This week we received a submission from Charles F. (Chic) Dambach that discusses the value of the US Institute of Peace. Dambach, who is the president and CEO of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, addresses the unique role that the USIP plays in preventing and resolving conflict and the immense savings the USIP incurs through the mitigation of future military actions and defense spending. Please read on for some thought-provoking insights and leave your comments below! Thanks, Chic!
Stop Debating the Value of USIP and Get on with Building Peace
The world community spends close to $2 trillion every year on wars, militaries, and directly related activities. The US is responsible for about half of the total. A small fraction of that figure is invested in diplomacy and development, and a very tiny portion of that small fraction goes into initiatives designed specifically to reduce the frequency and severity of violent conflicts. We call it peacebuilding – resolving the immediate drivers of conflict and addressing the root causes for sustainable peace. As we actually reduce violence, tens of billions of dollars are saved.
The old notion that “war is good for the economy” is rubbish. It may be good for a few weapons manufacturers and arms dealers, but it is dreadful for everyone else. The US economy collapsed in the midst of two wars. Need I say more? The Institute for Economics and Peace found the global negative impact of war and defense spending exceeds $7 trillion every year – about 13% of global GDP.