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"The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded," says Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who points out that global military spending is estimated at over one trillion dollars - "and rising every day".
The 10 biggest military spenders last year were: the United States (607 billion dollars), China (84.9 billion), France (65.7 billion), Britain (65.3 billion), Russia (58.6 billion), Germany (46.8 billion), Japan (46.3 billion), Italy (40.6 billion), Saudi Arabia (38.2 billion) and India (30.0 billion).
The United States accounts for a large share (41.5 percent in 2008) of world military spending, while at the same time it increased its spending significantly (by 67 percent in real terms over the most recent 10-year period through 2008), and by 71 percent in real terms between 2000 and the budget for fiscal year 2009 (according to U.S. official data). However, many other countries are also increasing their military spending and some other major spenders have increased their military expenditure at an even higher rate than the United States, Skons pointed out.
"What we have seen, however, is a major reduction in inter-state conflict and in the likelihood that the world's major powers will go to war with one another in the near to medium term," he said. However, threats to peace still exist and the nature of those threats has changed as well. In particular, Gill said: "We see the rise in threats from non-state actors and a persistent degree of instability and civil wars within states."
War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature, and has no chance of being free unless made or kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.