According to a new report, the world spent $156,841 per minute on nuclear weapons in 2021.
According to Tuesday’s International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons report, global nuclear weapons spending experienced a substantial increase in 2021.
In just one year, the nine nuclear-armed nations – US, China, Russia, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan and the United Kingdom – spent a total of $82.4 billion on upgrading and maintaining their estimated 13,000 nuclear weapons, marking a 9% hike from the year before, according to ICAN’s estimates.
The report, which is ICAN’s third annual summary of global nuclear spending and is titled ‘Squandered: 2021 Global Nuclear Weapons Spending,’ highlights that in total, the world spent a combined $156,842 every single minute of 2021 on weapons of mass destruction, amid an ongoing pandemic and rising global food insecurity.
ICAN lists exactly the amount each country spent on nuclear weapons and lists those companies that made a profit. It also includes the names of lobbyists who worked to prevent the sale of nuclear weapons.
The United States turned out to be by far the biggest spender on nuclear armaments in 2021, having spent $44.2 billion – four times more than the next in line. China, with $11.7 billion, was the other country that exceeded the 10-billion dollar mark. Russia, however, is third at $8.6 million. France and the UK each spent $5.9billion, while India and Pakistan both spent just under a billion to upgrade their arsenals for 2021. North Korea is last with $642 million.
This report examines why these countries spend so much money on nuclear weapons, and other global problems like food and energy scarcity. However, it concludes that business interests were the main driver of spending on nuclear weapons.
According to ICAN, some military contractors made fortunes from contracts related to nuclear weapons. These companies also spend large amounts of their income on lobbyists and funding think tanks that push politicians to invest more in weapons of mass destruction.
The report states that Honeywell International earned $6.2 billion in nuclear tenders and also spent $7 million lobbying. Northrop Grumman received $5 billion, and spent $11.6 million lobbying. Lockheed Martin, which received $1.9billion from the industry, spent $16.9m on lobbying.
According to the authors, after reviewing thousands of reports, contracts and lobby disclosures they estimated that more than a dozen private corporations received $30.2 billion worth of nuclear weapons contracts between 2021-2022.
“Those companies then turned around and spent $117 million lobbying decision makers to spend more money on defense. And they also spent up to $10 million funding most of the major think tanks that research and write about policy solutions about nuclear weapons,”ICAN.
It is also noted that the spending did not deter conflict, and recent events in Europe only served to increase the wealth of those connected to the nuclear weapon industry.
“We were told that the billions invested in thousands of weapons of mass destruction with the power to destroy the world many times over was the price to pay for peace in Europe. Instead, those billions went to line the pockets of the powerful who profit from the production of weapons of mass destruction.”
They stress the fact that this is a report that demonstrates. “nuclear weapons don’t work”They have not been able to stop conflict within Europe.
“This is why we need multilateral disarmament more than ever. Vienna, the first meeting of the States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons [from June 21 to 23]It could not have happened at a better moment.”Alicia Sanders Zakre, ICAN Policy and Research Coordinator said.
ICAN, a Nobel Peace Prize winning international coalition based in Geneva, has actively fought for the full implementation of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that it helped to adopt at the UN last year. Although the treaty was ratified in 59 nations around the globe, not one nuclear country has signed it yet.