So the no-news is that for the year 2011 the total world military spending amounted to $1,74 trillion ($1,740,000,000,000) as announced by SIPRI on the 17 April - which coincided with the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. This is just a "slight" increase from last year, just 0.3 percent. According to SIPRI, this figure means that for the first year in 13 years, the world military spending has leveled out. The reality we can see in our lives, however, is that in times of huge economic crisis where most public spending is being cut, following strong pressure from financial powers for austerity measures, there is a strong commitment by most states to support the military industry, and giving in to the war profiteers lobby. If they won't reduce military spending in times like these, when will they?
This is why initiatives such as the "Global Day of Action on Military Spending" (GDAMS) are as important as ever. We take our hats off for the great work that both the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) did to make GDAMS a success. It is inspiring to see reports from all the countries where actions were held. The name Global is well deserved. We also celebrate the efforts in particular in the US of connecting GDAMS with the occupy movement. Making links between different movements is a vital part of challenging entrenched power and policies that are hardly questioned among the ruling elites. Now the challenge is how to use the momentum gained with the Global Day, and transform it into a global movement against military spending, which works throughout the year and that it doesn't become a yearly routine action, without eincreasing our impact. WRI has supported GDAMS and will very much welcome a discussion on strategies for how to consolidate a movement against military spending.
Last but not least, it is good to see actions like the one against the BBVA bank continuing to happen and even better that they can inspire a group in South Korea to carry a similar action, this time against Samsung. Bring on the red paint to show how full of blood the war profiteers are!