Arms control is a term for international restrictions upon the development, production, stockpiling, proliferation and usage of small arms, conventional weapons, and weapons of mass destruction. Arms control is typically exercised through the use of diplomacy which seeks to impose such limitations upon consenting participants through international treaties and agreements, although it may also comprise efforts by a nation or group of nations to enforce limitations upon a non-consenting country.
- Our military budgets continue to rise, now grabbing more than fifty-three cents of every discretionary federal dollar to pay for wars abroad and pushing our ability to pay for health care for all, for a Green New Deal, for jobs and education, and infrastructure, further and further away. The wars that those military budgets fund continue to escalate. They don’t make us safer, and they’ve led to the deaths of thousands of poor people in Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and beyond, as well as the displacement of millions of refugees, the destruction of water sources, and the contamination of the environments of whole countries. The only ones who benefit are the millionaire CEOs of military companies, who are getting richer every year on the more than $350 billion—half the military budget—that goes directly to their corporations. In the meantime 23,000 low-ranking troops earn so little that they and their families qualify for food stamps.
- The February meeting of NATO... defense ministers... revealed an antiquated, 75-year-old alliance that, despite its military failures in Afghanistan and Libya, is now turning its military madness toward two more formidable, nuclear-armed enemies: Russia and China... NATO seems oblivious to the changing dynamics of today's world, as if it were living on a different planet. Its one-sided Reflection Group report cites Russia's violation of international law in Crimea as a principal cause of deteriorating relations with the West, and insists that Russia must "return to full compliance with international law." But it ignores the U.S. and NATO's far more numerous violations of international law and leading role in the tensions fueling the renewed Cold War: Illegal invasions of Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq... broken agreement over NATO expansion into Eastern Europe... U.S. withdrawals from important arms control treaties... More than 300,000 bombs and missiles dropped on other countries by the U.S. and its allies since 2001... U.S. proxy wars in Libya and Syria, which plunged both countries into chaos, revived Al Qaeda and spawned the Islamic State.. U.S. management of the 2014 coup in Ukraine, which led to economic collapse, Russian annexation of Crimea and civil war in Eastern Ukraine... The stark reality of the U.S. record as a serial aggressor whose offensive war machine dwarfs Russia's defense spending by 11 to 1 and China's by 2.8 to 1, even without counting other NATO countries' military spending.
- Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies, What Planet Is NATO Living On? It's No Longer Useful to This One Salon, (24 February 2021)
- The COVID-19 crisis has made clearer than ever the flaws in our system, one that prioritizes military spending and global instability over the well-being of our people... Indeed, global priorities are wrong; it is time for a new era of peace, a global ceasefire as called for by the U.N. and people around the globe. Let us demilitarize the world and invest in global peace and diplomacy.
- Quoted in Jessica Corbett, US Drove Last Year’s Over $1.9 Trillion in Global Military Spending, Consortium News, (April 27, 2020)
- A new analysis on Monday showing that the world’s military spending surpassed $1.9 trillion last year, once again led by the United States under President Donald Trump, provoked demands that governments across the globe prioritize peace and the health of people as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the planet. The latest annual report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) found that the top military spenders after the U.S. were China, India, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. Total spending in 2019 was 3.6 percent higher than in the previous year and accounted for 2.2 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP).
- Global military expenditure was 7.2 percent higher in 2019 than it was in 2010, showing a trend that military spending growth has accelerated in recent years,” SIPRI researcher Nan Tian said in a statement. “This is the highest level of spending since the 2008 global financial crisis and probably represents a peak in expenditure.”
Although, as the SIPRI statement pointed out, “the increase in U.S. spending in 2019 alone was equivalent to the entirety of Germany’s military expenditure for that year,” the European country’s spending still rose by 10% last year to $49.3 billion, which was the largest increase among the top 15 ranked countries.
- Only four countries in history have surrendered their nuclear weapons. And three of those countries—Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine—did so with nuclear arms that they inherited from the defunct Soviet Union, and didn’t have the wherewithal to control and maintain. (The decision to dispose of this weaponry, in exchange for support from the United States and security assurances from Russia, is still remarkable; had Ukraine and Kazakhstan kept the arsenals on their territory, they would have become the world’s third- and fourth-largest nuclear powers, respectively.) Only South Africa has dismantled nuclear weapons that it constructed and controlled. In this sense, it is the closest analogue to what U.S. officials have in mind when they demand the “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
- Uri Friedman, "Why One President Gave Up His Country's Nukes". The Atlantic, (9 September 2017).
- Uri Friedman: Why did the South African government, in the mid-1970s, decide to embark on a nuclear-weapons program?
- F.W. de Klerk: The main motivation was the expansionist policies of the U.S.S.R. in southern Africa. They were supporting all the [African] liberation movements—they were supplying weapons and training—and it was part of their vision to gain direct or indirect control over most of the countries in southern Africa. They financed the deployment of many thousands of Cuban troops, especially to Angola, and this was interpreted as a threat first by Prime Minister John Vorster, and following upon him P.W. Botha. [The nuclear arsenal] was never intended, I think, to be used. It was a deterrent. Because of apartheid South Africa was becoming more and more isolated in the eyes of the rest of the world. There wouldn’t be, in the case of Russian aggression or invasion, assistance from the international community. It was felt that, if we have nuclear weapons, and if we then would disclose in a crisis that we have [them], it would change the political scenario and the U.S.A. and other [Western] countries might step in and assist South Africa.
- Friedman: In an op-ed in 2013 in the Los Angeles Times, you wrote, “South Africa has illustrated that long-term security can be far better assured by the abrogation of nuclear weapons than by their retention.” It seems that Kim Jong Un of North Korea has, at least according to his propaganda, learned the opposite lesson: that if you’re [Libya’s Muammar] Qaddafi or Saddam [Hussein in Iraq] and you give up your [pursuit of] nuclear weapons, you reduce your security [and bring about your demise at the hands of the U.S. and its allies]. Or if you’re Ukraine and you sign up to the Budapest Memorandum, and then Russia two decades later invades you, that you’ve actually given up security by relinquishing nuclear weapons.
- De Klerk: I still agree with [what I wrote]. Ultimately, the world will be safe only when all the nuclear states follow South Africa’s example and dismantle their nuclear weapons.
- F.W. de Klerk as interviewed by Uri Friedman, "Why One President Gave Up His Country's Nukes". The Atlantic, (9 September 2017)
- Despite the Robert Mueller report’s conclusion that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia during the 2016 presidential race, the new Cold War with Moscow shows little sign of abating. It is used to justify the expansion of NATO to Russia’s borders, a move that has made billions in profits for U.S. arms manufacturers.
- Chris Hedges, [https://www.truthdig.com/articles/manufacturing-war-with-russia/ "Manufacturing War With Russia" Truthdig, (2019)
- As we watch the media today, we are spoon fed more and more propaganda and fear of the unknown, that we should be afraid of the unknown and have full faith that our government is keeping us safe from the unknown. But by looking at media today, those of us who are old enough will be reminded of the era of Cold War news articles, hysteria of how the Russians would invade and how we should duck and cover under tables in our kitchens for the ensuing nuclear war. Under this mass hysteria all Western governments were convinced that we should join Western allies to fight the unknown evil that lies to the east. Later through my travels in Russia during the height of the Cold War with a peace delegation, we were shocked by the poverty of the country, and questioned how we ever were led to believe that Russia was a force to be afraid of. We talked to the Russian students who were dismayed by their absolute poverty and showed anger against NATO for leading their country into an arms race that they could not win. Many years later, when speaking to young Americans in the US, I was in disbelief about the fear the students had of Russia and their talk of invasion. This is a good example of how the unknown can cause a deep rooted paranoia when manipulated by the right powers.
- Firstly, I must say, that I personally believe that Russia is not by any means without faults. But the amount of anti-Russian propaganda in our media today is a throwback to the Cold War era. We must ask the question: Is this leading to more arms, a bigger NATO? Possibly to challenge large powers in the Middle East and Asia, as we see the US approaching the South China seas, and NATO Naval games taking place in the Black Sea. Missile compounds are being erected in Romania, Poland and other ex-Soviet countries, while military games are set up in Scandinavia close to the Russian border to practice for a cold climate war scenario. At the same time, we see the US President arriving in Europe asking for increased military spending. At the same time the USA has increased its budget by 300 billion in one year.
..The scapegoating of Russia is an inexcusable game that the West is indulging in. It is time for political leaders and each individual to move us back from the brink of catastrophe to begin to build relationships with our Russian brothers and sisters. Too long has the elite financially gained from war while millions are moved into poverty and desperation.
- Let me just start with Putin’s major address [1 March 2018]... It was really something. Not only did he advertise a whole new generation of strategic weaponry, which he claimed, and no one has disproved, would render the billions of dollars that we have wasted on antiballistic missile defenses useless. They’re useless to begin with, most scientists and engineers say, but these new weapons that he advertised, and some of which he said are operational, would upend that... he also said, Now, we tried to get you to listen to us. You wouldn’t listen to us. Now, hopefully, you will listen to us. Let’s get together at the appropriate time with experts and figure out how we address these problems, in other words, talks on arms control...
- Two days later, four senior senators...issue a call, a letter to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,[saying] Look, this is really getting out of hand. We don’t like the fact that Putin is brandishing these weapons that we really haven’t ever heard of before, but he’s calling for arms control talks, so let’s talk. Let’s talk. Guess what? That appeal appeared on all those four senators’ websites but was totally — totally — ignored by what passes for the mainstream media. So one suspects that this is an unwelcome subject, and there is proof positive... we're talking about four senior senators appealing for arms control talks on their websites but it never getting past their websites, no publicity for it. I’m thinking that Chuck Schumer said, No, no. Arms control, no, no... Don’t mention arms control talks. So that’s the reality in the mainstream media.
- First, in dealing with those nations that break rules and laws, I believe that we must develop alternatives to violence that are tough enough to actually change behavior – for if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure – and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one. One urgent example is the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy. And I’m working with President Medvedev to reduce America and Russia’s nuclear stockpiles. But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war. The same principle applies to those who violate international laws by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma – there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy – but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.
- Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus, three states of the former Soviet Union that have nuclear arms on their territory, formally agreed with the United States and Russia today to give up those weapons by the end of the decade and not to seek nuclear arms again. In a wordless, austere ceremony in the barroom of a Lisbon hotel, Secretary of State James A. Baker III and officials of Russia and the three other nuclear-armed former Soviet republics signed a protocol, or legal supplement, to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), pledging to carry out its terms. They thus laid the groundwork for ratification of the landmark START treaty and for permitting negotiations to go ahead between the United States and Russia for deeper cutbacks in nuclear arms. The full significance of the occasion, which took months of difficult negotiation to arrange, went far beyond the pale legalism of the six-page documents the diplomats signed. Today's ceremony was a hard-won milestone in a mostly invisible, yet intense diplomatic struggle to maintain control over the world's largest and most awesome array of long-range nuclear weapons, as the Soviet Union, the nation that created and held them during the decades of the Cold War, splintered into more than a dozen parts.
- Don Oberdorfer, “3 EX-SOVIET STATES TO GIVE UP A-ARMS”, Washington Post, May 24, 1992
- The fake "independent institute" promoting the China "threat" in the West is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the go-to source for Vichy journalists currently hoodwinking the public. It's exposed here as a front for warmongers and arms companies.
- NATO is obsolete, it belongs in the dustbin of history! NATO claims to strive for collective defence and for the preservation of peace and security. But, NATO has never been such a system. It is the largest military alliance in the world with the largest military spending and nuclear stockpiles. It is both the main driver for a new arms race and the main obstacle to a nuclear weapons-free world. Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been transformed into a global alliance structured to wage “out of area” wars in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, as well as to “contain” China. Having military troops at the Russian border, new nuclear weapons and a missile defence shield, it is a key driver for confrontation with Russia and a perpetrator of the corrosive “enemy” narrative.