Mary Stata writes for PeaceSigns about steps the U.S. can take to prevent violent conflict around the world:
“‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ the old saying goes. Adages about the merits of prevention abound, urging action before a dilemma or problem develops. Despite the prevalence of these truisms, our government continues to invest huge amounts of money in fighting wars rather than preventing them. As the United States faces an overwhelming deficit and high unemployment rates, military spending continues to increase. Earlier this year, the United States reached $1 trillion in operational spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Clearly, war comes at a high cost. This staggering figure does not take into account ongoing U.S. military assistance to other countries including Colombia, Uganda, Mexico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As an alternative to military spending, the United States must invest in policies that address human needs and prevent conflict before it starts. Conflict prevention isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s cheaper.
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