Four soldiers in full dark grey combat gear holding guns stand infront of a low flying helicopter. A blue sky fills the background.
Pxfuel | Royalty-free photos

MILITARY and DEFENCE Guide – Rethinking Security

Better World Info provides an excellent ➡️ platform on military, defence, and security with a huge 11,000 links collated from a peace and disarmament perspective.

Global military spending is at a record high of $2240 billion. Increasing international tensions, militarisation, the military-industrial complex, and the greed of private weapons contactors have caused military budgets to bloat at the expense of other societal needs such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure.

Summarised nicely by Iraqi American rights activist, Zainab Salbi,

“One year of the world’s military spending equals 700 years of the U.N. budget, and equals 2,928 years of the U.N. budget allocated for women.”

Increased militarism serves only to promote national interests and creates a cycle of tension and conflict, as nations continually arm themselves in response to perceived threats. As more money is pumped into the war industry, the risks of military dictatorships, rights violations, and repressive regimes increases.

In addition to the death, destruction, and suffering that militaries and wars cause, they also contribute to environmental degradation, climate change, and cause long lasting damage to human health and ecosystems. If we reap what we sow, then why do world leaders consistently sow the seeds of conflict and war?

We believe that the military's role in defence and security needs to be shifted to focus on peacebuilding and conflict resolution first. The capacity for humanitarian intervention by the military is huge, especially in times of disaster. Aid, rescue, emergency relief, post-conflict reconstruction, and enforcing peace agreements and disarmament campaigns, are positive ways the military can protect civilians and reduce the risk of future conflict. Better still shift some money from the military to civil defense and crisis response.

Discover impartial military news sources, and learn how corporate media has become a conduit for pro‐war propaganda. Find excellent organisations such as GCOMS the Global Campaign on Military Spending, and other peace movements and NGOs.

Be sure to check out our related topics on conscientious objectors, conflict regions, nuclear disarmament, peace, international development, politics, and our impressive guide to the Russian war in Ukraine from a peace perspective. You can also follow our excellent Twitter list on the military for up-to-the-minute insight from security experts, international relations and foreign policy specialists, nonviolence activists, and voices from the peace movement.

For German speakers we invite you to visit our sister site Bessere Welt Info for 8,000 links on the Militär from a European and peace perspective.


Map of the world showing military spending as a percentage of GDP for countries as of 2022, according to the SIPRI.
Askeri harcama | CC BY-SA 4.0

Which Countries are the Largest Military Spenders?

  • United States -  2022 saw the U.S military budget reach $877 billion, this accounts for 39% of all military spending in the world! It places them in the top spot, and is three times the amount spent by runner-up China. Find extensive information on US military budgets, military bases, the extortionately expensive F-35 fighter jets, the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Media Complex, women in the U.S. army, critical analysis, and war veterans. From a political perspective we look into the U.S. as the world's number one arms exporter, private military companies, U.S. imperial wars, and U.S. nuclear weapon stockpiling.
  • China - In second place, China budgeted $292 billion for military expenses in 2022. Based on active personnel, China has the world's largest military force. Concerns over tensions with Taiwan, and increasing cold war mentality with the U.S. from both sides are concerning, especially given its large arsenal and possession of nuclear weapons.
  • Russia - The military is a top priority in Russia with $86.4 billion budgeted in 2022 for security and defence purposes. The war in Ukraine has plunged the Russian military and many controversies into the spotlight, such as war crimes, nuclear war threats, mandatory conscription, and Russia’s mercenary Wagner group, and their presence in Africa.
  • India - The fourth largest military budget is India with $81.4 billion. India is also a nuclear state and has huge numbers of military personnel. Controversy surrounds their youth military recruitment scheme Agnipath, conflict in Kashmir, and tensions with Pakistan.
  • Great Britain - Spending $68.5 billion in 2022 and committed to increasing their nuclear arsenal, learn more about the UK military budget, the Poppy Appeal, U.S. relations and foreign policy, Trident, and AUKUS the security pact tying the UK to the U.S. and Australia.

Check out our complete country-by-country guides on militaries around the world featuring top issues such as EU militarization, tensions in the Middle East, Central and South American defence, and military developments in Africa.

Disarmament - the pathway to peace

Disarmament is the act of reducing, limiting, or abolishing weapons. It contributes to global peace by limiting the potential for conflict. By halting arms production and repurposing existing weapons for peaceful uses, the likelihood of conflict and war decreases and creates an environment where diplomacy and peaceful negotiations can exist. Show the other side that you are serious about disarmament by taking the initiative and invite them to follow suit.

Learn more about the global efforts for disarmament through our recommended news sources, as well as important information on international treaties, and the concepts of anti-militarism and demilitarization. Search by region for key resources, national organisations, campaigns, reports, books, and videos.


Map of NATO historic enlargement in Europe showing each year that new members were added upto 2023
Patrickneil | CC BY-SA 3.0

Guide to NATO - Security & Conflict

With 31 members, NATO is the world’s largest military alliance. Learn more about security conferences, pro-war budgets, the nuclear no-first-use protocol, the debate for Nato disarmament, and the campaigns saying No to Nato.

In 2022, the combined defence expenditure for Nato members reached $1.2 trillion – the highest amount ever. This wild spending coupled with Eastward expansion is concerning, and poses a threat to global stability and peace especially regarding Russia and China.

Weapons Exports and the Business of Death

Arms exports and the arms industry fuel conflict, human rights abuses, violations of international humanitarian law, repression, displacement, and death, and suffering. Despite this, the global value of weapons production, investment in high-tech weapons manufacturing, and the sale and transfer of this equipment is worth a staggering $112 billion.

Learn about the NGOs calling for accountability, regulation, and a stop to the madness such at CAAT. Find information on the UN Conference of the Arms Trade Treaty, arms dealers, illegal trafficking, arms fairs, and those profiting from death in the name of collective security.

The world's biggest arms exporters are:

U.S.A - 38.6%

Russia - 18.6%

France - 10.7%

China - 4.6%

Germany - 4.5%

Italy - 3.1%

United Kingdom - 2.9%

WARS - The Ultimate form of Terrorism

At Better World Info we believe that war is never the answer, there is no form of just war. The only winners are the weapons contractors, stock holders, and the war industry who line their pockets with tax payers money leaving citizens as the losers.

In this section you will find a detailed history of wars and conflicts including WWI and WWII, as well as the Vietnam War. Learn about the devastating price that veterans pay for their countries, and excellent peace campaigns such as Veterans for Peace. We also highlight the atrocities of war crimes, crimes against humanity, various conventions and tribunals, and information on prisoners of war.


Anti-war protesters gather infront of the Whitehouse to protest the war, a large blue poster in the foreground reads 'Not one more dollar, not one more death.' in Iraq
Aude | CC BY-SA 2.5

The War on Terror or War is Terror?

In response to the 9/11 attacks that took place in 2001, the US military spent $8 trillion over the course of 20 years funding its War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. It was sold to American tax payers through the creation of enemies to justify such large spending in a country already struggling to meet the social needs of its citizens.

The U.S. military receives $1,000 for every $1 dedicated to peace efforts (not including UN efforts). The stark difference brings into question U.S. motives for the promotion of global security. The War on Terror was a racket. It purposely left U.S. citizens uninformed and misled by propaganda to enable the extraction of even more money for the U.S. war industry.

The result of their efforts was 4.5 million deaths, 15.1 million refugees, a 270% increase in the number of terrorists and Jihadists since 2001, hatred, misery, destruction, despair, corruption, the reversal of women’s rightstotal loss of safety, and unimaginable hardship.

1.8 million U.S. veterans were registered disabled, and intense intelligence gathering via mass surveillance undermines the civil rights and privacy of ordinary American citizens.

Check out our blog ‘U.S. Military Prodigal Spending and Peaceful Alternatives’ for more information.


The rise of Weapon Systems and Drones - Modern Warfare

Developments in technology and massive investments into the weapons industry have made warfare even more deadly, and the threat of war even more terrifying.

Under the guise of national security, weapons programmes worldwide have embraced the use of artificial intelligence, killer drones and robots, and national and international missilesCyber warfare has the potential to cause untold damage to critical infrastructure and systems.

Highly destructive depleted uranium weapons result in serious health and environmental issues for many years to come and are of huge concern due to their lack of regulation. Learn about the devastating impacts of DU, cluster munitions and landmines, as well as other weapons systems, missiles and the incredibly expensive and controversial Eurofighter programme.


Black and white image of a huge mushroom cloud over the ocean formed after a nuclear explosion
Pixabay | WikiImages

The Threat by Weapons of Mass Destruction

Better World Info supports a complete ban of all Atomic weapons, their manufacturing, sale, and use. Be sure to check out our huge guide to nuclear disarmament where you will find over 4,000 resources on nukes, the dangers and outrageous costs of them, and the campaigns and initiatives fighting for an outright ban.

Biological weapons contain bacteria, viruses, or toxins which spread through the environment to cause diseases among people, animals, and plants. The effects can be deadly and biowarfare is prohibited by the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

Chemical weapons were first used on a large-scale during World War I and are prohibited by international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention due to their devastating and indiscriminate effects. Nerve gases, blister agents, and choking agents cause immense suffering, permanent harm and death.

The use of chemical weapons is a grave violation of human rights. Find further information on the use of chlorine gas in Douma, Syria in 2018 and the OPCW coverup scandal.

Beyond the Battlefield - Choosing Peace Funding Over War

We believe that this cycle of posturing and weapons proliferation must end. It is no coincidence that the 5 nuclear states have some of the largest military budgets, AND are the largest profiteers of weapons exports. We must hold governments and thier militaries accountable for the humanitarian crises they create.

"The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded,' Ban Ki-moon.

By giving peace a budget instead, we can transform a culture of war into a force for peace. Retraining military personnel in conflict resolution, human rights, and international humanitarian law, fosters a mindset with peace at its core and prioritizes dialogue over violence.

Time and time again we have seen numerous conflict regions that there are no winners in war. Better World Info actively stands up for peace, against the war industry, propaganda, the buildup of massive arms stockpiles, and outrageous military budgets.

Martin Luther King once famously said,

“A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on war, than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Author: Rachael Mellor, 05.07.23 licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0

For further reading on Militaries see below  ⬇️

Hot Topics

The flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) consists of a dark blue field charged with a white compass rose emblem, with four white lines radiating from the four cardinal directions.
Flickr | Defence Imagery

NATO Summit in Washington DC, 2024 – 75th Anniversary

9–11 July state leaders of the 32 NATO members will gather in Washington DC to mark the 75th anniversary of the allegiance, to welcome Sweden to the ranks, and to bolster further military spending under the guise of unity. - In light of the ongoing Ukraine war, US efforts to reassert their global dominance, and NATOs commitment to remaining a nuclear alliance peace advocates would say there is little to celebrate. - Protests and counter-summit rallies have been organised to spread the message ‘No to NATO, Yes to Peace’.

NATO Summit in Washington DC, 2024 – 75th Anniversary
GDAMS poster for their 2024 campaign. A black tree grows out of the silhouette of an army tank.  Above reads ‘War Costs us the Earth.’
GDAMS | Krime_1

2024 GDAMS - Global Days of Action on Military Spending

This year's theme of ‘War Costs Us the Earth’ aims to address the escalating issue of global militarization. Set to take place from 12 April to 15 May, with a focus on how wars are driving military spending around the world - The Israel and Gaza conflict has just entered its sixth month, and the Russian invasion on Ukraine has crossed the 2-year threshold. We must continue to demand a peace budget, defund war, protest spiralling military budgets, and start investing in peace and human security. Find the schedule of events and more information about the campaign here.

2024 GDAMS - Global Days of Action on Military Spending
Poster for the Merchants of Death war crimes tribunal - A black poster with red letters reads 'Come war profiteers, give account' In the centre there is a white box with a picture of a missile with a large red line across it
Merchants of Death | World BEYOND War

Merchants of Death - War Crimes Tribunal

A war crimes tribunal - Starting November 12, 2023 - organised to hold weapons manufacturers accountable for the deaths they are responsible for – both combatants and civilians. Operating on gigantic profits these weapons producers manufacture and then sell products which are used for murder. Through a series of evidence, the tribunal aims to prove they have violated U.S. Federal criminal law and committed crimes against humanity.

Merchants of Death - War Crimes Tribunal
A white and red map of the world showing the countries in red which still allow the use of cluster bombs
Udaypatel 02 | CC BY-SA 4.0

Cluster Bombs and their Deadly Legacy

Banned in 120 states, cluster bombs are regarded as highly controversial due to their 40% failure rate and indiscriminate effect over a wide area. Citizens are affected by their immediate threat and post conflict as de-facto land mines are left unexploded across vast areas. The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions not only prohibits the production and stockpiling of cluster bombs, but it also ensures the clearance of effected areas and that victims are appropriately cared for.

Cluster Bombs and their Deadly Legacy

U.S. Military Budget

The USA spends more than 50% of their federal funding on the military and its current estimate is $877,000,000,000. Thus the U.S. military budget more than twice as high as that of China and Russia combined.

U.S. Military Budget
"Successor Submarine" by Defence Images is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0


Controversial tri-lateral agreement between Australia, the UK, and the USA - aimed at enhancing security, and countering China’s military dominance in the Asia-Pacific region. As one of the biggest defence partnerships in decades, it will allow Australia to build nuclear-submarines for the first time. Many have labelled the agreement as an intensification of the arms race, and do not condone this massive military build-up. The French government have called the deal a stab in the back, and globally there are concerns it undermines peace and stability in the region.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meeting with the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda whilst attending the NATO summit in Vilnius. The two men sit infront of their respective country flags, between them on the wall is a poster of the event
Flickr | Number 10

Vilnius Summit 2023

The annual Nato gathering of state leaders this year is taking place in Lithuania, just 32km from the border of Belarus. Top issues are expected to be the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine, and indeed Ukraine membership. Peace advocates are concerned about even further pressure to ramp up military budgets as the culture of posturing is further cemented.

Vilnius Summit 2023

Killer Drones

An aircraft not requiring a human pilot to manage it, drones can be controlled remotely from any country and activated in any location. In recent years, the US army has increasingly been using drones against targets in foreign countries leading to over 6000 deaths in 2015 alone, including many innocent people. 

Killer Drones
Campaign to stop killer robots

Ban Killer Robots Now!

NGOs from all over the world and more than 2,400 scientists specializing in Artificial Intelligence have raised their voices against Killer Robots. This autonomous weapons can target and kill a person without human supervision.

Ban Killer Robots Now!

9/11 Attacks

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States. 2,977 people were killed and over 25,000 injured. As a result of the attack, America declared War on terror in the Middle East. Mainly targeting radical Islamic groups, but also causing countless civilian casualties and human rights violations.

9/11 Attacks
Black and white image of two huge smoke plumes and many Vietname onlookers watching the smoke wearing traditional cone shaped hats
Flickr | manhhai

The end of the Vietnam War

On the 30th of April 1975 the Vietnam War ended with the evacuation of Saigon and the defeat of the American Army. Between 2 to 4 Million Vietnamese people died during this War, many civilians were mutilated or burned by Napalm bombs. The effects of the chemical weapons used by the American Army harm Vietnamese nature and people till this day. Many US veterans suffered a trauma, the suicide rate is higher than the death toll of the war. Sad numbers for a senseless war. Did America learn from it? They did not.

The end of the Vietnam War
Multiple white, red, and blue candles sit on a white square base float on dark still water
Flickr | kallu

Hiroshima Day - August 6

Every August 6, thousands of people around the world commemorate the catastrophic event that was the dropping of the atomic bomb in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. This year, the world took an important step towards banning these weapons of mass destruction when Bolivia became the 25th nation that ratifies the TPNW.

Hiroshima Day - August 6

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Featured Organisation of the Month

The global movement against gun violence

The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is a global movement against gun violence, linking together civil society organisations that work on stopping the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons. IANSA supports efforts that make people safer by reducing the demand for weapons, improving firearm regulation and strengthening controls on arms transfers. 

Featured Online Resource of the Month


The United Nations Office on Disarmament Affairs was established in 1998 and works to promote nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation; to strengthen the disarmament regimes in respect to other weapons of mass destruction; to strengthen disarmament efforts in the area of conventional weapons. On their website you can find an extensive collection of disarmament resources, including background information, data, treaty information, reports and links to other resources.

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