Can the sale of armaments be controlled, restricted, or abolished?

The US has military bases in 60 – 70 countries. It provides arms (military aid) to Israel, Egypt, Pakistan, India, and who knows how many others. If the US closed down all bases and reduced military aid to zero, how much would it save annually? Is there a way to regulate arms sales, perhaps through the UN with agreements, amounts, conditions, etc. displayed online for all to see? I’d love to think really big and imaginative on this one. Thanks one and all.



  1. 0 Votes

    The U.S. defense budget for 2010 was $664 billion.  If we closed all international bases and brought home all the troops (which is not a realistic situation), you can estimate the savings.  We can also consider that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost over one trillion dollars since they started in 2001. 

    As for the arms trade, laws and regulations are already in place.  The problem lies with illegal arms dealing, as many developing countries are supplied with both light and heavy weapons – particularly during times of civil unrest – through illicit channels.  Arms dealers traffic these weapons in spite of regulations and restrictions. The UN made a political commitment in 2001 to develop a more hard-lined policy on restricting arms trade, taking “further steps to enhance international cooperation in preventing, combating and eradicating illicit brokering in small arms and light weapons.” Still, we continue to see the proliferation of weapons in developing countries, and the supply is in response to the ever-growing demand.  

  2. 0 Votes

    We are unable to control the sale of those or other illegal items in the U.S. so it would be quite difficult to control in the world at large.  If we closed down all the bases, we would not only have serious security issues to be worried about around the world and at home, but what would we do with all the returning military?  They would potentially need new training, job placement or unemployment which would be extremely expensive (although we could use some of the “saved” monies).  What about carreer military?  How would we develop relationships with those countries that we work with during military occupation or other military actions? 

    I don’t think it’s realistic to expect that we can close all bases, but, what we can do, is work on enforcing the laws, trade and regulations that we and other countries have in place.  Part of the issue is the illegal movement and monies that are willing to be spent to acquire these items regardless of laws or consequnces.  It is difficult to realize that as much as we might want a less military society, there are many countries that are basically forced to have a strong, armed, and ready military at all times, and we as allies, have committed to helping when we can.  

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