. 

Logan's Run?

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1 hour ago, Malcolm said:

deicer, here is the rub.  All of the things you suggest would only result in more humans on this already overburdened planet, wars on the other hand help to keep the numbers down. Birth control would work as well of course but that only seems to work in a very small area of the globe. 

 

Poverty and famine kill more people than wars.

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Together? I hear John Lennon's Imagine playing in the background.

I agree, peaceful coexistence would be nice, but how do you go about bringing even the Sunni &  Shia together never mind adding Jews, Iranians, Kurds and all the other national concerns to the mix?

The UN claims they've been working the problem for the last sixty years, but without ever getting close to an enduring solution.

I think Trump's on the right track in Israel; peace through strong Western leadership.  

 

 

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9 minutes ago, DEFCON said:

I agree, peaceful coexistence would be nice, but how do you go about bringing even the Sunni &  Shia together never mind adding Jews, Iranians, Kurds and all the other national concerns to the mix?

We could even start smaller, when Canadians are able to get through Christmas dinner with their in-laws, there may be a glimmer of hope for expansion. BTW, the Palestinians can have peace any old time they want it... I turned 19 in the buffer zone (UNEF, Baluza) and it seems like many of the old issues are still there. 

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"I turned 19 in the buffer zone (UNEF, Baluza) and it seems like many of the old issues are still there." 

It would appear that almost every one of these ancient middle / near eastern cultures possess a centuries old, deeply rooted and unrelenting hatred for each other.

Is there really an answer to the perpetual state of war in these regions, or are the people of these lands destined to be used as the living fodder modern munitions manufacturers need to field test their wares?

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2 hours ago, PilotsWife said:

It's called the UN Sustainable Development Plan formally Agenda 21

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

In September 2015, Canada and 192 other UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda is a 15-year global framework centred on an ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 169 targets and over 230 indicators. The 2030 Agenda envisions a secure world free of poverty and hunger, with full and productive employment, access to quality education and universal health coverage, the achievement of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls, and an end to environmental degradation.

The 2030 Agenda is a global framework of action for people, planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. It integrates social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, as well as peace, governance and justice elements. It is universal in nature, meaning that developing and developed countries alike will implement the Agenda. Furthermore, the Agenda includes an overarching principle of ensuring that no one is left behind in the achievement of the SDGs.  http://international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/priorities-priorites/agenda-programme.aspx?lang=eng

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Another average day on peaceful earth.

Militants attack Afghan government building, 9 dead

 
‎Today, ‎May ‎13, ‎2018, ‏‎2 hours ago
Militants attacked a provincial government building in eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing at least nine people, officials said.
 

Paris attacker born in Chechnya, was on radicalism database

 
‎Today, ‎May ‎13, ‎2018, ‏‎3 hours ago | Angela Charlton
The man behind a deadly knife attack in central Paris was born in Chechnya and had been on police radar for radicalism, and his parents have been detained for questioning, French authorities said Sunday.
 

Suicide bombers hit Indonesian churches; 11 dead, 41 hurt

 
‎Today, ‎May ‎13, ‎2018, ‏‎3 hours ago | Tuji Martuji
Suicide bombers who carried out deadly attacks on three churches in Indonesia's second-largest city on Sunday were a family who had been in Syria and included two young children, police said, as the world's most populous Muslim nation recoiled in horror at one of the worst attacks on its Christian minority.
 

Iran condemns wave of Israeli air strikes in Syria

 
‎Friday, ‎May ‎11, ‎2018, ‏‎7:16:17 AM
In its first comments since Thursday's strikes, Iran backs Syria's "right to defend itself
 
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The common theme is we will never have world peace because we never have had any time without wars some where on earth.  Recent examples are just more of the same old tired story.

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Some of you may recall a few predictions of this in our previous (now historical) gun control threads. Well, here it is. Street shakedowns are now authorized by the same guy who stopped them in the first place because he considered them racist and Islamophobic. I have yet to see a liberal “value” they won’t abandon the moment it costs something.…

https://www.dailywire.com/news/29179/londons-mayor-declares-intense-new-knife-control-emily-zanotti

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'London is Falling'

First it was a ban on guns, now knives are out, tomorrow it'll be vehicles and so we'll go.

Meanwhile, the real problem continues to grow & metastasize much like an out of control cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

"The common theme is we will never have world peace because we never have had any time without wars some where on earth.  Recent examples are just more of the same old tired story."

 

You are absolutely correct of course.

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  • 5 weeks later...

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