Military Spending Since Logon
Military Spending This Year
Richard Du Boff
Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)
In December 2001, the United States officially withdrew from
the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty, gutting the landmark
agreement-the first time in the nuclear era that the US renounced
a major arms control accord.
1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention ratified by 144
nations including the United States. In July 2001 the US walked
out of a London conference to discuss a 1994 protocol designed
to strengthen the Convention by providing for on-site inspections.
At Geneva in November 2001, US Undersecretary of State John
Bolton stated that "the protocol is dead," at the
same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan, and
Syria of violating the Convention but offering no specific allegations
or supporting evidence.
UN Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small
Arms, July 2001: the US was the only nation to oppose it.
April 2001, the US was not re-elected to the UN Human Rights
Commission, after years of withholding dues to the UN (including
current dues of $244 million)-and after having forced the UN
to lower its share of the UN budget from 25 to 22 percent. (In
the Human Rights Commission, the US stood virtually alone in
opposing resolutions supporting lower-cost access to HIV/AIDS
drugs, acknowledging a basic human right to adequate food, and
calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.)
International Criminal Court (ICC) Treaty, to be set up in The
Hague to try political leaders and military personnel charged
with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Signed in Rome
in July 1998, the Treaty was approved by 120 countries, with
7 opposed (including the US). In October 2001 Great Britain
became the 42nd nation to sign. In December 2001 the US Senate
again added an amendment to a military appropriations bill that
would keep US military personnel from obeying the jurisdiction
of the proposed ICC.
Land Mine Treaty, banning land mines; signed in Ottawa in December
1997 by 122 nations. The United States refused to sign, along
with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Egypt,
and Turkey. President Clinton rejected the Treaty, claiming
that mines were needed to protect South Korea against North
Korea's "overwhelming military advantage." He stated
that the US would "eventually" comply, in 2006; this
was disavowed by President Bush in August 2001.
Kyoto Protocol of 1997, for controlling global warming: declared
"dead" by President Bush in March 2001. In November
2001, the Bush administration shunned negotiations in Marrakech
(Morocco) to revise the accord, mainly by watering it down in
a vain attempt to gain US approval.
In May 2001, refused to meet with European Union nations to
discuss, even at lower levels of government, economic espionage
and electronic surveillance of phone calls, e-mail, and faxes
(the US "Echelon" program),
Refused to participate in Organization for Economic Co-operation
and Development (OECD)-sponsored talks in Paris, May 2001, on
ways to crack down on off-shore and other tax and money-laundering
Refused to join 123 nations pledged to ban the use and production
of anti-personnel bombs and mines, February 2001
September 2001: withdrew from International Conference on Racism,
bringing together 163 countries in Durban, South Africa
International Plan for Cleaner Energy: G-8 group of industrial
nations (US, Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, France, Italy,
UK), July 2001: the US was the only one to oppose it.
Enforcing an illegal boycott of Cuba, now being made tighter.
In the UN in October 2001, the General Assembly passed a resolution,
for the tenth consecutive year, calling for an end to the US
embargo, by a vote of 167 to 3 (the US, Israel, and the Marshall
Islands in opposition).
Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty. Signed by 164 nations
and ratified by 89 including France, Great Britain, and Russia;
signed by President Clinton in 1996 but rejected by the Senate
in 1999. The US is one of 13 nonratifiers among countries that
have nuclear weapons or nuclear power programs. In November
2001, the US forced a vote in the UN Committee on Disarmament
and Security to demonstrate its opposition to the Test Ban Treaty.
In 1986 the International Court of Justice (The Hague) ruled
that the US was in violation of international law for "unlawful
use of force" in Nicaragua, through its actions and those
of its Contra proxy army. The US refused to recognize the Court's
jurisdiction. A UN resolution calling for compliance with the
Court's decision was approved 94-2 (US and Israel voting no).
In 1984 the US quit UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization) and ceased its payments for UNESCO's budget, over
the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) project
designed to lessen world media dependence on the "big four"
wire agencies (AP, UPI, Agence France-Presse, Reuters). The
US charged UNESCO with "curtailment of press freedom,"
as well as mismanagement and other faults, despite a 148-1 in
vote in favor of NWICO in the UN. UNESCO terminated NWICO in
1989; the US nonetheless refused to rejoin. In 1995 the Clinton
administration proposed rejoining; the move was blocked in Congress
and Clinton did not press the issue. In February 2000 the US
finally paid some of its arrears to the UN but excluded UNESCO,
which the US has not rejoined.
Optional Protocol, 1989, to the UN's International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolition of the death
penalty and containing a provision banning the execution of
those under 18. The US has neither signed nor ratified and specifically
exempts itself from the latter provision, making it one of five
countries that still execute juveniles (with Saudi Arabia, Democratic
Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria). China abolished the practice
in 1997, Pakistan in 2000.
1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women. The only countries that have signed but not ratified
are the US, Afghanistan, Sao Tome and Principe.
The US has signed but not ratified the 1989 UN Convention on
the Rights of the Child, which protects the economic and social
rights of children. The only other country not to ratify is
Somalia, which has no functioning government.
UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,
1966, covering a wide range of rights and monitored by the Committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The US signed in 1977
but has not ratified.
UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime
of Genocide, 1948. The US finally ratified in 1988, adding several
"reservations" to the effect that the US Constitution
and the "advice and consent" of the Senate are required
to judge whether any "acts in the course of armed conflict"
constitute genocide. The reservations are rejected by Britain,
Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Mexico, Estonia,
Is the status of "we're number one!" Rogue overcome
by generous foreign aid to given less fortunate countries? The
three best aid providers, measured by the foreign aid percentage
of their gross domestic products, are Denmark (1.01%), Norway
(0.91%), and the Netherlands (0.79), The three worst: USA (0.10%),
UK (0.23%), Australia, Portugal, and Austria (all 0.26).