2010 is coming to and end, with a very uncertain economic picture reminding us that capitalism is a system that perpetuates and intensifies inequality and injustices. The capitalist system has a long symbiosis with war, most clearly illustrated in war profiteering. This year there has been a lot of discussions about the impact of the economic crisis on the war industry. Clearly the crisis affects all industries, but governments have been determined to protect military manufacturing - even some "crisis rescue packages" have been determined by arms trades deals. (You've seen Cohn-Bendit's speech in the European Parliament? )

In this issue we have two articles looking at the economic crisis and the military industry, offering different perspectives on how much impact the crisis actually has had on war industries. This is an essential discussion for those of us struggling against war profiteering in order to identify where are the potential cracks in the system and how our campaigns can be most effective.

Banks are a key element in war profiteering - as loan-providers and as shareholders, as we have reported in many occasions in this newsletter. We need some radical thinking and strategies to challenge them, the suggestion of a well known football player of all us withdrawing our money from the banks was dismissed in many sectors, but are radical ideas like this that can bring real change.

In times of crisis, where in many countries public services are being cut, we still see defence budgets of many countries increasing, moving us ever further away from a human scale development. In this issue we look at the case of South America and the huge increase in military spending in the last years. WRI supports the call of the International Peace Bureau and the Institute for Policy Studies for a Global Day of Action on Military Spending, to coincide with the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's annual report, which will include new figures on military expenditures. This Global Day of Action is our Campaign of the Month. Let us hope that it can bring new impetus to a long and coordinated campaign for demilitarisation.

As you can see we have many challenges facing us. So let's look forward to a new year full of activities to stop war profiteering and war itself. I wish you a very good and active 2011.

Javier Gárate

Programmes & Projects

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