Aren’t You Tired of Pretending We Can Beat Hate (Terrorism) With Hate (War)?
Let’s Spend Far Less & Be Far More Safe
Prevent War & Terrorism With Human Rights & Justice
War can’t win people’s hearts and minds. Instead, our wars and foreign interventions just rain down destruction and suffering, waste tens of trillions of dollars, and lead to more terrorist attacks.
- In 2000, there were less than 1,500 terrorist attacks worldwide.
- In 2017, there were nearly 10,900 of them.
- Most of them occur in places we’ve waged war or attacked with drones: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and Somalia.
- Even our Department of Defense admits many terrorist attacks are retaliation.
- Our wars spread Al-Qaeda throughout the Middle East and into West Africa and Southeast Asia.
- ISIS began after we invaded Iraq and developed in our prisons there.
- After our military interventions, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have all become fundamentalist Islamic magnets for jihadic terrorists, exploding with poverty, conflict, and violence.
Research shows local policing and intelligence work is 5 times more effective against terror organizations than using military force.
Research suggests it is at least 60 times cheaper to invest in poor countries early to prevent violence and wars than it is to try to intervene after violence escalates into a crisis.
Yet the world foolishly spends 1,885 times as much on military budgets than it does on preventing conflict!
Helping Poor Nations with Basic Needs Would Make Us Safer
Poverty, suffering, and injustice are important causes of war and terrorism. War only makes things far, far worse.
For example in Yemen, 78% of people now desperately need help: food, clean water, medicines, etc.
Military leaders understand preventing conflict by supplying basic human needs prevents wars and terrorism.
- Over 120 retired admirals and generals sent a letter to Congress in February 2017 arguing against cuts in foreign aid.
Worldwide, wars and conflicts cost about $14.3 trillion each year, 100 times more than rich countries spend helping poor countries develop.
Imagine what would happen to ISIS and other jihadist groups if the richer, developed nations simply worked to provide people around the world with:
- clean water
It would transform the world with love and bring world peace.
Worldwide, 844 million people (1 out of every 10) don’t have clean drinking water.
- 1 billion people don’t have safe drinking water in their homes.
- In most places without access to clean drinking water at home, people have to pay 10 to 15 times what richer people pay for water.
Almost 3 out of 10, 2.3 billion people, don’t have basic sanitation. Because of this, every day, over 800 children under 5 years old die from diarrhea.
Hunger and malnutrition cause nearly 3.1 million child deaths each year.
Huge First Steps to Peace Are Incredibly Cheap
We spend only $1.5 billion a year on our US Food for Peace program.
- spend $165 billion a year tossing away unwanted snacks and meals
- spend $73.5 billion a year on lottery tickets
- spend $41.7 billion a year on gambling casinos
- spend over $9 billion a year on Halloween candy and costumes
- leave $1 billion a year on gift cards
Agricultural scientists say giving poor nations high-yield seeds and teaching them efficient irrigation, fertilizer, and soil management techniques would end hunger worldwide yet only cost $52 billion each year.
- This is just under the cost of 26 days of our military spending.
- We could easily pay this ourselves but the US doesn’t have to do this alone.
Universal clean water and sanitation would cost $150 billion a year but making a great start by targeting just people in cities would be far cheaper.
- A study by the World Health Organization estimated that we could provide access to clean drinking water to most people in cities worldwide for just $30 billion.
- This is just under 15 days of our military funding.
According to 23 experts published in the leading medical journal The Lancet, for $70 billion each year—less than 35 days of our military funding—we could:
- provide basic health care to the whole world
- dramatically lower diseases and deaths
- save 10 million lives a year
Training local people as paraprofessional community health workers greatly reduces the cost of providing health care in rural areas.
We could build schools and give basic education to all the children in the poorest countries for $26 billion, less than 13 days of our military spending. This would save:
- most of the 1.2 million children forced into prostitution
- the 215 million children trapped in child labor, including 115 million doing hazardous work
We already have plenty of educational classes on Youtube and the internet.
We could easily use the internet to train teachers and educate people worldwide in culturally-appropriate ways even more cheaply than building schools and hiring teachers.
The United Nations and other organizations agree lifting everyone worldwide out of poverty and ending hunger worldwide by 2030 with food, nutrition, development, and infrastructure would cost $265 billion a year.
- This is a less than 36% of our military spending each year but divided up by all rich, developed nations, we could easily and comfortably do it.
Easy Ways to Fund Peace
There are many simple ways to pay for these first steps toward world peace.
One way is to capture dirty money from corrupt dictators, Russian oligarchs, mafias, drug cartels, terrorist organizations, etc., as detailed on this website.
All the rich, developed countries should increase their humanitarian foreign aid a little, to match the most generous nations, as detailed in the article this website on putting democracies in charge with a Better Angels United Nations 2.0.
Eliminate Crushing Debts
Since 1980, developing countries have paid over $4.2 trillion in interest payments on debts alone, far more than the aid they’ve received.
The crushing burden of debt and interest payments keeps these nations in desperate poverty.
We should completely eliminate these debts, so poor countries can afford to provide more of their own people with basic health care, education, etc.
A Tiny Fraction of Military Spending
Congress just approved a $738 billion military defense budget, over $2 billion a day.
- The Pentagon says it doesn’t need about 24% of its bases, buildings, and real estate, yet Congress won’t close them down.
- President Eisenhower cut defense spending by 27% after the Korean War.
- President Nixon cut defense by 29% as he withdrew from Vietnam.
- President G. W. Bush increased defense spending by 70%.
- We could cut our military budget by 40% or $300 billion each year and still have as strong a military as we did under Presidents Eisenhower, G. H. W. Bush, Nixon, or Clinton.
We should make small cuts in defense and use the money to provide people’s needs worldwide and build peace.
We should eliminate 1/12 of our military budget and put that money into clean water, food, medicine, education, and clean energy for the world.
If the rest of the world agrees to do the same, we could eliminate 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, or more of our military budgets.
With global cooperation, we could end the sale of weapons worldwide and start collecting and destroying military weapons in trouble spots around the world.
There are more regulations and trade rules on selling bananas than on selling weapons! This is insane.
With global cooperation, we wouldn’t need to waste trillions of dollars on our massive homeland security infrastructure.
Small loans can raise people out of poverty.
For example, Water.Org has made 1.4 million loans, averaging $260, to help 25 million people get piped water and toilets. Their average repayment rate is 99%.
This has helped women and children stop spending hours every day carrying water, let children attend school, and let families build businesses.
By using small loans, the rich nations can help poor people far more, recycling the money as loans are paid back.
An estimated 1 billion people worldwide have no rights to the land they live on.
Giving land rights to small farmers and people living in slums reduces poverty and speeds development.
- It greatly increases productivity on farms.
- It makes it possible for people to get loans to grow businesses and send their children to school.
Giving people the right to their lands turned Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Malaysia into economic powerhouses.
Over half the world’s countries, by law or by custom, don’t let women own, inherit, or manage land.
We need to change this. Women especially deserve and benefit from land rights.
- Women produce the majority of the world’s food, do an estimated 70% of the agricultural work in poor countries, yet own less than 20% of the world’s land.
- Giving women the right to land they now live on fights poverty, homelessness, and domestic abuse.
- When women own property, they invest 90% of their income on their families, far more than men do.
- Women who own land experience up to 8 times less domestic violence than other women.
Helping the World’s Poor Would Make Us Richer
Helping poor nations would expand the world economy by including the 2 billion plus people who can’t really participate in it today. This would:
- make the whole world stronger and more prosperous
- bring new markets to US businesses
For example, just improving nutrition in children enough to lower stunting (delayed growth) in South Asia by 12.8% would increase productivity over a generation there by $1,497 billion!
This would stimulate the whole world’s economy.
Many developing countries can already help and as the poorest nations grow, they will be able to pay for some of these public health measures themselves.
No More War
Wars disable and kill people, pollute the environment, and damage systems for health care, food, water, and sanitation.
Isn’t it time to stop our incredibly wasteful, destructive wars and turn our beautiful, blue-green fragile world into a prosperous, peaceful paradise?
We could have a just world full of brotherhood, sisterhood, love, harmony, wisdom, and accomplishment. People everywhere could live up to their potential.
This might lead to new geniuses like Einstein, new moral leaders, or solutions to our most pressing problems, like cancer or clean, sustainable energy.
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