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Friday, June 11, 2004

Just Like Old Times

Do you miss the cold war?

If so, you are probably enjoying the 24/7 Reagan-Fest, which apparently cannot be interrupted for other news -- whether about the forthcoming presidential election or the torture memos.

Newspapers are reporting the latest figures on world military expenditures complied by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
World military spending surged last year, reaching about $956 billion (U.S.), nearly half of it by the United States as it paid for missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and the war against terror...

Military spending rose 11 per cent in 2003, up 18 per cent from 2001, the last year for which figures were available.

The $956 billion spent on defence costs worldwide represents 2.7 per cent of the world's gross domestic product, according to the annual report.

"It's very close to the Cold War peak in 1987," said institute researcher and report co-author Elisabeth Skoens.

The United States led the world in defence spending, accounting for 47 per cent of the total, followed by Japan with 5 per cent and Britain, France and China, with 4 per cent each.
Isn't it great how the United States can reach cold war military spending levels without even bothering to have an opponent?

Who gets the credit for this mega-spending? Is it dangerous? Republican Senator Dick Lugar blames Bush and says it is.

I'll agree.

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