tv Inside Story Al Jazeera April 27, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm +03
to do more to conserve. does a decent fundamental cause is to eliminate the water consumption in the face of these drought that practically impacts the entire no central part of the country take extra precautions against forest fires. and as a drier hotter future looms experts predict natural water availability in the capital to fall by almost a 5th by 2051 went up a low al-jazeera mexico city. again i'm fully back to go with the headlines on al-jazeera human rights watch is accusing israel of crimes against humanity practicing apartheid empress occasion against palestinians palestinian leaders have welcomed the report on the israeli foreign ministry has dismissed the findings are a faucet has more from western or slam on their reaction from the israeli government is dismissing this report as something that is coming from an anti
israeli motivated organization it says that the claims are proposed stress and false and don't bear any relation to reality on the ground but israel is also conducting a pretty vigorous battle on many fronts against this kind of portrayal in the international arena against the boycott divestment and sanctions movement for instance especially in the united states which it says is an anti semitic movement against the international criminal court which recently has launched an investigation into allegations of war crimes against both israeli officials and hamas officials again the israeli prime minister calling that an anti semitic move by the prosecutors and investigators. the world health organization says 3 new covert 1000 variants that are present in india may have contributed to the latest surge in cases more than 300000 new infections have been reported for the 6th
consecutive day taking india sole number of infections to about 17.6000001 of myanmar's rebel groups says it's captured and burned down an army outpost near the thai border the camp is in an area controlled by the karen national union the group is a vocal opponent of the army which sees power in a school in february at least one person has been killed during protests in chad's capital troops have been deployed in security forces have used tear gas to break up demonstrations against the new military transition council thousands of protesters in somalia's capital mogadishu have been calling for elections they oppose a recent decision by a parliament to extend president mohammed and deny from nigel's term in office by 2 years the module failed to hold elections in february saying there were concerns about security and called the 19 you're up to date with the headlines on al-jazeera as always more news on our web site al jazeera dot com inside story is next.
global military spending reached nearly 2 trillion dollars last year the u.s. is still by far the biggest spender a new report finds many countries have spent lavishly on their militaries despite the global pandemic so what's fuelling this spending spree this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm peter davi one might think governments facing a global pandemic would be tempted to spend much on buying weapons one would be
wrong so despite the economic impact of kuwait 19 military spending reached nearly 2 trillion dollars last year that's according to a report from the stockholm international peace research institute it's an increase of 2.6 percent from 2019 the researches of caution the trend might not be maintained for the 2nd year of the pandemic they say countries will likely take some time to adapt to the impact of this ongoing health emergency but some nations like chile and south korea have already reallocated parts of their defense budgets to fight the pandemic the stockham international peace research institute says just 5 countries accounted for 62 percent of all global military spending last year they are the united states china india russia and the united kingdom the u.s. is the biggest spender at $778000000000.00 that's nearly 40 percent. the total global budget china came in 2nd with $252000000000.00 beijing has been increasing
its spending for 26 years now while russia's military budget rose last year it spent less than it had originally planned also 12 nato member states of hit their target are spending at least 2 percent of their respective g.d.p.'s on defense but that's more to do with being nagged into it by the former u.s. president donald trump. ok let's get going let's bring in our guests today in stockholm we have now antione senior researcher with the sipri arms and military expenditure program and one of today's report's authors in singapore we have graham on the web an adjunct research fellow at the rajaratnam school of international studies and in washington d.c. we're joined by david de rush an associate professor and senior military fellow at the national defense university gentlemen welcome to you all 90 and in stockholm coming to you 1st you coauthored the report the u.s.
is the biggest exporter saudi arabia is the biggest in puerto hardly a big surprise. the usa is the biggest military spender my report looks at the global military spending and of course usa spending $778000000000.00 it's indeed they're the largest spender by far in the world this is followed by china the 2nd largest spender in the world saudi arabia actually has seen its military spending for the last year by 10 percent are only the 6th largest spent in the world do you think that trend will continue. we see that the general increase in global spending is something that possibly can continue in the years to come given that militia spending often is seen as having a strong inertia so many of these top spenders are implementing very long term and hugely expensive military modernization and procurement programs and of course this
last all the way into the 20 thirty's in china 2047 in the us from its nuclear program to 25 to 20 fifties so indeed if you look at these largest spending countries continue to increase it would be if we tried the global trend to continue to increase further into the mid 2020 s. graham on webb in singapore there is however a trend kind of underpinning the trend that man is talking about to stop them isn't there because deliveries for the 4 years 2016 to 2020 deliveries are flatlining and that's kind of counter-intuitive because if you were thinking oh this spending more money therefore they must be either delivering or acquiring procuring more equipment one would be wrong. yeah i see what you're what you're thinking but i concur with 9 i think we need to look at the the whole scheme micro-level where. there has been
a flat line over the last few years but you have to look in terms of the overall cycles. by capital buys if you like for defense equipment to have to be an ongoing process that comes with that and some of the acquisitions only start to proven over the next few years so i concur with that we have to look beyond this natural time you just mentioned to see what comes out of that were next years and foreseeable in terms of the data that we have publicly we're going to see a fleet of new rather new acquisitions particularly among some of the more significant militaries in the asia pacific which is an area which i'm monitoring over the last year ok will come on to a specific region and oceania i'm sure a little later in the discussion david to rush in washington is the united states as a global the global military player in a completely unique situation here because the united states and its strategic interests you're the only country on the planet who strategic interests are outside
your region because you are the region because it's such a big country geographically politically diplomatically everything else that ends in l y so therefore there's an in-built added expense there because your taking the kit to other parts of the world or selling it to other parts of the world. that's exactly right you left off charismatically but yeah the united states is the only country whose plans routinely for warfare in another hemisphere and we plan to do it relatively quickly so we have to maintain a defense infrastructure that allows us to project power you know to airlift a brigade anywhere in the world within 72 hours no other country has it that's extremely expensive and it's not just the combat it's not just tanks and ships it's the lift and then it's also you know the network you know the global missile launch
satellite network is over $20000000000.00 you know just just to monitor satellite launches in iran north korea russia china. then you add to that the fact that our personnel costs are x. you know amazingly expensive and there's a reason why a cheap plastic item comes from china not from the united states it's because the labor cost is so low now imagine trying to induce a soldier into joining the army in the united states that has to be a competitive career so all of these factors and many more are why our expense costs are through the roof but at the end of the day it's something that the united states is is content to do although there's always efficiencies to be made by can still come just explain one thing for me that i don't quite get looking at the report being the biggest spender and importing more than anyone else it's not necessarily the same thing year on year i mean saudi arabia is spend is up by
60 percent in your report cats spend is up by 360 percent so i guess we've got to go for an equivalence or at least compared to countries in specific regions. absolutely if of course there is a difficulty to explain that sometimes weapons are purchased and paid for before the deliveries are taken place sometimes the payment occurs during the delivery cycle which will last 510 years now the cases of payments occur and basically spending are repaying on loans which would occur over the years after deliberate take place so often we don't see a direct correlation between imports all the never or the belly of aunts important and the devil of spending that we might see in some countries and so it given there are either time lag so we have taken into account or otherwise you would see that in some cases such as bulk area we saw that expanding
a last year increased by over 100 percent because it essentially one in one go paid off or they fixed it fixed instead it bought from the us and then this year spending dropped because it went back to normal levels so it's difficult work here grandma went back in singapore there seems to be a perception in your region that the driver he or the desire the driving desire to acquire weaponry to spend an awful lot of money to the defense budget is a perceived threat from china not from north korea that would feel counter-intuitive i guess in some senses because north korea is clearly a risk factor in your region china is a known commodity in your reach. absolutely so it is counter-intuitive but i think they're in we need to look at the larger picture here north korea is a risk to the region that's true but north korea doesn't pose a direct military or nuclear threat to or not to majority of the countries in the
asia pacific i mean barring countries that have a strong strategic partnership with the united states or the alliance with united states. north korea is a concern but it's a different kettle of fish if you like to compare to china with china what we're seeing is an expansion of its military orbits political and claims over the south china sea which a graphical claims if you like expressed in military terms by the occupation and the construction of artificial island in the occupation off asylum with military assets and that's causing a direct concern to a lot of states within the asia pacific particularly countries in the around the south china sea south asian countries like vietnam in particular philippines and what's happening here is that they're trying to secure the few lines of communication for this is expressed in terms of the modernization and expansion of
naval assets quite naturally so in order to secure these maritime waterways from scenarios in which they could be altercations with chinese national battle or naval and commercial in nature which could lead to an inadvertent escalation between partners so that that's really significant concern and defense commitment and investment are our channel towards those kinds of scenarios david in washington is what graham is talking about whilst it's factually correct and of course we accept what he's saying it feels contemporary and quite old fashioned and in that regard does the arms industry have to anticipate trends and react to where they think. conflict is going because if you look at the figures here a lot of the figures are talking about new technology we're talking about armed drones so we're not talking about fighter pilots being killed and f.
15 fighter planes being and we're talking about bio warfare we're talking about electromagnetic warfare as well and that's something that the industry is well aware of and it's at the leading edge of what it's doing. well i haven't seen any development on offensive bio weapons from any western country there's a suspicion that china's doing it but. yeah yeah graham is exactly right you know north korea is a disruptive power they can mess things up china is an acquisitive power and it's seeking to solidify you know its control over the south china sea to basically an excess huge area and then permanently commit prevent people from from sailing into it so the technology needed to do that are not drones which are relatively cheap you know if people were to shift from mandir planes to drones you'd see a decrease in overall defense expenditure because drones are cheap and expendable what we're looking at that i think will drive spending particular for the united
states is the assets needed to defend and challenge china in china's near abroad which is primarily ship building long range air strikes the army's looking at long range artillery basically reinvigorating its missile forces these are going to be the big elements the other stuff electronic warfare is relatively inexpensive as i said i don't think there's anything other than a defensive effort with biological warfare from the west china is suspect i think that drones are actually a cost efficient model that has not been sufficiently embraced in the united states primarily because of resistance from people generals who rose as pilots and think that manned aircraft you know will are at risk of being replaced by drones those are all shipping efforts the expenses in ships and lift going to come and see if the next minute can we talk for a 2nd also about so much china's near interests but as far interest and do we have
to change the optics here because if we talk about chinese um sale say in africa that's significant enough but if we talk about chinese. sales and triangulate it with china's political influence and economic influence that is hugely significant surely because china literally has a footprint in $51.00 of $54.00 african countries it's almost like bits of africa becoming china light because that influence is underpinned by arms weapons and massively expensive infrastructure projects as well. yeah i think i think you hit it on the nearly head when it comes to you know china geopolitical foreign policy interests to natural region. quite a different story there where you know the chinese defense industry is part of the
overall. strategic effort to buy well not just part friends in african region but also to you know or hold them down terms of the dirty laundry payment for the massive infrastructure he talked about and the defense procurement that african countries are trying to talk in terms of cheap defense we sort of are on the global market so i think are you are going to be the intent is quite different here of course that deflation to china's hand in terms of shoring up. you know a greater present in a part of the world which is to relatively being overlooked or ignored by the other powers manton in stock i'm going back to the bones of your report for a 2nd one area that you've looked in into was oceania and there's a descending scale of india japan south korea and australia australia spent $13000000000.00 us dollars for the government in canberra who do we think
they might feel threatened by i mean with all due respect to australia who would want to invade or start a war with australia i mean are we talking about strategic kangaroo purposes here i mean you know a going to claim is rock are they going to say we've taken the sydney opera house lovely country don't get me wrong but unless you're talking about mineral rights why go to war with australia and why should australia feel threatened to the point of spending 30000000000. i mean australia we can feel it as along with many other countries within you know asian oceania that this rise in china chinese increases in its military spending over the last 26 consecutive years i see it as a threat to its national security and especially we see that you know china has been more expansionary in its neighbor operations and so australia charity us china as this. increasing reach of force and it might have
a long term threat perceptions to what's times expection and i mean this also depends goes down to the underpinning of the current political debate going on within australia and china that they are often a lot of political disagreement going on and it's just a situation where i think australia is looking to invest more in its equipment particularly as a way of modern life seeing its military in the event there possible further expansionary a military strategic policy that china might implement over the last over the next 102030 years and it comes down to the fact that china is really there made it pretty clear to them that by 2049 there are most of their mother's asian program aims to be. equal to the world's leading militaries and so are the countries that just generally reacting to china the rise of china david in washington do reports like this expose are a kind of a hypocrisy in
a way because as well as these reports we also get you know claims from say human rights watch recently asking the french to stop selling so many arms to countries in the middle east because if you sell multi-billion dollar contract to deals to countries in the middle east and you're the french president you're kind of green lighting attacking people your green lighting having a go at minorities in your own country perhaps and you're also legitimizing the actions of questionable military departments within a government structure. yeah that's a that's a common criticism and it's not just limited to france it's not unknown for americans to have to respond to that as well look this is a valuable document when it comes out every year in my world it's a major event this is the release of this report is more important in my world than the academy awards was last night but you know and nan's work is fantastic but it's
very very hard to find aid objective quantifier of military might so we use dollars this is misleading in some instances because you know you have say sales of thad missile which is purely defensive cost billions of dollars but that is not destabilizing that does not have a negative human rights effect at say $3000000.00 which make a $47.00 sold to an african government you know the government of sudan when it was pursuing the dark for conflict you know that's much smaller it shows up on a bar graph as almost minuscule but it has a much greater human to human rights effect the problem for many countries other than the united states is that the research and development goes into weapons this is very expensive and most countries do not have the buy as to capitalized to recapture the research and development costs of weaponry so they're forced to export so countries like france and sweden can't have domestic fighter
aircraft if they don't export them the united states is a rare country that can do it on its own so yet with a lot of european countries in particular there is this impetus to export and in many instances that leads to them cutting corners on some of their ideological and human rights commitments graeme in singapore i guess we are at war already we're at war with the coronavirus we're at war with covert 19 given that. why and also another given given that we've been able to kill each other with nuclear weapons since hiroshima and nagasaki why do we need to be able to kill each other so many more times in so many more inventive ways the brookings institute on its website today is saying one american nuclear warhead would cost you $8400000.00 it costs $400000.00 u.s. dollars to get a nurse fully trained to go to war against cove it so if the united states has 6000
nuclear warheads the united states could have instead of that 130000 nurses and doctors to push back against coronavirus around the world. my mom if she was alive might say spend the money on nurses and doctors don't spend it on nuclear weapons. no i see we're going with this i mean i'm i want to same page with you i mean the color incredulity of the whole thing where you just belies logic but i think the answer to this is a lot it is extremely complex right i mean 1st of all one could argue that this has been somehow wired into the human condition that all poised towards war and suspicion distrust and rivalry by the same time i think it also is and it's also an economic argument to this i think we need to dislodge us of the military industrial complex i colonies that depend on the defense industry to keep chugging along.
the $110.00 talked about this idea of inertia which applies not just along titles of defense spending and procurement expect additional disposal of that trend but but you note also that the fact that you know that people are highly dependent on these industries because so much has been invested in these industries and they are river tysabri revenue generator so i don't know i sometimes think like you that we're heading towards a brick wall i mean we're just this is. a calamity waiting to happen with all the nuclear warheads we're talking about god alone and all the conventional munitions and weapons that are being amassed by militaries across the i possibly concern about the south china sea i think this prospect of inadvertent conflict because of all the naval activity going on there is something that keeps many of us in the region awake at night ok glenn thank you for that nancy and install command we're heading towards the end of the program so super briefly is there another dynamic here and it's this the defense industry will always find customers there will always be sooner or later a military guy who takes off the uniform stages
a coup says i'm the president i'm the prime minister therefore a got to go to somebody like a u.s. arms supplier and start buying stuff. yes absolutely if you look at it i think what underpins her decision making process is countries interest spending is very much but that's going to change we need to have strong institutions democracy a consequence shushan that are able to hold these decision makers accountable for their actions and thoughts in that way we the people the citizens of the world will be able to vote in governments that are able to look into it it's making process ok now and thank you for the very last brief word to you david in washington i think it was a roman or a there is a general who said something like if you want peace get ready for war so we've got to be on the verge of being ready for world war 3 all the time and we just got to accept it well that was test it's it's more than that you know the modern
world is complex my battalion was was sent to rwanda when genocide was going on in the u.n. mission failed at the end of the day particularly for the united states people look at us to solve big messy ugly problems and there just is evil out there in the world so you know the few countries that maintain a global ability to go out and stop things like genocide that should be welcome to people forgotten you know the lessons of srebrenica and rwanda but they're remembered here in washington so yeah there's still wisdom in the words of the ancient greeks ok gentlemen thank you so much thank you to our guests them to david to russia and graeme on weapons thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time via the website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion goes my facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter at a.j. inside story for me he said i'll be at the team here in doha thanks for watching we
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can't one of studio be unscripted. be the hero the world needs. washed. think. your charges are with me so whole raman in doha remind of our top news stories palestinian leaders have welcomed a report accusing israel of crimes against humanity human rights watch says israel is practicing apartheid and persecution against palestinians the israeli foreign ministry has dismissed the reporter's biased and baseless hari false it has more from occupied east jerusalem. and the palestinian racism was on show in jerusalem last week with hundreds of israeli far right activists.