The Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns has joined nearly 40 other organisations in issuing the following joint statement regarding the release of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data on global military spending.
Our diverse group of 39 think-tanks, non-profits, faith-based organisations, and advocacy groups based in the United States find the exorbitant amount of money spent on militaries worldwide to be an irresponsible and harmful use of global wealth.
The Global Military Expenditures Report released today shows that in 2019, countries spent $1.917 trillion on militaries. As US-based organisations, we are especially critical of the huge share spent by the United States, which accounted for 38 percent of military spending around the world in 2019. This is not just a US issue, however, and we join organisations from Spain to New Zealand who are speaking out in response to this report.
The devastating impact of this $1.917 trillion in military spending has become painfully clear in the United States as we struggle to keep pace with the healthcare needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Had our government chosen to invest in hospitals, production of life-saving medical devices, and the training of medical professionals across the country in 2019, our health system would be better prepared to face the current threat to our safety.
Instead, it chose to sink $732 billion in taxpayer dollars into weapons and endless wars. The release of 2019 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) data on global military expenditures reaffirms what has been true for decades - the United States spends an astronomical amount of money on the Pentagon. Under the guise of providing "security," this spending has actually made global communities less safe, hindered the global economy, and contributed to environmental degradation. At a time when public health concerns are paramount, it is unconscionable that our leaders continue to pour money into weapons and war instead of prioritising global cooperation and investment in industries like healthcare.
Though our respective organisations' views may differ on why the bloated US military budget is so harmful, we all agree on one thing - US military spending must be reduced. We call on the United States to reduce Pentagon spending.
Alliance of Baptists
American Friends Service Committee
Beyond the Bomb
Center for International Policy
Center on Conscience & War
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Church of the Brethren Office of Peacebuilding and Policy
Churches for Middle East Peace
Church World Service
Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach
Congregation of Our Lady of the Good Shepherd, US Provinces
Friends Committee on National Legislation
International Peace Research Association
InterReligious Task Force on Central America and Colombia
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office
National Council of Churches
National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd
National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies
Pax Christi USA
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Provincial Council Clerics of St Viator
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas- Justice Team
The United Methodist Church- General Board of Church and Society
Unitarian Universalists for Just Economic Communities (UUJEC)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries
US Labor Against the War
Veterans for Peace
Win Without War
Women's Action for New Directions
State and Local Organizations:
Occupy Bergen County (N.J.)
Pennsylvania Council of Churches
Veterans for Peace Chapter 136- Central Florida
Veterans for Peace Chapter 27
World Beyond War - Central Florida
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