The Arms Race: Putting the Right to Life at Risk

Tags: Currents Faith, World News

Currents News Staff

Weapons development is a growing industry that threatens humanity.

 In 2018, about 95 billion dollars were spent on weapons, and Amnesty International calculates that 650 million weapons are currently circulating around the world. 

The U.S. has around 46 percent of the total number, and more than half of weapons exported from the U.S. go to Middle Eastern countries. 

As a result, every day millions of people are living amidst the threat of a global increase in the arms industry. 

Pope Francis has denounced this reality.

“Many times I think of the wrath of God that will be unleashed against the leaders of those countries that speak of peace but sell weapons to make these wars,” he said, “this hypocrisy is a sin.”

Monsignor Silvano Tomasi is a member of the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, and throughout his career, he has closely followed the arms race.

“Last year, for example, about 95 billion dollars were spent on weapons. Conventional arms and nuclear weapons are a source of enormous profits for some. at the same time, they are an investment that takes away resources from the general well-being of the human family,” he explained. 

It is a growing trade industry led by the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany, countries which are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council that control 75 percent of the global arms trade.

Among the largest buyers are the United Arab Emirates, India, China, Australia and South Korea.

“International relations, instead of being based on balance of power and on technology for destruction, must be based on mutual trust, exchange of information, working toward permanent dialogue that can build a future without violence but in a strong, secure way,” said Monsignor Tomasi, who ensures the solution is dialogue between all parties involved.

If one identifies the root of the problem and is transparent, peace efforts will succeed. 

Besides threatening family well-being and destroying peace, the most fundamental right – the right to life – is being annihilated each time a trigger is pulled.