I’m no weenie peacenik. Thugs must be taken out. But please, let’s rethink our military expenditures.
What if we killed two birds with one stone? First bird, the precarious US treasury. Second bird, the unsustainable global arms race. The stone? A global peacekeeping collective powered with the existing world’s arsenal, most of which the US built.
We built it, so I’m in favor of being compensated for it
The world needs a police force. But I’m not in favor of the ever-escalating arms race or the US being the de facto world’s police force.
What if we paid down our massive foreign debt by selling our portfolio of defense weapons to a global defense bond fund? I got the idea from a white paper published by the Prince’s Rainforest Project which I covered in the May blog. The basic logic of the proposed Rainforest bonds and my proposed global defense bonds is the same: those who add value must be compensated for what they bring to the table.
Rainforest bonds, hence global defense bonds
Here’s what I said about Rainforest bonds: Rainforests cool the planet, regulate the water cycle and provide a home to countless species. To preserve the world’s ecosystem functions and avoid catastrophic climate change, we must reduce tropical deforestation. The world should provide funding to Rainforest nations to help them address the drivers of deforestation and embark on alternative economic development paths. Since the rainforests provide “services” essential to planetary life, justice dictates that those services be compensated.
Similar argument for global defense bonds: The world needs the threat and capability to enforce swift justice to keep the wolves from devouring the lambs. The countries that have sacrificed mightily to build armaments (see graphic above) should be compensated by the beneficiaries — the entire world.
OK, maybe the bond mechanism isn’t ideal, but isn’t this a great conversation starter/brainstorming prompt?
Writing prompts for all professions:
I don’t claim to have the answers, but I thoroughly enjoy seeding the wellspring for your blogs, articles and newsletters:
- Financial analysts: what’s a fundamental analysis say about the efficiency a dollar invested in defense compared to other sectors? How would this change if there were a different marketplace for weaponry?
- Consultants: Technology transfers from weapons to medicine and IT (and visa versa). Do you know of any breakthroughs in medicine or elsewhere that would have come to light sooner if the threat of national security hadn’t kept a weapons technology classified?
- Finance professionals/venture capitalists: Speculate on what might happen if weapons technology was a global defense asset that followed the model in place with universities’ technology transfer programs. Is there a parallel?
- Environmental: Weapons sites decomissioned so far require significant environmental cleanup. Anticipate the impact to the environment of having fewer global weapons sites.
- Services: Reflect on how military bases and weapons plants have been repurposed so far what that portends on a global scale.
- EVERYONE: 1.26b is a lot of money. How would you reallocate it?