When asked what their dearest wish is, beauty pageants all over the world are expected to answer: World Peace. And this reply is laughed at because it is considered so flat and dull, but come to think about it, is there any better wish than this one?
However, considering the fact that war and disagreement have been raging since the beginning of times (we all know the sad story of how Adam and Eve’s child, Cain became the first ever murderer by killing his own brother, Abel), it is hard to believe that humanity will one day succeed in living in peace.
Especially when you read the figures concerning world arms exports and imports. Contrary to what I thought, the biggest arms importers are not African countries, despite the different hotbeds of tension on the continent.
Who would have thought that Australia would be in the top ten of arms buyers? It is really interesting also to read some analysis that show that countries like India which are not even at war, are part of the three first arms importers because countries just behave like little boys who compare their muscles in the playground!
As explained by Michael Pizzi in his article of March, 17, 2014 on America.Aljazeera.com:
But the threat of imminent war is not the only factor that motivates the hoarding of high-tech arms. “India, it sees itself as a regional power, if not a world power,” Wezeman said. “When you have those ambitions, that requires some military powers or muscle that you can show off. Otherwise, it’s not really power. So prestige does play a role in weapons acquisition.”
World Arms imports in 2014
Arms imports: From 2009 to 2013, India accounted for 14 percent of the world’s arms imports, more than any other nation. Russia was India’s main supplier. Source: SIPRI.org (Culled from America.aljazeera.com)
Information on the arms market is usually based on the data compiled by SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) and as stated in the above article by Michael Pizzi: “Because arms sales fluctuate year to year, SIPRI uses a five-year average to provide a more stable measure of trends.”
Ranking and percentages differ depending on the sources and the years under review. It seems Saudi Arabia is taking the upper hand as an importer lately, but I am not an expert in this field. Nonetheless, I think it is important to keep informed about the state of affairs around the world.
However, do not let those disheartening figures dampen your spirit. Despite all this, I still believe that the world is made of many men and women of good will and that peace will prevail!
As I always say, it starts with you, it starts with me. Right now, I am busy applying the following quote (I am failing several times, but I keep trying!):