Global Cost Of War Was $14 Trillion Last Year
Drone strikes and extrajudicial killings are part of a larger system of permanent war that has existed for generations in the United States and shows no sign of abating. (Image: Predator drone via Shutterstock)
If “global violence were to decrease by 10 percent uniformly, an additional US$1.43 trillion would effectively be added to the world economy.” A new report released Friday said that the global cost of war was soaring as it was US$14 trillion in 2014. The report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) also claimed that conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan were responsible for most of the deaths in the world. According to the report, Syria remained the least peaceful place on Earth, followed by Iraq and Afghanistan, with the United States contributing violence in all three nations.
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“Last year alone it is estimated that 20,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks up from an average of 2,000 a year only 10 years ago,” the report said. The Global Peace Index report said that war spending amounts to 13 percent of the global GDP, which is almost the combined value of the economies of United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Spain and Brazil. Steve Killelea, Founder and Executive Chairman, Institute for Economics and Peace said if “global violence were to decrease by 10 percent uniformly, an additional US$1.43 trillion would effectively be added to the world economy.”
“[Year] 2014 was marked by contradictory trends: on the one hand many countries in the OECD [Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development] achieved historically high levels of peace, while on the other, strife-torn nations, especially in the Middle East, became more violent. This is a real concern as these conflicts become even more intractable they spread terrorism to other states,” Killelea added.
Published annually since 2008, the Global Peace Index uses 23 indicators and three key themes; “level of safety and security in society,” “the extent of domestic and international conflict,” and “the degree of militarization.” Those killed as a result of conflicts has risen from just 49,000 people in 2010 to 180,000 in 2014, as the Middle East and North Africa became the least peaceful regions in the world since the index began in 2008.