The Suffering of Militarism

Militarism causes great suffering in the world. The massive liabilities of this system are well-known and routinely ignored. This suffering has been expanding for years, and it will continue to expand unless we work to dismantle militarism. Here are some resources that explore the extent of this suffering.


The Costs of War (WI)
Global Data on Wars, Conflicts, and Fatalities (UCDP)

Physical and Emotional Suffering

To protect our various interests, we continue, generation after generation, to threaten and harm each other with weapons, confinement, coercion, torture, deceit, humiliation, and dehumanization.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
The Suffering of Veterans (VA)
Shock and Awe Hits Home (PSR)
Iraq Body Count (IBC)
Civilians Killed and Wounded (WI)
Torture (PHR)
Torture (HRW)
National Security and Human Rights Abuses (AI)

 Small Arms Survey (GIIDS)
Uranium Weapons (ICBUW)
Cluster Munitions (CMC)
Landmines (ICBL)

Environmental Destruction

Not only do our military programs deplete us of immense quantities of energy, land, and other natural resources, they leave an immense wake of pollution and waste.

The Military's Impact on the Environment (IPB)
The Green Zone (Sanders)
Military Impacts on the Environment (Dutch)
Environmental Costs of War (WI)
The Invisible Casualty of War (PDP)
Ten Reasons Why Militarism is Bad for the Environment (PDP)
US Department of Defense is the Worst Polluter on the Planet (PC)
The Military's Boundless Pollution Legacy - Part I (NW)  -  Part II
Biological and Chemical Weapons (FAS)
Nuclear Weapons (PSR)

Heightened Conflict

We know that whenever we coerce or harm others, we leave them dissatisfied, hurt, angry, and vengeful. Militarism promises us security and safety, but it necessarily delivers unrest.

Sustainable Security (ORG)
School of the Americas (SOAW)
The Failure of War (Berry)
The Social & Political Costs of War (WI)
Research on the Social & Political Costs of War (WI)

Lost Resources

Militarism creates a severe drain on our economic, human, intellectual, and natural resources. All of our efforts for a better society suffer from this large-scale diversion of assets.

Economic Costs of War (WI)
Cost of War - Spending Counters (NPP)
US Budget Pie Chart (WRL)
Opportunity Costs: Military Spending and the UN's Development Agenda (IPB)

Social Violence

Militarism has deep and historic links to racism, sexism, homophobia, and economic exploitation. It simultaneously empowers and draws power from these bitter traditions.

Women Under Siege (WMC)
Service Women's Action Network (SWAN)
Women bear the brunt of war (AI)
Militarization of US Borders (AFGJ)
War Times - Tiempo de Guerras (WT)

We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America (Martínez, Carter, Meyer)
Ten Reasons Why Militarism is Bad for Women (PDP)
Ten Reasons Why Militarism is Bad for Queer People (PDP)
Militarism Goes to School (Finley - Word DOC)
US Violations of Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (ACLU)
The Military, Intelligence Agencies, and the Academy (ZA)

Spiritual Disintegration

The highest callings of most ethical and religious traditions include respect, kindness, patience, compassion, understanding, and generosity. Our hearts lean toward these practices, yet militarism pulls us in the opposite direction.

• See list of religious peace fellowships at Dismantling Militarism.
Religious statements on conscientious objection to militarism (CCW)
Judaic Perspectives on Nonviolence (T'ruah)
Islamic Nonviolence (MPF)
Advice on Peacemaking from Christian Saints (OPF)
Prayers for peace from the world's religious traditions

Militainment, Inc. (Stahl)
Invading Your Hearts and Minds (Gagnon)

Clark Hanjian