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Where now for military spending in the age of austerity?

Global Military Spending

Where now for military spending in the age of austerity?

It's not often these days that governments urge higher levels of spending. But that’s what the US government is calling for.

The US wants Nato members to spend more on defence. At present only four countries out of the 28 Nato members spend 2% or more of their GDP on military spending. That’s not good enough, according to the world’s biggest military power, especially if Nato is to counter the Russian military, its new supposed threat since the crisis in Ukraine.

The four big spenders proportionately are the US, Britain, Greece and the Baltic state of Estonia.

This largesse may not be so welcomed by the populations of these countries. All of them are suffering from austerity measures. Greece has been subject to years of  adjustment plans imposed by the IMF and EU, austerity which has seen living standards slashed, public services axed, increases in suicide rates, worsening health and massive social unrest.

At a time when everywhere inequality is growing and decent public services are under pressure of financial cuts and job losses, it will no doubt be of great comfort to the people of the Nato member states that their military spending is exempt from these measures and is indeed justified by exactly the same people who tell us we need to make sacrifices.


Nato pumps war money into Ukraine

The exercises carried out by western troops in Eastern Europe are extensive_ much more so than most people realise. Only this week a US led multinational force is carrying out manoeuvres in another Baltic state, Latvia. Nato is planning operations in Ukraine next month and there have been naval exercises in the Baltic close to Russia.

Meanwhile Nato is pouring money into the Ukraine, according to its head, the increasingly belligerent Anders Fogh Rasmussen. New funds, known by the cosy term of ‘trust funds’ will be available to help with logistics, cyber defence and command and control.

Those who say there is nothing in Nato eastward expansion apart from ‘defence’ should perhaps bear all this in mind.


US and Syrian interests converge in Iraq

So Syrian jets have bombed ISIS fighters in western Iraq. Just one sign of the shifting alliances in the Middle East in recent weeks. Or as the BBC’s Jim Muir puts it, ‘the threat posed by Isis is creating a convergence of interests between players who so far have been adversaries.’ He predicts the use of US drones in the region, in the continuing hell created by the western powers.

Source: Stop the War Coalition