New list on Military & Globalization


Jan Slakov

Dear RN list, 

While several people I know were outraged that at the Hague Appeal for Peace
the subject of Kosovo was essentially swept under the carpet (and key
organizers were in favour of the bombing) it seems some good has come out of
the conference. See below.

all the best, Jan

Date: Wed, 9 Jun 1999 14:46:49 +0200 (CST)
From: Andreas Rockstein <•••@••.•••>
Subject: IPS: The Military's Silent Role in Globalisation 

IPS news reports

RIGHTS-FINANCE: The Military's Silent Role in Globalisation 

By Niccolo' Sarno 
THE HAGUE, May 14 (IPS) - Wealthy countries negotiating international
trade and investment agreements are pushing for exemption clauses where
national security interests are concerned - but this is not for reasons of
security alone, independent analysts say. 

''It allows the maintenance of corporate subsidies through virtually
unlimited military spending,'' said Steven Staples, executive member of
the Canadian organisation, End the Arms Race. 

''Globalisation has created a new relationship between governments on the
one hand, and the corporations with their allies in the military on the
other,'' said Staples at a meeting on 'Demilitarising the Global Economy'
at the Hague Appeal for Peace. 

More than 4,000 delegates from around the world gathered this week at the
Hague marking the 100th anniversary of the 1899 Hague Conference, an
attempt by world leaders to push for world peace. 

The aerospace and defence industry, which includes some of the largest
transnational corporations in the world - such as Boeing, British
Aerospace and Aerospatiale - is heavily subsidised by western governments.
These subsidies are vital for the corporations to remain competitive on
the global market place, according to Staples. 

''Government research and military spending through grants, subsidies and
purchases of military aircraft provide a boost for the corporations and
enhance their competitive edge internationally,'' he explained. 

At the same time, the military, which relies on the aerospace and defence
industry for the advanced technology needed to gain technological
superiority in warfare, is feeling the effects of the worldwide decline in
defence spending. 

Ann Markusen, a specialist on military and defence expenditure at the
Rutgers University in the United States said that world military spending
has declined in the last decade. 

However, although the overall global military spending has been declining,
spending continues to increase in some countries, particularly in the
Middle-East and South East Asia. 

Staples says there is a contradiction at play here: while Western
aerospace and defence corporation's rely on developing countries'
adherence to the free market in order to sell their ware, these
corporations continue to depend on protectionist policies and government
subsidies at home. 

''How do wealthy countries where aerospace and defence products are
produced maintain their ability to subsidise their corporations and at the
same time prevent developing governments from practising the same
protectionist policies?'' asked Staples. 

His answer: by negotiating insisting on exempting military spending from
the liberalising demands of free trade and investment agreements with
other countries. 

In fact, only rich nations can afford to devote billions of dollars on
military spending, and ''they will always be able to give their
corporations hidden subsidies through defence contracts,'' Staples said. 

Fredrik Heffermehl of the International Peace Bureau remarked that at the
March celebration of the Nato's 50th anniversary, the only 40
non-governmental outsiders invited at the meeting were arms manufacturers.
''This tells a lot about what this is all about,'' said Heffermehl. 

According to an April report by the World Policy Institute in New York, a
number of US arms makers put up up to 250,000 dollars each to serve on the
host committee for the NATO anniversary. 

The organisation also says the US government has stockpiled over 1.5
billion dollars inn grants and subsidised loans that US firms can use to
finance arms sales to new and prospective NATO states. 

In another World Policy Institute report, Institute president William D.
Hartung warns that President Clinton's plan to increase Pentagon spending
by 112 billion dollar over the next six years is inconsistent with

''There is no threat to US interests that can possibly justify the largest
increase in the Pentagon budget since the Reagan era,'' says Hartung. 

''Current US arms spending of 276 billion dollars per year is already more
than twice as much as the combined military budgets of every conceivable
US adversary, including Russia, China, Iraq, North Korea, Libya, Syria,
and Cuba,'' notes Hartung, adding that the US and its closest allies -
Nato members, South Korea, and Japan - now account for nearly two-thirds
of world military expenditure. (END/IPS/ns/ds/ak/99) 


From: Delongs <•••@••.•••>
Subject: New e-mail list/network on globalization and militarism

Announcement from Steve Staples, Council of Canadians

Media Release
For Immediate Release
June 25, 1999


(Vancouver) The relationship between globalization and disarmament will
be the focus of a new international organization formed at the Hague
Appeal for Peace civil society conference held in the Hague, the

The International Network on Disarmament and Globalization (NDG) was
created at a special meeting on May 12th of peace activists, economists,
and researchers from ten countries. They identified the need to better
investigate how economic globalization and the rise of transnational
corporations are affecting efforts to promote peace and international

“Globalization has changed all of the rules,” said Steven Staples, a
Canadian activist and researcher from Vancouver. “Globalization is about
much more than international commerce – in fact globalization is
fundamentally challenging international diplomacy, the role of
governments, and even democracy itself,” said Staples.

Corporate-driven international trade agreements and financial
institutions are limiting the ability of governments to govern on behalf
of their citizens. The creation of a single world economy is not
distributing wealth evenly, but instead is increasing the concentration
of wealth into the hands of a tiny minority of people. This inequality
is creating poverty and degrading the environment, setting the
conditions for conflict and even war.

At the same time, mega-mergers are creating powerful transnational
corporations that produce most of the world’s weapons and military
technology. These corporations lobby governments to divert greater
amounts of public treasuries to military spending. The largest of these
corporations include such aerospace and defence giants as Lockheed
Martin, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas, Raytheon, British Aerospace/Marconi,
Aerospatiale/Matra and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace.

“As globalization creates the conditions for war and provides the
weapons to wage it, activists working for peace and disarmament must
confront globalization,” said Staples.

The NDG will address the relationship between militarism and
globalization, and will begin by creating an e-mail network and
educational resources which will be available on the Internet to build a
body of knowledge for peace activists, economists and researchers.


Contact: Steven Staples, •••@••.•••
International Network on Disarmament and Globalization
405-825 Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1K9 CANADA
tel: (604) 687-3223    fax: (604) 687-3277

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