Before You Enlist Video - http://beforeyouenlist.org
Researching Pop Culture and Militarism - https://nnomy.org/popcultureandmilitarism/
If you have been Harassed by a Military Recruiter - https://www.afsc.org/resource/military-recruiter-abuse-hotline
War: Turning now to Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson - Christian Science Monitor
WHAT IS IN THIS KIT? - https://nnomy.org/backtoschoolkit/
Click through to find out
Religion and militarism - https://nnomy.org/religionandmilitarism/
‘A Poison in the System’: Military Sexual Assault - New York Times
Change your Mind?
Talk to a Counselor at the GI Rights Hotline
Ask that your child's information is denied to Military Recruiters
And monitor that this request is honored.
Military Recruiters and Programs Target marginalized communities for recruits...
..and the high schools in those same communities

 Militarization of our Schools

The Pentagon is taking over our poorer public schools. This is the reality for disadvantaged youth.

 

What we can do

Corporate/conservative alliances threaten Democracy . Progressives have an important role to play.

 Why does NNOMY matter?

Most are blind or indifferent to the problem.
A few strive to protect our democracy.

MILITARISM & WAR

How to start a demilitarization project

Here are some tips of important elements to look for when starting a demilitarization campaign.

STOPPING A PROJECT

Military off campus, San Francisco StateThe most direct way to demilitarize research is to force the cancellation of a militarized research project. This would require finding an example of militarized research that is clearly going to contribute to the development of harmful technologies so that there would be widespread support for ending the research. A cancellation of this kind is in itself one of the most important steps towards demilitarization, but it can also serve as an important tactic for forcing an administration to implement transparency or ethics policies for military research. The implementation of a policy is a way for an administration to appear as though they are dealing with the issue of harmful military research, and it also provides them with a means to defend themselves against controversies in the future.

ETHICS POLICIES

The parameters of an ethics policy could vary considerably, but in general they are intended to evaluate cases of militarized research and determine if they could cause more harm than benefit. The advantage of university policies is that they could consistently apply to many research projects over many years, whereas the capacity of activists to investigate and challenge militarization is always more limited. Currently, there are not any military research ethics policies for universities in Canada, (or the U.S.A.) and the administrations of the major research universities have stated that they are reluctant to implement these policies on the grounds that it would restrict academic freedom. However, this reluctance is not an insurmountable barrier. With enough effort, administrators can be pressured and convinced to take a new position in favor of ethical research.

TRANSPARENCY POLICIES

Unlike regulatory ethics policies, transparency policies do not directly have any effect on what research a professor is permitted to do. Therefore, it cannot be argued that they restrict academic freedom. However, they could still be an important step towards demilitarization by requiring that professors publicize all funding and collaboration connections with military agencies, as well as the potential uses of their research to the military and possible harmful applications. Making this information public would make the extent of militarization more public, would make it more difficult to claim that cases of militarized research are harmless, and would provide an important resource for future demilitarization campaigns aimed at stopping a project or implementing an ethics policy.

COUNTER-RECRUITMENT

Opposing military recruitment on campus is another important aspect of demilitarization, and should always be opposed along with militarized research. For example, the student newspaper can implement a policy banning military advertisements. Similarly, there can be a ban on military recruiters on campus, or against the posting of military posters or advertisements. We must oppose the militarization of both our bodies and our brains!

BUILDING SUPPORT FOR A CAMPAIGN

Professors who support the demilitarization of your university are a critical resource for investigating militarized research and building a campaign against it. They may know of past instances of opposition or controversy over militarized research at the university, and they will have a more intimate knowledge of the policies and procedures surrounding research, transparency, and ethics at the university.

SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING STUDENTS: Since militarized research often takes place within science and engineering departments, it is politically significant for students in these departments to express their opinion against the militarization of research. Furthermore, the technical knowledge of science and engineering students can be useful in understanding the potential military applications of research projects. A good way to start discussing militarization with engineering students is through the group Engineers Without Borders (EWB), which has chapters through Canada. EWB has a progressive mandate that primarily focuses on development work, but also relates relates to peace issues, so chapters have supported demilitarization campaigns in the past. (In the case of U.S. based activism connecting with  groups like Federation of American Scientists, or the Union of Concerned Scientists, whom have fostered arms control policies, may stand behind a concern for research that could be deemed aggressive or could proliferate an arms imbalance or race between countries. Allying with a union of concerned scientists could present some pressure to challenge a universities research policies but it is not clear how progressive are the aims of the scientific community post 9/11. Security concerns and the self interests of a burgeoning economic sector stemming from the specter of global terrorism has reduced the effectiveness of these types of alliances. Less prestigious groups like Scientists Without Borders or Global Union of Scientists for Peace are working towards changing the direction of scientific research towards peaceful means but lack the authority to have a great effect)

STUDENT UNIONS: Passing a motion in your student union council or general assembly can be a good way of raising awareness of militarization of campus. The union also has resources and some ability to participate in the governance of the university and negotiate with the administration in ways that can be useful for a campaign.

Source: http://www.antirecrutement.info/?q=en/node/129

Links:

Articles on the web:

 

###

History Of U.S. Intervention

ContrasSince the September 11 attacks on the United States, most people in the world agree that the perpetrators need to be brought to justice, without killing many thousands of civilians in the process. But unfortunately, the U.S. military has always accepted massive civilian deaths as part of the cost of war. The military is now poised to kill thousands of foreign civilians, in order to prove that killing U.S. civilians is wrong.

The media has told us repeatedly that some Middle Easterners hate the U.S. only because of our "freedom" and "prosperity." Missing from this explanation is the historical context of the U.S. role in the Middle East, and for that matter in the rest of the world. This basic primer is an attempt to brief readers who have not closely followed the history of U.S. foreign or military affairs, and are perhaps unaware of the background of U.S. military interventions abroad, but are concerned about the direction of our country toward a new war in the name of "freedom" and "protecting civilians."

The United States military has been intervening in other countries for a long time. In 1898, it seized the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico from Spain, and in 1917-18 became embroiled in World War I in Europe. In the first half of the 20th century it repeatedly sent Marines to "protectorates" such as Nicaragua, Honduras, Panama, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. All these interventions directly served corporate interests, and many resulted in massive losses of civilians, rebels, and soldiers. Many of the uses of U.S. combat forces are documented in A History of U.S. Military Interventions since 1890: http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

U.S. involvement in World War II (1941-45) was sparked by the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, and fear of an Axis invasion of North America. Allied bombers attacked fascist military targets, but also fire-bombed German and Japanese cities such as Dresden and Tokyo, partly under the assumption that destroying civilian neighborhoods would weaken the resolve of the survivors and turn them against their regimes. Many historians agree that fire- bombing's effect was precisely the opposite--increasing Axis civilian support for homeland defense, and discouraging potential coup attempts. The atomic bombing of Japan at the end of the war was carried out without any kind of advance demonstration or warning that may have prevented the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians.

The war in Korea (1950-53) was marked by widespread atrocities, both by North Korean/Chinese forces, and South Korean/U.S. forces. U.S. troops fired on civilian refugees headed into South Korea, apparently fearing they were northern infiltrators. Bombers attacked North Korean cities, and the U.S. twice threatened to use nuclear weapons. North Korea is under the same Communist government today as when the war began.

During the Middle East crisis of 1958, Marines were deployed to quell a rebellion in Lebanon, and Iraq was threatened with nuclear attack if it invaded Kuwait. This little-known crisis helped set U.S. foreign policy on a collision course with Arab nationalists, often in support of the region's monarchies.

In the early 1960s, the U.S. returned to its pre-World War II interventionary role in the Caribbean, directing the failed 1961 Bay of Pigs exile invasion of Cuba, and the 1965 bombing and Marine invasion of the Dominican Republic during an election campaign. The CIA trained and harbored Cuban exile groups in Miami, which launched terrorist attacks on Cuba, including the 1976 downing of a Cuban civilian jetliner near Barbados. During the Cold War, the CIA would also help to support or install pro-U.S. dictatorships in Iran, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and many other countries around the world.

The U.S. war in Indochina (1960-75) pit U.S. forces against North Vietnam, and Communist rebels fighting to overthrow pro-U.S. dictatorships in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. U.S. war planners made little or no distinction between attacking civilians and guerrillas in rebel-held zones, and U.S. "carpet-bombing" of the countryside and cities swelled the ranks of the ultimately victorious revolutionaries. Over two million people were killed in the war, including 55,000 U.S. troops. Less than a dozen U.S. citizens were killed on U.S. soil, in National Guard shootings or antiwar bombings. In Cambodia, the bombings drove the Khmer Rouge rebels toward fanatical leaders, who launched a murderous rampage when they took power in 1975.

Echoes of Vietnam reverberated in Central America during the 1980s, when the Reagan administration strongly backed the pro-U.S. regime in El Salvador, and right-wing exile forces fighting the new leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Rightist death squads slaughtered Salvadoran civilians who questioned the concentration of power and wealth in a few hands. CIA-trained Nicaraguan Contra rebels launched terrorist attacks against civilian clinics and schools run by the Sandinista government, and mined Nicaraguan harbors. U.S. troops also invaded the island nation of Grenada in 1983, to oust a new military regime, attacking Cuban civilian workers (even though Cuba had backed the leftist government deposed in the coup), and accidentally bombing a hospital.

The U.S. returned in force to the Middle East in 1980, after the Shi'ite Muslim revolution in Iran against Shah Pahlevi's pro-U.S. dictatorship. A troop and bombing raid to free U.S. Embassy hostages held in downtown Tehran had to be aborted in the Iranian desert. After the 1982 Israeli occupation of Lebanon, U.S. Marines were deployed in a neutral "peacekeeping" operation. They instead took the side of Lebanon's pro-Israel Christian government against Muslim rebels, and U.S. Navy ships rained enormous shells on Muslim civilian villages. Embittered Shi'ite Muslim rebels responded with a suicide bomb attack on Marine barracks, and for years seized U.S. hostages in the country. In retaliation, the CIA set off car bombs to assassinate Shi'ite Muslim leaders. Syria and the Muslim rebels emerged victorious in Lebanon.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the U.S. launched a 1986 bombing raid on Libya, which it accused of sponsoring a terrorist bombing later tied to Syria. The bombing raid killed civilians, and may have led to the later revenge bombing of a U.S. jet over Scotland. Libya's Arab nationalist leader Muammar Qaddafi remained in power. The U.S. Navy also intervened against Iran during its war against Iraq in 1987-88, sinking Iranian ships and "accidentally" shooting down an Iranian civilian jetliner.

U.S. forces invaded Panama in 1989 to oust the nationalist regime of Manuel Noriega. The U.S. accused its former ally of allowing drug-running in the country, though the drug trade actually increased after his capture. U.S. bombing raids on Panama City ignited a conflagration in a civilian neighborhood, fed by stove gas tanks. Over 2,000 Panamanians were killed in the invasion to capture one leader.

The following year, the U.S. deployed forces in the Persian Gulf after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, which turned Washington against its former Iraqi ally Saddam Hussein. U.S. supported the Kuwaiti monarchy and the Muslim fundamentalist monarchy in neighboring Saudi Arabia against the secular nationalist Iraq regime. In January 1991, the U.S..and its allies unleashed a massive bombing assault against Iraqi government and military targets, in an intensity beyond the raids of World War II and Vietnam. Up to 200,000 Iraqis were killed in the war and its imemdiate aftermath of rebellion and disease, including many civilians who died in their villages, neighborhoods, and bomb shelters. The U.S. continued economic sanctions that denied health and energy to Iraqi civilians, who died by the hundreds of thousands, according to United Nations agencies. The U.S. also instituted "no-fly zones" and virtually continuous bombing raids, yet Saddam was politically bolstered as he was militarily weakened.

In the 1990s, the U.S. military led a series of what it termed "humanitarian interventions" it claimed would safeguard civilians. Foremost among them was the 1992 deployment in the African nation of Somalia, torn by famine and a civil war between clan warlords. Instead of remaining neutral, U.S. forces took the side of one faction against another faction, and bombed a Mogadishu neighborhood. Enraged crowds, backed by foreign Arab mercenaries, killed 18 U.S. soldiers, forcing a withdrawal from the country.

Other so-called "humanitarian interventions" were centered in the Balkan region of Europe, after the 1992 breakup of the multiethnic federation of Yugoslavia. The U.S. watched for three years as Serb forces killed Muslim civilians in Bosnia, before its launched decisive bombing raids in 1995. Even then, it never intervened to stop atrocities by Croatian forces against Muslim and Serb civilians, because those forces were aided by the U.S. In 1999, the U.S. bombed Serbia to force President Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw forces from the ethnic Albanian province of Kosovo, which was torn a brutal ethnic war. The bombing intensified Serbian expulsions and killings of Albanian civilians from Kosovo, and caused the deaths of thousands of Serbian civilians, even in cities that had voted strongly against Milosevic. When a NATO occupation force enabled Albanians to move back, U.S. forces did little or nothing to prevent similar atrocities against Serb and other non-Albanian civilians. The U.S. was viewed as a biased player, even by the Serbian democratic opposition that overthrew Milosevic the following year.

Even when the U.S. military had apparently defensive motives, it ended up attacking the wrong targets. After the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa, the U.S. "retaliated" not only against Osama Bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan, but a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was mistakenly said to be a chemical warfare installation. Bin Laden retaliated by attacking a U.S. Navy ship docked in Yemen in 2000. After the 2001 terror attacks on the United States, the U.S. military is poised to again bomb Afghanistan, and possibly move against other states it accuses of promoting anti-U.S. "terrorism," such as Iraq and Sudan. Such a campaign will certainly ratchet up the cycle of violence, in an escalating series of retaliations that is the hallmark of Middle East conflicts. Afghanistan, like Yugoslavia, is a multiethnic state that could easily break apart in a new catastrophic regional war. Almost certainly more civilians would lose their lives in this tit-for-tat war on "terrorism" than the 3,000 civilians who died on September 11.

COMMON THEMES


Some common themes can be seen in many of these U.S. military interventions.

First, they were explained to the U.S. public as defending the lives and rights of civilian populations. Yet the military tactics employed often left behind massive civilian "collateral damage." War planners made little distinction between rebels and the civilians who lived in rebel zones of control, or between military assets and civilian infrastructure, such as train lines, water plants, agricultural factories, medicine supplies, etc. The U.S. public always believe that in the next war, new military technologies will avoid civilian casualties on the other side. Yet when the inevitable civilian deaths occur, they are always explained away as "accidental" or "unavoidable."

Second, although nearly all the post-World War II interventions were carried out in the name of "freedom" and "democracy," nearly all of them in fact defended dictatorships controlled by pro-U.S. elites. Whether in Vietnam, Central America, or the Persian Gulf, the U.S. was not defending "freedom" but an ideological agenda (such as defending capitalism) or an economic agenda (such as protecting oil company investments). In the few cases when U.S. military forces toppled a dictatorship--such as in Grenada or Panama--they did so in a way that prevented the country's people from overthrowing their own dictator first, and installing a new democratic government more to their liking.

Third, the U.S. always attacked violence by its opponents as "terrorism," "atrocities against civilians," or "ethnic cleansing," but minimized or defended the same actions by the U.S. or its allies. If a country has the right to "end" a state that trains or harbors terrorists, would Cuba or Nicaragua have had the right to launch defensive bombing raids on U.S. targets to take out exile terrorists? Washington's double standard maintains that an U.S. ally's action by definition "defensive," but that an enemy's retaliation is by definition "offensive."

Fourth, the U.S. often portrays itself as a neutral peacekeeper, with nothing but the purest humanitarian motives. After deploying forces in a country, however, it quickly divides the country or region into "friends" and "foes," and takes one side against another. This strategy tends to enflame rather than dampen a war or civil conflict, as shown in the cases of Somalia and Bosnia, and deepens resentment of the U.S. role.

Fifth, U.S. military intervention is often counterproductive even if one accepts U.S. goals and rationales. Rather than solving the root political or economic roots of the conflict, it tends to polarize factions and further destabilize the country. The same countries tend to reappear again and again on the list of 20th century interventions.

Sixth, U.S. demonization of an enemy leader, or military action against him, tends to strengthen rather than weaken his hold on power. Take the list of current regimes most singled out for U.S. attack, and put it alongside of the list of regimes that have had the longest hold on power, and you will find they have the same names. Qaddafi, Castro, Saddam, Kim, and others may have faced greater internal criticism if they could not portray themselves as Davids standing up to the American Goliath, and (accurately) blaming many of their countries' internal problems on U.S. economic sanctions.

One of the most dangerous ideas of the 20th century was that "people like us" could not commit atrocities against civilians.

  • German and Japanese citizens believed it, but their militaries slaughtered millions of people.
  • British and French citizens believed it, but their militaries fought brutal colonial wars in Africa and Asia.
  • Russian citizens believed it, but their armies murdered civilians in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and elsewhere.
  • Israeli citizens believed it, but their army mowed down Palestinians and Lebanese.
  • Arabs believed it, but suicide bombers and hijackers targeted U.S. and Israeli civilians.
  • U.S. citizens believed it, but their military killed hundreds of thousands in Vietnam, Iraq, and elsewhere.


Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains within it the capability for extreme violence. Every group contains a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and actively seeks to exclude or even kill them. War fever tends to encourage the intolerant faction, but the faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or remains silent. The attacks of September 11 were not only a test for U.S. citizens attitudes' toward minority ethnic/racial groups in their own country, but a test for our relationship with the rest of the world. We must begin not by lashing out at civilians in Muslim countries, but by taking responsibility for our own history and our own actions, and how they have fed the cycle of violence.

Source: http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

Resources:

Downloads

Books

###

Revised 10/06/2016

Impact Of Militarism

All who draw the sword will die by the sword. -- Yeshua Ha-Notsri, Palestinian dissident, c. 33 CE.

As we all know – or rather, as everyone but those who climb and claw their way to the top of power's greasy pole knows – the effects of war are vast, unforeseeable, long-lasting -- and uncontrollable. The far-reaching ripples of the turbulence will churn against distant shores and hidden corners, then roil back upon you in ways you could never imagine, for generations, even centuries.

Nor is "victory" in war proof against these deleterious effects. For the brutalization, moral coarsening, corruption and concentration of elite power that attend every war do not simply disappear from a society when the fighting stops. They persist, like microbes, in myriad forms, working with slow, corrosive force to degrade and deform the victors. Indeed, victory in battle often leads a society to enshrine war's most pernicious attributes: violence is ennobled, and becomes entrenched as an ever-ready instrument of national policy. Militarism is exalted, the way of peace dishonored: cries of "Appeasers! Cowards! Traitors!" greet every approach that fails to brandish the threat of extreme violence, that fails to "keep all options on the table."

The apparent "lesson" of victory – that there can be no right without armed might to win and safeguard it – quickly degenerates into the belief  that armed might is right. (William Astore has an excellent article here on how the collision with Nazi Germany infected America's military with a continuing admiration for the German war machine.) Military power becomes equated with moral worth, and the ability to wreak savage, unimaginable destruction through armed violence -- via thoughtless obedience to the orders of "superiors" – becomes a cherished attribute of society.

War is no longer seen as a vast, horrific failure of the human spirit, a scandalous betrayal of our common humanity, a sickening tragedy of irrevocable loss and inconsolable suffering – although this is its inescapable reality, even in a "good" war, for a "just" cause. (And of course no nation or faction has ever gone to war without declaring that its cause is just.) Instead of lamenting war, and girding for it, if at all, only in the most dire circumstances, with the most extreme reluctance, the infected society celebrates it at every turn. No national occasion – even a sporting event! – is complete without bristling displays of military firepower, and pious tributes to those wreaking violence around the world in blind obedience to their superiors.

Oddly enough, when a modern nation consciously adopts a "warrior ethos," it casts aside -- openly, even gleefully -- whatever virtue that ethos has historically claimed for itself, such as courage in battle and honor toward adversaries. In its place come the adulation of overwhelming technological firepower and the rabid demonization of the enemy (or the perceived enemy, or even the "suspected" enemy), who is stripped of all rights, all human dignity, and subject to "whatever it takes" to break him down or destroy him.

Thus our American militarists exult in the advanced hardware that allows "soldiers" to slaughter people from thousands of miles away, with missiles, bombs and bullets fired from lurking, unreachable drones high in the sky. (A recent study shows that even by the most conservative reckoning of who is or isn't a "militant," at least one third of the hundreds killed in the Bush-Obama drone campaigns in Pakistan are clearly civilians.) The drone "warriors" -- often living in complete safety and comfort -- see nothing but a bloodless image on a screen; they face no physical threat at all. This is assassination, not combat; it reeks of cowardice, and dehumanizes everyone it touches, the victims and the button-pushers alike. Yet our militarists -- most of whom, of course, have somehow never found the time to fight the wars they cheer for -- wax orgasmic about this craven weaponry. In the transvaluation of values that militarism produces, cowardice becomes a martial virtue.

Source:http://www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/1937-unnatural-acts-breaking-the-fever-of-militarism.html

The Impact of War on Women and Children

In the name of such euphemisms as sovereignty, democracy, freedom and liberation, armies everywhere, most notably those who act at the behest of the U.S. military-industrial complex, are exacting a deadly cost. Militarism everywhere is out of control, cutting a violent swath of pandemic proportions across our planet. Women and children account for almost 80% of the casualties of conflict and war as well as 80% of the 40 million people in world who are now refugees from their homes. It is one of the unspoken facts of militarism that women often become the spoils of war, their deaths are considered collateral damage and their bodies are frequently used as battlegrounds and as commodities that can be traded.

"Women and girls are not just killed, they are raped, sexually attacked, mutilated and humiliated. Custom, culture and religion have built an image of women as bearing the 'honour' of their communities. Disparaging a woman's sexuality and destroying her physical integrity have become a means by which to terrorize, demean and 'defeat' entire communities, as well as to punish, intimidate and humiliate women," according to Irene Khan of Amnesty International.

Sexual violence as a tool of war has left hundreds of thousands of women raped, brutalized, impregnated and infected with HIV/AIDS. And hundreds of thousands of women are trafficked annually for forced labor and sexual slavery. Much of this trafficking is to service western troops in brothels near military bases. Even women serving in the military are subjected to sexual violence. U.S. servicewomen have reported hundreds of assaults in military academies and while serving on active duty. The perpetrators of these assaults have rarely been prosecuted or punished.

The impact of war on children is also profound. In the last decade, two million of our children have been killed in wars and conflicts. 4.5 million children have been disabled and 12 million have been left homeless. Today there are 300,000 child soldiers, including many girls who are forced to 'service' the troops.

Environmental damage is another de facto weapon of war that has dire consequences. The Pentagon makes no secret that it uses nuclear and chemical weaponry such as depleted uranium and napalm. We know that the cancer rate and number of birth defects in Iraq have soared since the first Gulf War. Perversely, not only are we poisoning the 'enemy' but continuing in the tradition of Agent Orange in Vietnam and Gulf War Syndrome, our own soldiers are also being exposed to the effects of this weaponry. There is little doubt that they also face higher cancer and disease rates as well as offspring born with birth defects.

Shoddy disposal of military toxins also impacts our health by polluting our water, land and air. Most recently, the U.S. military has been disposing of perchlorate, (a rocket fuel) in such a way that it is getting into our groundwater (affecting the drinking water of 20 million people) and our food as well as in the breastmilk of nursing mothers. It is also likely that perchlorate impacts reproductive health.

Disproportionate spending on war-making comes at the expense of funding for programs that benefit our lives and our planet. For example, a community near where I live recently announced that it had lost its funding for helping victims of domestic violence, an all too common occurrence as funding for combating violence against women is diverted to fund Homeland Security. In doing so, we place the lives of thousands of women at risk of harm. (Ironically, there seems to be plenty of money to train TSA airport screeners to grope women's breasts.) And in Afghanistan, a mere $72.5 million (less than 3%) of reconstruction funds has been spent on programs to benefit women , in sharp contrast to the hundreds of billions spent on death and destruction in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

The monstrous scope of this carnage and its impact on women and children make it quite clear that what is occurring is a systemic fact of militarism and the patriarchy it defends. The cavalier usurpation of our lives in the name of empire imperils us all. The ongoing violence towards and poisoning of our bodies is more terrifying than the terror we purport to fight. We can no longer afford the violence implicit in empire at any cost. War against mythical terrors creates the reality of our own demise.

Source: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/1219-26.htm

The Impact of Militarism on the Environment


Even in the absence of war, military establishments consume massive amounts of environmental and human resources.

Compared with the civilian sector, the military "uses more than its proportional share of rare and expensive, and often dangerous raw materials" according to the International Study Team's report, "Health and Welfare in Iraq." The armed forces also deplete vast amounts of energy.

Worldwide, military activities use large tracts of land and airspace. In its ongoing work, global militarism has at its disposal a significant portion of the world's human and financial resources. The development of the military sector of the economy takes place at the expense of the civilian sector.

Energy and Materials

Most of the data available on the military's consumption of energy and materials comes from the United States. Indeed, with a military machine of unparalleled proportions, it is not surprising that the U.S. armed forces consume astronomical quantities of energy and materials.

The Pentagon is considered the single largest domestic consumer of oil. It is very likely the largest worldwide. The Department of Defense purchased 2(X) billion barrels of oil for military use in 1989-enough to run all of the U.S. public transit systems in the U.S. for 22 years.

In less than one hour an F-16 consumes almost twice as much gas as the average American motorist during one year. A modern battle tank's fuel consumption is so high that it can be measured in gallons per mile. From 5 10 15 % of the U.S. non-fuel minerals are used by the Pentagon.

The global statistics on the militarism's consumption of energy and materials are equally sobering:

  • Approximately one quarter (42 million tons per year) or the world's jet fuel is used by armed forces.
  • nine percent of global iron and steel is consumed by armed forces.
  • The worldwide military use of aluminum, copper, nickel and platinum is greater than the entire Third World's demand for these materials.

Land Use

Globally, between 750,000 and 1.5 million square kilometres of land are controlled by armed forces. This does not include the area occupied by arms producing companies.

Michael Renner reports that in recent years more and more land has been turned over to armed forces and consequently withdrawn from public access. Military requirements for land have increased over the past century due to "the increase in the size of standing armed forces and, more particularly, the rapid pace of technological advances in weaponry."

With its choreographed violence, the military destroys large tracts of land it is supposed to protect. Land used for war games is prone to suffer severe degradation. Manoeuvres demolish natural vegetation, disturb wildlife habitat, erode and compact soil, silt up streams, and cause flooding. Bombing ranges transform the land into a moon-like wasteland, pockmarked with craters. Shooting ranges for tanks and artillery contaminate soil and groundwater with lead and other toxic residues.

  • In the United States, approximately 100,000 square kilometers or the equivalent or the entire state of Virginia are allocated to military use.
  • Outside its own borders, the U.S. military controls about 8,100 square kilometres.
  • In 1991 the Soviet military apparatus controlled approximately 200,000 square kilometres.
  • Over 40 years of the world's largest troops concentration all along the inner German border contributed to serious environmental stress.


Recovery from the effects of some military activities may take thousands of years. Nuclear test sites suffer from contamination that is almost permanent. Some production and testing sites used by the military are rendered completely unusable. For example:

  • In 1989, the U.S. Army's Jefferson Proving Ground, in Indiana, was closed because it is polluted with over 6.9 million buried bombs and shells. Clean-up is considered too dangerous and prohibitively expensive.
  • In the former Soviet Union, Lake Karachay has become so polluted with radioactive wastes that simply standing along its shore for an hour would be lethal.

Airspace and Atmospheric Pollution

The world's armed forces have even more access to airspace than to land. Military activities have greatly contributed to problems such as air pollution and ozone depletion.

In former West Germany, almost the entire airspace was open to military jets and two-thirds of it to low level flights. Most recent reports state that there were between 700,0000 and one million sorties per year. West German armed forces jets accounted for 58% of air pollutants generated by all air traffic over its territory.

As much as 70% of all airspace is used for military purposes in the United States. The majority of the military flights take place over the Western U.S.A. There are approximately 90,000 training sorties per year. One- fifth of these are at very low levels.

Canada has one of the world's most extensive airspaces for military purposes. Over 100,000 square kilometres are assigned to the Goose Bay Air Base in Labrador. By 1992, the number of low-level sorties flown by Canadian and other NATO jets is projected to increase from 6,656 to 8,400. In Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range stretches over 450,000 square kilometres of flying area.

One of the most serious effects of military use of airspace results from low-level flights, which disrupt wildlife migrations and behavioural patterns. Human health is also affected: Supersonic "booms" occurring in low-level flights can lead to hearing loss, high blood pressure, disturbance of the intestinal tract and other organs as well as psychological trauma.

In North America, native communities are the most severely affected. In Canada, the Ilnnu of Nitassinan (Labrador) have repeatedly complained to the Canadian government, but the number of flights is increasing over the land. In the U.S. flight training takes place over 14 Native American nations.

Lack of data on atmospheric pollution means that estimates are rough. However, German environmentalist Gunar Seitz estimates that 6 to 10% of global air pollution can be linked to armed forces operations. According to the Worldwatch Institute's research, the total release of carbon dioxide as a result or military activity could be as high as 10 per-cent or total global emissions. One military contractor, General Dynamics (makers of the F-16) uses 500,000 pounds of CFC-113 yearly.

The U.S. military is responsible for half of the worldwide use of CFC-113. the Department of Defense is a major user of Halon 1211 and CVC-113, which account for 13 percent of overall ozone depletion.

According to John O'Connor of the National Toxics Campaign, the world's military forces are responsible for the release of more than two-thirds of CFC-113 into the ozone layer.

The military also uses ozone-depleting substances that have no civilian counterpart. The B-2 Stealth bomber, for example, uses a fuel additive that is a known ozone depleter but of unknown potency.

Ozone depletion is increasingly being linked to serious health problems such as skin cancer, cataracts, and a number of diseases affected by immunosuppression, such as the AIDS virus.

Human and Financial Resource Depletion

The environmental costs of militarism are compounded by the lost opportunities resulting from the annual diversion of almost $1 trillion in global resources for military purposes. Between 1960 and 1990, world military spending added up to 21 trillion dollars.

In the U.S., government spending for military Research and Development exceeds that for all civilian needs combined. Thus, such important sectors as environmental protection, alternative energy sources and energy efficiency are shortchanged.

Ruth Leger Sivard, author of the yearly World Military and Social Expenditures report, draws attention to the distorting effects that heavy military spending has had on the global economy. The enormous sums invested in arms and armies do not provide an economic foundation for development progress. By diverting capital research facilities and manpower from civilian enterprise, these expenditures slow productivity gains and stimulate inflation. Fora developed country the result can be a gradual erosion of competitive status in the international market. For a fragile developing country, it can be a quick route to bankruptcy.

World military research and development expenditures continue to grow at twice the rate of military expenditures as a whole. Yet there is a lack of funds for monitoring global climatic change, surveying disappearing rainforests and spreading deserts, and for developing agricultural technologies for rain-fed tropical regions.

Military research and development "impairs a country's innovative capacity by drawing scientific talent away from the civilian sector," according to Renner.

Over 20% of all scientists and engineers in the world are employed by the military sector. World military research and development expenditures rose from $13 billion per year in 1960 to $100 billion in 1986.

According to Brundtland: "Half a million scientists are employed on weapons research worldwide, and they account for around half of all research and development expenditure. This exceeds the total combined spending on developing technologies for new energy sources, improving human health, raising agricultural productivity, and controlling pollution."

Source: http//:www.peacemagazine.org/archive/v08n3p08.htm

Share this

FacebookTwitterStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditLinkedInRSS FeedPinterestInstagramSnapchat

Gonate time or money to demilitarize our public schools

Contact NNOMY

The National Network Opposing
the Militarization of youth (NNOMY)

San Diego Peace Campus
3850 Westgate Place
San Diego
California
92105
U.S.A. 

admin@nnomy.org 

 +1 619 798 8335
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12 Noon till 5pm PST

Skype: nnomy.demilitarization

Subscribe to NNOMY Newsletter

Search the NNOMY website

Mobile Menu