On behalf of Transform Defence, Deborah was delighted to be a guest blogger on Duncan Green’s From Poverty to Power website.
Dr Duncan Green is Senior Strategic Adviser at Oxfam GB, Professor in Practice in International Development at the London School of Economics, honorary Professor of International Development at Cardiff University and a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies. He is author of How Change Happens (OUP, October 2016) and From Poverty to Power: How Active Citizens and Effective States can Change the World (Oxfam International, 2008, second edition 2012). His daily development blog can be found on https://oxfamapps.org/fp2p/.
Stumbling upon a rather well-funded gaz-guzzling elephant in the room.
If it is right to demand that rich nations’ pay up for their historic emissions burden; if it is right to address the damage of western finance on development through the lens of indebtedness or tax havens, then surely the time has come to look at the impact on the global south of rich nations’ foreign and defence policy as manifested through insane – ever rising – levels of military spending.
Runaway global military spending and the global military’s contribution to climate change is every bit as structurally relevant to core social justice issues of power imbalance, poverty, displacement, ecological breakdown as debt cancellation, trade, tax and climate justice.
Moreover, at this time when we are (belatedly) addressing the decolonisation of aid, we would be missing a trick if the role of military power – past, present and future – was omitted. If the unforgiveable events that unfolded in Afghanistan last year 2021 – a centuries old geopolitical tragedy – doesn’t bring this home, what can?
It’s not enough that these concerns have traditionally been considered the remit of the peace/anti-war movement only. Can room also be found on the development agenda – and is there the courage – to take it on?
Audio (podcast): Duncan Green talking about the issues raised by, and his thoughts about, the blog