Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. Dwight D. Eisenhower, from a speech before the American Society of Newspaper Editors, April 16, 1953
The arms industry and the arms trade create and distribute the tools of oppression, war, murder and theft. But they also drains money from government budgets, money that could otherwise have been spent on policies to combat poverty and hunger. In many developing countries, authoritarian governments, by spending money on arms which they use to oppress their citizens and threaten their neighbors, double their people’s misery by condemning them to poverty. And, on top of that, the arms industry, even in developed countries, directs society’s efforts and intelligence away from more constructive purposes.
More on the arms industry and the arms trade.