A recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) states that global defence spending in 2005 was a staggering $1 trillion. The top 15 spenders accounted for nearly 84% of the total expenditure. The United States of America led the chart with a mind-boggling annual defence spending of $478.2 billion followed by United Kingdom ($48.3b), France ($46.2b), Japan ($42.1b) and China ($41b). The top five accounted for 65.5% of the global defence spending followed by Germany with $33.2b, Italy with $27.2b, Saudi Arabia $25.2b, Russia $21b and India with $20.4b. Incidentally barring Canada, all of the G-8 countries are part of the list of the top 15 defence spenders.
What more, this annual defence spending does not include the several billions of dollars that are sanctioned by many of these countries on defence and allied research. The double standards of the developed world is revealed when one compares this with the fact that 2.8 billion people live with an income below $2 per day. And even then it takes years of deliberation and contemplation by the G-8 countries to write off the debt of $40b (when compared to what it spends on defence annually) of 18 of the poorest countries of the world, which included many of the poorest of the Sub-Saharan African countries. But in the new world order, it isn't to be so, for spending money on tools to take lives is more of a priority than saving those lives.
Incidentally, the total debt of Africa is around $300b. If the G-8 takes the lead from the front in not only writing off the debt but also in intervening into the overall socio-economic development of Africa, half of mankind's misery might come to end. And thereby putting a strong deterrent on such offensive spends on defence expenditure.