Who Is Plunging the World into the Vortex of War?-Xinhua

Who Is Plunging the World into the Vortex of War?


Editor: huaxia

2023-04-15 13:49:58

By Xin Ping

In the American movie Lord of War, the arms dealer played by Nicolas Cage has a famous line: "The biggest arms dealer in the world is your boss, the President of the United States, who ships more merchandise in a day than I do in a year." Indeed, since the end of WWII, the United States has launched the most wars, sold the most weapons, and spent the most military expenditures. It is well-deserved to be called the "Lord of War".

Recently, the White House announced the budget for fiscal year 2024. The total defense expenditure is 886 billion dollars, almost equivalent to the annual GDP of Türkiye, the 20th largest economy in the world.

When justifying this most ostentatious defense budget in human history, the Pentagon kept citing the "China threat". But who is squandering huge military expenditures and putting the world in danger of military confrontation time and time again? Let the facts speak for themselves.

Who Is the World Record Keeper for Military Spending?

The United States has always been the country with the largest military expenditure. Among the world's top ten military spending countries in 2022, U.S. military spending exceeds the combined amount of the rest nine countries. The total military expenditure of the United States, its NATO and Asia-Pacific allies accounts for 61% of the global figure. In 2023, U.S. military budget surged by 14% to 857.9 billion dollars, 3.8 times that of China.

Some people say that the U.S. military spending is "needed to maintain world peace," while China's modest increase in military spending is "threatening regional security". They turn a deaf ear to the voice of the American people against their country's high military spending, while adopting a double standard in criticizing China's increase.

Who Is Keen on War?

Former U.S. President Carter noted in a speech in 2019 that the United States has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 242-year history, making the country “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”. The book America Invades: How We've Invaded or been Militarily Involved with almost Every Country on Earth pointed out that among the 190-plus countries recognized by the United Nations, only three have not fought wars with the United States or suffered U.S. military intervention. The three countries "survived" because the United States did not find them on the map.

After WWII, the United States launched more than a dozen wars, from the Korean War to the Vietnam War, from the air raids on Libya to the invasion of Panama, from the Gulf War to the Kosovo War, not to mention wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

While styling itself as the "guardian of peace", the United States squanders huge military expenditures to maintain global hegemony. There are as many as 374 U.S. overseas military bases, spread out in more than 140 countries and regions, with more than 300,000 troops stationed. The annual operation and maintenance costs of these overseas military bases amount to 100 billion dollars, which is equivalent to the annual GDP of Ethiopia. Over the years, the United States keeps fanning war flames around the world, wantonly interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, and has made a fortune through war.

The U.S. military industry has made a lot of money from the Ukraine crisis. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden recently released a report showing that due to the crisis, the number of weapons purchased by European countries (most of them use American-made weapons) has increased significantly. Imported weapons in 2022 increased by 93% compared with 2021, 31% of which go to Ukraine.

From January 2022 to January 2023, U.S. military aid to Ukraine amounts to 77.5 billion dollars with 29.3 billion in weapons and equipment. This is obviously adding fuel to the fire, fanning the flame of the war to spread further, and making it impossible for Russia and Ukraine to return to the negotiating table for a settlement.

Who Is Creating the Threat of War in the Indo-Pacific?

The United States has frequently challenged China's bottom line on the Taiwan question, seeking to "use Taiwan to contain China". It has lent support to Taiwan's attempts to "join international organizations" and "seek independence",and unabashedly stepped up military contact with Taiwan. Recently, the United States sent Pentagon officials in charge of China affairs to visit Taiwan, raised the level and number of Taiwan military personnel trained in the United States, and approved a new round of arms sales worth 619 million dollars to Taiwan.

What’s more, the United States continues to woo Japan and South Korea to conduct joint military exercises, and hold five-country anti-submarine exercises with Japan,South Korea,India and Canada. Since 2016, the United States has started to send warships and military aircraft to the South China Sea for so-called "routine patrols". In 2021, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canada also sent warships to the South China Sea at the instigation of the United States. In February 2023,aircraft carrier USS Nimitz crossed into the South China Sea.

At the same time, the United States has reached a series of agreements with the Philippines to open more military bases. Some of the bases are located on Luzon Island, which is only 400 kilometers away from Taiwan.

In March 2023, in no regard of international opposition, the United States, Britain and Australia announced a tripartite nuclear submarine cooperation plan, through which Australia will be the world's first non-nuclear-weapon country to have nuclear submarines. The Australian Minister of Defense openly admitted that the purpose of purchasing nuclear submarines is to deter China.

Who Shoot Themselves in the Foot?

The United States has invested a lot of money and energy in fanning the flames around China, the Asia-Pacific region, and the world. It regards China as an imagined enemy and hopes to defeat China through arms race, trade decoupling, diplomatic wrangling, and public opinion wars. But is this really good for America?

The high military expenditure is the "sword of Damocles" hanging over the United States. Although it allows the United States to flex its military muscle, it will inevitably result in a vicious circle of military expansion. Before achieving the goal of consuming its adversaries, the United States may bury itself first. The United States has invested six trillion dollars in wars in the Middle East. Not only have the people in the Middle East suffered enormously from the wars, the United States itself also lost soldiers and wealth, and fell into the quagmire of war from which it could not extricate itself.

As Albert Barnes put it,“Who has ever told the evils and the curses and the crimes of war? Who can describe the horrors of the carnage of battle? Who can portray the fiendish passions which reign there! If there is anything in which earth, more than any other, resembles hell, it is its wars.” If the United States does not repent, it will eventually accelerate toward the very opposite side of the world’s people amid the smoke and gunfire.


(The author is a commentator on international affairs, writing regularly for Global Times, China Daily, etc. He can be reached at xinping604@gmail.com.)