ESSAY Military Spending Is It Justified

1518 Words Feb 5th, 2015 7 Pages
Examine the extent to which expenditure on arms and the armed forces is justifiable in the modern world. !


With all its wars, terrorist attacks and genocides, history might suggest that the armed forces has a critical and unquestionable role in any nation-state. However, as Steven Pinker puts it “We believe our world is riddled with terror and war, but we may be living in the most peaceable era in human existence’. Since the peak of the cold war in the 1970s and 80s, organised conflicts of all kinds, such as civil wars, genocides, repression by autocratic governments, terrorist attacks, have declined throughout the world and their death tolls have declined even more precipitously. Despite the trend of the New Peace, world military
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American primacy in the global distribution of capabilities is one of the most salient features of the contemporary international system. Their expenditures on arms is more than the next 14 countries combined together. This extraordinary imbalance leads to a unipolar world likely to be built around rules and institutions as desired by the
United States. The extent to which the powerful countries can translate its formidable capabilities into meaningful political influence is debatable as the United State’s selective involvement in
Vietnam or Iraq but lack thereof in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge era seems to reflect that
America’s foreign policy , especially after 2001, has been a reflection simply of the idiosyncratic and provocative strategies of the Bush administration itself rather than a manifestation of the deeper structural features of the global system of power. Hence, expenditure on arms and armed forces is justifiable to a small extent as it has allowed for the presence of many ‘bullies’ on the world stage. !


However, expenditure on armed forces can also be justified as nations do have the sovereignty and right to protect their own nations. Ironically due to the current situation of massive military spendings, the world is still vulnerable to threats, especially from terrorism, in the modern century.
The drastic increase in United State’s military spending in the last decade can also be justified by the September 11

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