According to a report to congress, last year's worldwide arms deal was a startling number of 57.5 billion dollars - though a drop of 8.5 in comparison to last year's deal. The top three suppliers, US, Russia and France along with other countries like Germany, Italy, China and Britain are responsible for the weapon sales to developing world - 45.1 billion dollars in 2009, and 48.8 billion in 2008 (NY times, September 12, 2010).
I find these data unsettling and the following excerpt even more disturbing:
''Relationships between arms suppliers and recipients continue to evolve in the 21st century in response to changing political, military and economic circumstances,'' Mr. Grimmett (specialist in International Security at Congressional Research Service) concluded. ''Where before the principal motivation for arms sales by foreign supplies might have been to support a foreign policy objective, today that motivation may be based as much as economic considerations.''
There are so many cases where arms deals have fueled unnecessary killings in already wartorn, developing countries, and even propelled a devastating genocide in Rwanda. And if these atrocities have been borne out of ''support [for] foreign policy objective'', I can't imagine what the result would be for the weapon deals that are based on economic considerations. While there are international organizations, policies to govern international trade, I'm not so sure whether moral codes will outweigh the profits these top suppliers hope to gain from their deals.
And while I understand that the market flows with the clientele's demands, and that had there not security threats, there would no demand for weapons. But these threats also derive from the thought of the missiles and nuclear plant in neighboring countries, and the only tactic is to buy more weapons and arms to defend your borders... isn't this the perfect example of a vicious cycle?
I'd like to believe that, whenever possible, peace settlements should always be prioritized before any country or government turn to destructive means in order to secure their grounds.
With that note... I think I should add Utopia to my reading list.