2   PART TWO: The Campaign – Why, What, How

2.2   What

2.2.1   Redress Imbalance and Secure Redistribution: Geo-political Power, Military Spending, Economic Priorities   Redressing Imbalance of Power   From Defence Contractors to Civil Society – Redirecting Taxes   Redistributing $600bn over Ten Years and Resetting Priorities   And If We Do Nothing?

2.2.2   What If Top Military Spenders Diverted Military Spending Increases To Fund The MDGs In The 2000s

2.2.3   Divert. Transform. Sustain ~ the Winners   Immediate and Essential Development Needs of Millions   Fund Global Health   World Health Organization (WHO)   Health Spending   The Five Percent Formula – new funds   Sustainable Development   Fund Civil Society and the Economic and Climate Justice Agendas   Climate Change   Fund Peacekeeping; Early Warning & Conflict Prevention; Post-conflict Cleanup   The Global Green Economy   Switching Priorities From Oil to Renewables   EU Submission To Rio+20 – Words Not Actions?   Renewable Energy Investment 2009: G20 Countries   The United Kingdom – the Green New Deal ~ the New Economics Foundation   Summary

2.2.4   Campaign Goals & Messages   Goals   Messages   Campaign Targets

2.2.5   The Same Vision – Expressed in a Variety of Ways   Regional Relevance and Appropriateness Is Key to the Campaign   Brazil   Far East   Indian Sub-Continent   Current Military-spend Related Campaigns   Suggested Arms Sales Campaign – ‘Don’t Buy, Don’t Sell’   Proportionality and Fairness

2       PART TWO:   The Campaign  – Why, What, How

Why we need it; What it will achieve; How it might be implemented

2.2      What


 – Divert, transform, sustain

“If the Department of Defense can’t figure out a way to defend the United States on half a trillion dollars a year, then our problems are much bigger than anything that can be cured by buying a few more ships and planes.”

Former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, July 2009

Since this comment, US spending has increased by a further $200bn.  Evidence that the military is effective at exploiting both fear and national economic growth is the fact that military-expenditure growth generally outpaces economic growth, with the result that it can become harmful for the rest of the economy.

2.2.1     Redress Imbalance and Secure Redistribution: Geo-political power, military spending, economic priorities

It is to rebalance global military spending and redistribute savings (cuts), that we propose a long term 5% threshold rule at the heart of The Campaign to CUT THE GLOBAL MILITARY SPEND, a break mechanism for all nations, embedded in the budgeting mechanism, deliberately intended to slow down runaway military-expenditure increases around the world.

This offers a long term, sustainable formula to be applied to all nations, over and above the primary demand in the first ten years: yearly cuts to military expenditure of the world’s historically largest military spenders.  This ‘Top 20 Spenders’ call will serve to accelerate the reduction of the huge gap between military expenditure and the real economy, driving down the total global military spend in the shortest possible time.    Redressing Imbalance of Power

“America’s penchant for counterproductive global interventionism was driven by not one but two imbalances of power. The first was the imbalance of power between the United States and the rest of the world, which made it possible for Washington to throw its weight around without worrying very much about the short-term consequences. If you’re a lot stronger than anyone else, it’s hard to imagine you could lose to anyone and you’re more likely to do something stupid like invading Iraq.The second imbalance was the disproportionate influence of pro-intervention forces within the U.S. foreign policy establishment.”

Will the CATO Institute lose its soul?, Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy, 13/04/2012

Following the same reasoning, by extrapolation, the imbalance of power between the Western industrial countries – often former colonial powers – and the rest of the world is, arguably, the major driver for counter-productive global interventionism.    From Defence Contractors to Civil Society – Redirecting Taxes

Writing on Truthout, Thom Hartmann argued:

FDR said during World War II that, “I don’t want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster.”… But, in this new age of never-ending war, war profiteers are cashing in like never before. Glance across the Potomac from our nation’s capital, and you’ll see virtual castles – thirty and forty room mansions in secure, gated communities – all belonging to the executives and lobbyists of today’s war profiteers… America has finally fulfilled President Eisenhower’s warning in his famous 1961 farewell address.

America is the strongest military power in the world. And that’s not going to change anytime soon.

But while our defense contractors are prospering, working people across America are hurting. Schools and infrastructure are in shambles. We’re slipping behind the rest of the developed world in virtually every available measure of national health and wealth.

The sentiment expressed in the last paragraph could easily apply to many more developed world economies, not to mention other emerging economies as well as lesser developed ones.    Redistributing $600bn over Ten Years and Resetting Priorities

Just as Christian Aid research shows that developing countries stand to gain $160bn p/a if tax evasion measures are dealt with, and debt cancelled to date amounts to $132bn for the poorest 32 nations, we suggest that during the first decade, this campaign could raise an estimated $700 billion globally over a ten year period from systematic cuts to the annual global military spend and to be allocated 50/50 domestic/global.

  • All nations (particularly the Top 20 spenders) to cut 5% of their annual military spending every year for the next 10 years.

This would in all reality, be creating a paradigm shift in terms of how the global public defines ‘security’ through a re-evaluation of how best to spend their hitherto military ‘tax dollars’.    And If We Do Nothing?

Global annual military spending has been growing by around 4% every year between 2001 and 2010. If we do nothing, we can expect it to rise to more than 2.5 trillion dollars by 2022. This is utterly unacceptable on every level.

Cut global annual military spending by 20% within 10 years

2.2.2     What If Top Spenders Diverted Military Spending Increases To Fund The MDGs In The 2000s

If the top 17 military spenders had implemented the 5% threshold rule between 2001 and 2010, using 2001 as the reference year, the global military spending would have decreased by nearly 15%, rather than actually increased by a massive 60%. (Appendix 4.7) This would have diverted around $110 billion for international development and another equal amount for domestic purpose.

As an example of what this could have been applied to, in 2002 the World Bank had estimated that an additional $ 40-60 billions were required annually in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.[1]  The diverted funds from these top military spenders would have significantly contributed to make up the shortfalls.

what if funds

Figure 14. What if top military spenders diverted military spending increases to fund the MDGs (2001-2010).[2]

Instead, in contrast to this hypothetical scenario, military spending actually increased noticeably every year.  The actual realised annual increase in military spending ($50 billion per year on average) from just these 17 top military spenders alone, if all diverted,  would have been enough to meet the funding requirement to achieve MDGs.  In other words, simply by maintaining the year 2001’s level of military spending until 2015, there was more than enough money available to achieve MDGs and further. There was money that could have been used to go beyond MDGs and eradicate – not just half- poverty around the world.


2.2.3     Divert. Transform. Sustain  ~ the Winners


  • Immediate and essential development needs
    • Global Health
  • Sustainable Development – reflecting Climate & Economic Justice
  • Peace/ Conflict Prevention &Human Rights


  • The Global Green Economy    Immediate and essential Development Needs of Millions.

  • It is estimated that it would cost $66 billion annually to get everyone on the planet out of extreme poverty – 4% of annual global military spending. [1] Over and above this, diverted military spending could assist in reaching more of the current MDGs – universal primary education, gender equality, improved maternal health and reduced infant mortality, combating HIV, malaria and TB; along with improved water and sanitation and many other basic human needs – and human rights.
  • Advancing the UN process on sustainable development and SDGs funding 2015 and after.  As we approach 2015 and the assessment of the MDGs successes and failures informs the plans to move forward with a new set of Sustainable Development Goals post 2015, how will this be funded? Many feel there is a critical need to include the ‘development and disarmament’ agenda into this new SDGs funding framework.

In their 2012 report, the International Peace Bureau outlines recent UN history on advancing the ‘development and disarmament agenda’:

Through the inclusion of this issue (Disarmament and Development) in the post-2015 development agenda, states will be reminded that they committed themselves to such efforts in 1992 and 2000 and are obliged to reconsider their budgeting priorities in accordance with UN Charter Article 26. Military spending as an indicator for the achievement of sustainable Development: If the post-2015 development framework comes in the form of goals, they will most certainly be accompanied by several specific targets and indicators in order to measure progress. If the call of the numerous UN agencies, think-tanks and NGOs is heard, and security and peace are included as one of the goals, we argue that military spending must also become an important indicator of this goal.

Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN’s Development Agenda,
International Peace Bureau, 2012


  • Poverty to Power, Duncan Green   Fund Global Health  World Health Organization (WHO)

According to Sonia Shah:

In 1950, the WHO’s budget derived from assessed dues on member nations. Over the past few decades, that financing stream has run dry. In reaction to the perceived politicization of UN organizations such as UNESCO and the WHO, major UN donors introduced a policy of zero real growth to the UN system’s budgets in 1980 and of zero nominal growth in 1993. Starved of public financing, the WHO has had to rely upon voluntary contributions from donor countries, private philanthropists, companies, and NGOs. By 2008, voluntary contributions from private interests and others[1] now bankroll four out of every five dollars (80%) of the WHO’s budget. Thus it is now the private donors, not the WHO, who can call the shots in Geneva, and thereby shape the global health agenda. Unlike funds from assessed dues, individual donors can earmark “extra-budgetary” monies for whatever specific purpose they like, thus circumventing WHO control.

Companies most active in global health projects today hail from a narrow range of industries[2], many of which are under fire for their negative impact on public health. These private firms are playing a double game: disrupting local communities with one hand and writing big cheques to ostensibly help them with the other. Often, their core financial interests are directly at odds with the business of improving the health of the poor, in ways that are distorting the global health agenda.

The private donors’ influence is clear. The WHO allocates its regular budget to the diseases that account for the most mortality around the world. Extra-budgetary funds, in contrast, support different interests. According to an analysis of the agency’s 2004-05 budget, 91 percent of the WHO’s extra-budgetary funds were earmarked for diseases that account for just 8 percent of global mortality. Given the dominance of extra-budgetary funds in the WHO’s overall expenditures, the WHO ended up spending 60 percent of its funds on illnesses that account for just 11 percent of global mortality. A substantial portion went toward developing vaccines for infectious diseases, which – many will argue – are in line with private industry’s general preference for expensive, high-tech research over cheap, low-tech prevention. It’s hard to see how such a misalignment between the needs of the world’s sick and the distribution of WHO’s funds helps the agency meet its core mission.


  • Sonia Shah: Voluntary contributions to the World Health Organization’s budget come from private interests and others, not just private interests. The others are primarily the United States and the Gates Foundation, both of which have deep connections to the private sector and have used their influence to represent its interests. There is a general feeling among member states that rich countries such as the United States “disguise trade and commercial interests under public health,” as a Brazilian ambassador said at a recent WHO meeting. The Gates Foundation is similarly allied with private-sector interests. It’s the largest single shareholder in Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods; its global health program is led not by public health experts but by top executives from the drug industry.
  • 2 The mining industry, which includes oil and gas firms, has been at the forefront of many prominent global health projects. Non-communicable diseases cause more than half of all deaths in poor and middle-income counties. Soft-drink and snack companies, whose products increase the risk of developing NCDs, have also moved to the forefront of key global health initiatives, in particular the fight against NCDs. The industry most involved in global health initiatives is undoubtedly the drug industry.  Health Spending

Laurie Garrett at the Council on Foreign Relations observes:

Global health programs now teeter on the edge of disaster. The world economic crisis and the politics of debt reduction are threatening everything from malaria control and AIDS treatment to well-baby programs and health-care worker training efforts. And even if the existing global public health architecture survives this time of parsimony and austerity, it will have been remodeled along the way.

As important as the totals is the shift in donor composition. The Gates Foundation, now combining the philanthropic assets of the Gates family and Warren Buffett, is responsible for 68 percent of all private giving for global health, dwarfing the efforts of even the largest public or international institutions. Power followed the money, and by 2005 the annual World Health Assembly, which governs WHO, was convening to listen to Gates’ suggestions, and today few policy initiatives or normative standards set by the WHO are announced before they have been casually, unofficially vetted by Gates Foundation staff.

In 1999, for example, total health spending in developing countries was about $5.6 billion, with the United States government providing roughly a third of that and U.S. private donors another tenth. In the spring of 2000, the Clinton administration officially defined HIV and emerging diseases as national security threats, which expanded U.S. grounds for engagement in global health. The call resonated with antipoverty activists, health advocacy groups such as Médecins Sans Frontiers, Partners in Health, and ACT UP; and institutions such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the United Nations AIDS Program. Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, stepped up their philanthropic efforts in global health through their Gates Foundation.

With the surge in public support for global health came increased attention from private individuals, corporations, and foundations, leading some to call the decade “the age of generosity.” By 2008, global health enjoyed an estimated $16 billion pot of public-funding gold — and with private funding and poor countries’ own increased health spending included, the total spent on public health for the world’s poor reached about $27 billion.

But then the global financial crisis hit and as Europe’s economic situation worsened, the region reduced its overseas commitment-to-disbursements ratio. Italy, which donated nearly $1 billion annually from 2001 to 2008, gave nothing in 2009 and has given almost nothing since. Greece provided more than $50 million in global health assistance in 2007 and now gives nothing. Iceland stopped making commitments and contributions in 2008, Portugal in 2009, and Spain in 2010. In 2009, 94 percent of all global health promises made by the European Union and its member countries were actually disbursed, but by the end of 2010 only 78 percent were, and the gap appears to have widened further in 2011.

Total estimated expenditures worldwide on health care in 2010, meanwhile, hit $5.3 trillion, with U.S. domestic spending accounting for nearly half of that. Even at its recent peak, the amount of money spent on the health of the world’s poorest people, who suffer most of humanity’s infectious and preventable diseases, represented merely .0005 percent of worldwide health spending.  The Five Percent Formula – new funds

The global spending on the health of the world’s poor was less than $30 billion in 2008, compared to the global military expenditure of $1.5 trillion in the same year – a mere 2%.

The 5% Formula would deliver $300 billion for international development in the first decade – that is $30 billion a year on average. WHO’s current biennium 2012-2013 budget is $3.9 billion (roughly $2 billion per year).  Out of this $30 billion annual fund, $1 billion – $2 billion can be readily used to fund WHO to remove its reliance on privates interests and others. To tackle a global issue such as health, the proven and effective way is through the steering of international organisations, such as WHO. Private donors, though important and often with good intention, lack transparency, accountability and democracy. This ‘new’ sustainable stream of public funding for WHO could ensure that it can again focus on its core missions and managing global health projects with the full involvement of the countries concerned both in both formulation and implementation level levels.    Sustainable Development   Fund Civil Society and the Economic and Climate Justice Agendas
  • Funding the strengthening of global civil society capacity is critical to ‘development’  so that it can hold ‘power’ to account, be that its own leaders, multinational corporations, or international institutions such as the World Bank or IMF.

Particular focus on structural issues such as food sovereignty, land issues and trade; tax-related campaigning; environment and climate change related rights. This is a truly effective way to ensure ‘transparency’ and ‘good governance’ and at the same time, recognises the inter-connectedness of how issues such as the global trade system negatively impacts on communities via trade and/or environmental damage.

  • This diverted funding could also be partially allocated to help deliver more debt cancellation.   Climate Change
  • Funding to address the environmental and human climate emergency.

Military spending cuts should be put into the climate funding mix so that a significant ‘new’ revenue source can be factored into calculations concerning mitigation, adaptation, transfer of new technologies and investment in the global green economy.

What happened on finance?

Although some countries (including Germany, France, UK, Denmark) pledged finance at Doha, amounting in total to around $10 billion, there was no additional finance offered by the US. Moreover, countries failed to agree on a firm figure for finance for the period 2013-2015. The text only “encourages” parties not to allow levels of funding to drop from the $30 billion pledged for 2010-2012, when in fact it needs to increase significantly (Greenpeace and developing countries were calling for $60 billion for the 2013-2015 period). The increase is need to help countries adapt to the growing impacts of climate change, and to scale up towards the $100 billion a year by promised by 2020 by Governments in the run up to the Copenhagen summit.

Doha Greenpeace briefing, 2012

As we say earlier, the fossil fuel economy is not just a driver for climate change – it is a driver for instability and therefore increased military spending. So reducing spend on military and increasing spend on climate financing as well as the green economy is a win-win all round.

Developing countries have been experiencing the impact of climate change for many years and now, the increasing number of ‘weather events’ in the developed world, is bringing home this reality to the hitherto relatively disengaged publics of the rich nations – also the main culprits of climate change. Polar melting, soil erosion, deforestation, ocean pollution – the list is endless; the impact on human society catastrophic. Yet the response by governments and business has been to fail miserably at turning events around – whether setting and meeting targets or providing finance –or indeed, investing in the green economy at home or abroad.

At the recent Doha meeting (Dec 2012) climate finance remained insufficient with only US$10 billion on the table. Nothing was done to scale up funding for vulnerable countries towards the previously agreed target of US$100 billion per year. Yet developing countries need climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building for negotiations as at Doha, to support their transition to low-carbon economies.    Fund Peacekeeping; Early Warning & Conflict Prevention; Post-conflict Cleanup

The peace movement; those working on disarmament agendas or conflict prevention, conflict resolution; or peacekeeping – all this work combined, constitutes a hugely diverse and global community. It embraces grassroots activism such as was mobilised by the anti-war movement of 2003 (15-30m million marched on a single day, Feb 15th) or the anti-nuclear movement of the 1980s that is once again in the public eye through the Global Zero initiative.  It campaigns on a diverse range of issues and has a proud – and often effective – tradition of non-violent resistance.

It has academic centres of excellence, think tanks and policy groups working across a whole variety of subjects which intersect with (under)development, human rights and environmental concerns.  This is a grossly underfunded sector, which should benefit from funds reallocated from war to peace.

Meanwhile, the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations is profoundly underfunded; conflict prevention and conflict resolution poor relatives to the business of war-making;  funding demobilisation of combatants equally under-resourced yet essential to post conflict resolution; and the remains of conflict last way beyond the end of conflict – landmines, cluster bombs, depleted uranium.  Equally vital is the disarmament work to reduce nuclear stockpiles, while the search for missing nuclear materials post the break-up of the Soviet Union continues.

All these areas of work need much more funding and need to be taken far more seriously by politicians and public alike.

UN Fourth Committee – Special Political and Decolonization

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee deals with a variety of subjects which include those related to decolonization, Palestinian refugees and human rights, peacekeeping, mine action, outer space, public information, atomic radiation and University for Peace.

“Overburdened, underfunded, overstretched peacekeeping operations create ‘yawning gap’ between expectations, performance.”

A shortage of critical equipment required to carry out United Nations mandates in many peacekeeping missions had created a “yawning gap” between expectations and performance…. in the flagship mission that delegates maintained was already overburdened, underfunded, and overstretched, the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) heard today, as it concluded its annual debate on peacekeeping.    The Global Green Economy

The Global Green Economy is profoundly underfunded.  Spain’s ambitious plans to become 100% renewable have taken a big hit as the government has had to cut its support for the renewables sector as part of debt reduction austerity measures.  And Spain is not alone in having to take such measures. The madness of investing in nuclear power, carbon capture or shale gas is made all the harder to challenge when the lobbies are so powerful and the media debate so poor.   Switching Priorities From Oil to Renewables

Researchers at US based Oil Change International in 2008 found: The projected full costs of the Iraq war (estimated $3 trillion) would cover “all of the global investments in renewable power generation” needed between now and 2030 to reverse global warming trends.

By 2008, the Bush administration had spent 97 times more on military than on climate change. As a presidential candidate, in 2008 President Obama pledged to spend $150 billion over ten years on green energy technology and infrastructure – less than the United States was spending in one year of the Iraq war.   EU Submission To Rio+20 – Words Not Actions?

Meanwhile, in November 2011, this was EU Submission to the UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RIO + 20) Rio de Janeiro, 4-6 June 2012. Contribution by the European Union and its Member States to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:

“Rio+20 should accelerate and broaden the world-wide transition towards a green economy that promotes sustainable development and contributes to poverty eradication around the world. The EU and its Member States consider that a green economy offers win-win opportunities to all countries, regardless of the structure of their economy and their level of development. Green economy is more than the sum of existing commitments: it has the potential to lead us to a new development paradigm and a new business model where growth, development and environment are seen as mutually reinforcing each other. Increasing resource efficiency, promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity, combating desertification, reducing pollution as well as using and managing natural resources and ecosystems in a sustainable and socially responsible manner are both requirements and key vehicles in ensuring a just transition to a green economy.”

This campaign advocates that 50% of savings made from cuts to excessive military spending be re-allocated primarily toward growing domestic green economies, positively impacting on jobs, food production, reduced carbon emissions.  In other words, funding a green ‘New Deal’.   Renewable Energy Investment 2009: G20 Countries

In 2009, G20 nations combined spending on military was nearly $1.3 trillion.[1] Meanwhile, G20 total green energy investments in 2009 was merely $0.11 trillion (= $113 billion). The total renewable energy capacity was 259 GigaWatts, accounting for only around 5% of the total power capacity.  (Appendix 4.17) In comparison, this was a pitiful amount invested by the G20 nations to address a truly national and international human security emergency of catastrophic dimensions – climate change.


  • 1 Source: SIPRI    The United Kingdom – the Green New Deal ~ the New Economics Foundation

UK In 2009, a ‘Green New Deal’ was proposed, based on calculations made by nef (the new economics foundation) and four years on we need this approach more than ever.  We argue that this work could – and should – be funded from cuts to excessive military spending. Such savings should be directed to expand the green sector, supporting innovation and job creation.

‘Cuts won’t work’: green spending will reduce public debt, create jobs, cut carbon, says Green New Deal GroupTo illustrate the potential of ‘green quantitative easing’, new calculations produced by nef (the new economics foundation) for the Group reveal that:A sample of £10 billion in green quantitative easing invested in the energy efficiency sector could:

  • Create 60,000 jobs (or 350,000 person-years of employment) while also reducing emissions by a further 3.96MtCO2e each year;
  • This could also create public savings of £4.5 billion over five years in reduced benefits and increased tax intake alone;

A sample of £10 billion in ‘green quantitative easing’ invested in onshore wind could:

  • Increase wind’s contribution to the UK’s total electricity supply from its current 1.9 per cent to 10 per cent (39 TWhe) and;
  • Create over 36,000 jobs in installation and direct and indirect manufacturing This is a total of 180,000 job-years of employment – here we have described each ‘job’ as providing stable employment for an average of five job-years. Create a further 4,800 jobs in the operations and maintenance of the installed capacity and other related employment over the entire 20 year lifetime of the installation (equivalent to 96,000 job-years)
  • And, if this directly replaced energy from conventional sources, it could decarbonise the UK economy by 2.4 per cent – reducing emissions from the power sector by up to 16 Mt CO2e each year  This corresponds to a £19 billion reduction in environmental damage

Or, a sample investment of £10 billion could:

  • re-skill 1.5 million people for the low-carbon skills of the future, bringing 120,000 people back into the workforce, and increasing the earnings of those with a low income by a total of £15.4 billion.

The Group recommends:

  • A £50 billion programme in ‘green quantitative easing’ in the short term to rebuild the economy. This is the amount of annual spending recommended by some of the most comprehensive analyses to date of the amounts needed to re-engineer the UK economy to meet the challenges of a low carbon future;
  • Next, planning must begin for all of the new forms of bond finance detailed in the Group’s report to ensure the long-term stable funding needed for the long-term transformation of UK infrastructure

nef, 07/12/09    Summary

The $2 trillion annual military spend is an elephant in the room for us all and is an issue around which we could all find common ground and coalesce  – north and south –  for all those campaigning on development, climate/green economy, human rights and peace.   We have a vision of the global public, their leaders and the media, becoming increasingly aware that a new movement targeting their $2 trillion annual war spend is no longer ‘off limits’ – a holy cow immune from being challenged.

2.2.4     Campaign Goals & Messages    Goals

There are a number of core goals for this campaign, over time.

  • to create a sustainable campaign focussed on global military spending under a top-line demand that is open and flexible to changing scenarios but whose underlying aim are to see the reduction of unnecessary military spending re-directed to core Human Development needs, environmental sustainability and the support of a global green economy
  • To change the way the public thinks on this issue – to deepen the (global) public understanding of what constitutes ‘defence’; how  the taxes we pay are supporting a defunct notion of the word;  how we have the power to change this.
  • We believe the campaign has an in-built ‘regional relevance’. We also believe it speaks to a multi polar world where reduced military spending equates to a safer world. The notion of a ‘non-offensive defence policy’ (Section combined with savings spent on ‘what the world wants and needs’ will inevitably combine to deliver more real and tangible security than we have at present. The effect will be a confidence building one, intended to dampen down the race to spend more on weapons of all kinds.    Messages

The context for this campaign is the ‘99%’s growing recognition of the self-interested collusion between political elites, finance/banks, big business and mass media, resulting in the absence of accountability, the undermining of democracy and the disproportionate accruing of profits to the so-called 1%.  All this as the planet faces climate crisis and the majority of people on this planet live in poverty.

Contrary to what we are told, there is funding to push back the ‘desperate measures’ humanity and planet finds itself in.

  • War spending is an elephant in the room – no country should grow their military spend faster than their economic  growth – especially in times of austerity. Can’t afford, shouldn’t spend.
  • Increased war spending is a double negative whammy – it increases insecurity AND it undermines economic development / job creation
  • The fossil fuel economy  is not only bad for our health and the planet – it also drives military spending and heightens risk of war or conflict
  • Global reductions in military spend – with parity – will increase security not lessen it. It will act as a dampener on conflict potential – an all-round confidence building measure
  • Peace is a process not an end – $600billions redirected to human needs over ten year period will – inevitably – move us all forward to a world where the majority are not exploited by a few.
  • We are not ‘planet-playstation’ – we reject the increasing deployment of killing by ‘remote control’ along with the deliberate use of the virtual war games to both entice and train young minds into the business of warfare by simulating the excitement of violence while detaching the physical and mental consequences of killing and harming ‘victims’ from the ‘players’.

War Games

One of the most popular video games of all time, America’s Army has been played by more than 9 million individuals. But it was actually developed to aid U.S. Army recruiting and has become one of the most successful military recruiting tools. A 2008 study found that 30 percent of all Americans age 16 to 24 had a more positive impression of the Army because of the game and that the game had more impact on recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined. Once in the military, the gaming platform has also begun to be used for various training applications, including recently for robotic systems that use video-game like controllers modeled after the ones used to play the game.

Peter W. Singer, The Brookings Institution, 22/02/2010    Campaign Targets

The campaign will target a whole range of

  • government departments and key decision-makers eg defence ministries; treasury departments; special committees; procurement committees.
  • UN departments that have a stake in redistributing excessive military spending, including those who have already shown their support of reduced military expenditure;
  • the defence industry and defence industry lobbyists;
  • banking and finance
  • the ‘games industry’. War games funded by Pentagon, given away for free and insidiously selling ‘war’ to the younger generation via game consoles, smartphones and PCs.

2.2.5     The Same Vision – Expressed in a Variety of Ways

The Five Percent Campaign is conceived as a vision and a demand that can work in a coalition format and/or which can complement existing campaigns, inspire new campaigns and which can resonate at any given point of entry – whether you are a civil society group, a parliamentarian, a nation.  Whether you live in the USA or Ghana, Taiwan or Russia, Brazil or Finland,  India or Guatemala, we hope there is a place for your concerns under the campaign umbrella.    Regional Relevance and Appropriateness Is Key to the Campaign.

  • Top 20 spenders: Our first target is ‘Top 20’ military spending nations. The biggest spenders account for a staggering 87% of global military expenditure and more than 85% of the global arms trade. We call on them to cut 5% year on year for the first 10 years.
  • Middle East: We also believe the campaign will also have a particular (and different) resonance, post Arab awakening/uprisings, for civil societies groups in the Middle East. Military expenditure in the region has been growing exponentially, linked as that is, to wider foreign policy linkages between the USA and the region (including Israel). Israel’s peace movement and Israeli/Palestinian peace initiatives would be key to some of this work.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Civil society experience of military expenditure in sub-Saharan Africa is – generally speaking – one of procurer from richer nations, who in turn profit hugely from selling arms to (often poor) African nations. Small arms also proliferate.  In a 2008 report by IANSA, Oxfam, Saferworld entitled Africa’s Missing Billions, it was estimated that armed conflict cost Africa $18bn annually.
  • Brazil – is spending more on arms now that its economy is growing, despite the historic truth that it does not have a history of border concerns/‘natural enemies’. So why spend?  Could Brazil be encouraged to offer hope for a different approach?
  • India – all the major arms sales nations see India as an important new market – especially the UK and USA. In February 2013, accompanying David Cameron on his trip to India were representatives of a dozen British or partly British-based companies with defence interests: Rolls-Royce, Serco, BAE, EADS, Thales, Atkins, Cobham, JCB, Strongfield Technologies, MBDA, Ultra Electronics.
  • Far East – With the rise of China’s economic power comes its military threat to (and potential militaristic domination over) the region – at least according to the rhetoric of several governments in the region and the United States. The United States has been pressuring countries, particularly Japan and South Korea, to properly contribute to their ‘fair share of responsibilities’ in the regional ‘security’, as can be seen in their massive increase in military expenditure since George W. Bush’s presidency. This regional arms race create unnecessary and dangerous tension and ‘insecurity’, despite of economic integration and social exchanges being a better way in maintaining peace and bringing prosperity, as demonstrated in the case of Taiwan. The China-Taiwan relationship had been volatile and on the verge of war more than once, but the relation has vastly improved (at least in the eyes of ordinary people) so much after the opening up of trade and social exchange that there has been a strong anti-arms purchasing movement ever since.   Brazil

Brazil is historically a peaceful nation: it lives in peace with its neighbors and governs its international relations, among others, by the constitutional principles of non-intervention, defense of peace and peaceful conflict resolution.

One of the main tasks of the Ministry of Defense is to establish policies related to the security of the country.  To ensure the completeness of the bordering regions, Brazil has a Strategic Plan for Borders, which provides enhanced security in the 16,866 km of borders with 10 countries to prevent and inhibit crimes in the bordering areas, prevent the entry of weapons and drugs, and improve the quality of life of about six million people living in remote towns. Since 1906, military conscription is an obligatory act to all men born in Brazil on completing 18 years of age.

Another indirect action plan for the defense of national independence is the development of a robust military industry. The Politics of Science, Technology and Innovation for National Defense aims to stimulate scientific and technological development and is part of the plan of the National Defense Strategy.

Embraer is a brand synonymous with commercial and business aviation, but can it also become one of the world’s largest defense firms? The Brazilian aerospace company is repositioning itself to achieve that goal, and the catalyst for the move is a series of multibillion-dollar defense contracts that are coming up for grabs in Brazil.“We are trying to emulate in Brazil what European and American defense companies have done in the past,” says Aguiar, referring to companies such as Boeing, which has defense and commercial/business aviation activities that are managed separately, each with its own CEO.… Embraer is interested in buying more defense companies, particularly ones with expertise in monitoring and surveillance. The preference, however, is for local rather than foreign acquisitions.One upside of developing a defense business is that Embraer can benefit from government largesse and mitigate downturns in commercial and business aviation. It also means that some of Embraer’s R&D costs are covered by the government.

Brazil’s Defense Spending Prompts Embraer To Change Tack, Leithen Francis, Aviation Week,13/08/2012   Far East

Regional economic integration and social and cultural interactions arguably contributed far more to bring peace and prosperity than the ‘stability’ resulting from the military standoff. (Appendix 4.18) One notable example can be found across the Taiwan Strait.

Taiwan for historical reasons used to have very volatile relationship with Mainland China – up until 1979 when USA changed its diplomatic recognition of both China and Taiwan, Taiwanese government was still actively pursuing its aim of “recovering the mainland”.  Effectively acting as a buffer between the current only superpower in the world and an aspiring superpower, the martial affair of Taiwan remains a delicate and explosive issue. Despite the apparent volatility around the Taiwan Strait, in Taiwan at least, there have been growing and significantly calls for reduction in military spending.

China is Taiwan’s largest trading partner and reciprocally Taiwan has been one of China’s main sources of foreign direct investment. With the economic integration comes close cultural and social exchanges that has led many to argue that there is an opportunity to enjoy a “peace dividend” – the stable cross-strait relationship allows Taiwan to reduce military expenditure without compromising its security. Many of these people treat arms deals with USA as furthering its imperial aims rather than addressing the ‘imbalance of military strength’ across the Strait.

This sentiment, combined with weaker economic performance compared to other East Asian economic powerhouses, arguably contributed to the reduction of military spending between 2001 and 2005. USA president George W Bush soon after coming into the office proposed several arms deals to Taiwan. The negotiations was pushed back in 2004 when a huge demonstration of tens of thousands of people took place to protest against arms purchases totaled NT$610 billion (US$18 billion).  Each was holding a cup of ‘pearl milk tea’ – a characteristic Taiwanese drink – in response to the government’s call for every citizen to drink one cup less of pearl milk tea a week to fund the arms purchase. The negotiation for these arms deals has dragged on, even now. With the lackluster economic performance (one of the worst) after the financial crisis, the anti-arms purchasing movement remains strong.   Indian Sub-Continent

All the major arms sales nations see India as an important new market – especially the UK and USA.

In February 2013, accompanying David Cameron on his trip to India were representatives of a dozen British or partly British-based companies with defence interests: Rolls-Royce, Serco, BAE, EADS, Thales, Atkins, Cobham, JCB, Strongfield Technologies, MBDA, Ultra Electronics.

India is on a military buying spree that’s made it the belle-of-the-global-military ball…. India’s long shopping list calls for $20 billion in fighter jets, $1.5 billion worth of refueling aircraft and billions of dollars in submarines, tanks and artillery, among other equipment, all part of an estimated $80 billion spending spree over the next five years. “India’s a little yokel with pockets full of cash and everyone’s trying to mug it,” said Ajai Shukla, a defense analyst and former army colonel.

India is darling of global defense firms, Mark Magnier, Los Angeles Times, 30/03/2012    Current Military-spend Related Campaigns

This proposal draws inspiration from many existing – often longstanding – campaigns already out there and which address a variety of issues. It is our hope that The 5% Formula (5% absolute annual cuts and the 5% threshold rule) can offer a way through which all of those campaigning in this field can see a way to come together under a universal principle that can add even more value to their work while also delivering a new, overarching demand around which to campaign together, where-ever in the world we are.

The business of military expenditure and by extension, defence industry sales (at home or overseas), is a truly globalised one which – we feel – demands a globalised, co-ordinated response. One that can ‘re-present’ the ‘peace’ issue to a wider audience (media, public, policy-makers) bringing together all those with many years of experience on this issue with newcomers to the issue.

Option 10% invites member states of the Union to reduce their arms spending by 10% to finance the struggle against poverty in Europe and throughout the world.

In support of the 10% option and to coincide with EU elections in 2009,  Freres Des Hommes and International Peace Bureau encouraged various EU publics to send the message ‘Europe: less money for arms, more money for solidarity‘ to political candidates and groups:

In Europe, many citizens bemoan the fact that every day the Union distances itself more from its founding ideals of solidarity. All the more reason why the instabilities worsened by the economic crisis continue to spread.  In Africa, Asia and Latin America, other citizens, more numerous still, are subjected on a daily basis to the violent and aggressive situations that lead to poverty and hunger, all while waiting for the day when the abolition of poverty will finally take the place of the international arms race. We are waiting for European groups and political leaders to recognize the scale and legitimacy of these democratic goals.  Keeping in mind the commitment to the reduction of poverty signed by all the states as a part of the Millennium Development Goals, we ask that the European Union take part in strategic plans advocated for by the UN for a progressive disarmament for the abolition of poverty and sustainable and solidarity development.  In light of the European year for the struggle against poverty in 2010, we are submitting for public and parliamentary discussion the Option 10%, which invites member states of the Union to reduce their arms spending by 10% to finance the struggle against poverty in Europe and throughout the world.    Suggested Arms Sales Campaign – ‘Don’t Buy, Don’t Sell’

Currently 60% of global arms sales go to developing nations from a handful of rich nations. In the case of many (often smaller but not necessarily) developing nations, or nations whose defence relies on buying from rich nations and their respective defence industries, we would like to suggest a ‘sub-campaign’ – called ‘Don’t Buy, Don’t Sell’.  A kind of ‘solidarity’ campaign between campaigners in the north and south.    Proportionality and Fairness

  • We believe that our primary focus – calling on the Top 20 spenders to absolutely cut their respective military spending by 5% year on year for a 10 year period – is proportionate to their levels of military spending compared to the rest of the world.
  • We believe that calling on every other country to limit its annual military spending growth rate to their economic growth rate less 5 percentage points, is fair, proportionate and respecting of reasonable defence spending needs for all nations, be they the larger ‘emerging’ economies or smaller middle income or ‘lesser developed’ countries
  • Having established this ‘break’ mechanism on runaway military spending in the first 10 years, to continue the process for a further 10 years, with all nations now adhering to the 5% threshold rule suggested for the ‘rest of the world’ in the first 10 years, i.e. their military expenditures are limited by their yearly GDP growth rates less 5 percentage points:

Change (%) in military budget for next fiscal year = this year’s economic growth (% change in GDP) – 5%

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PART ONE – Introduction to the Campaign

PART TWO: The Campaign – Why, What, How






Data and calculations