In 2015, there were at least 40 wars around the world, with over 162,212 fatalities. Some wars (i.e. Afghanistan) have been going on for decades and the cumulative death toll is in the millions.
The countries with the most casualties in 2015 were:
Global arms exports are close to Cold War levels. The United States is the overall top supplier of weapons. The United States is also the top supplier of weapons to the developing world, accounting for around 36% of worldwide weapons sales, followed by Russia, United Kingdom, Germany and China.
It is estimated that there are over 639 million small arms in circulation produced by over 1,135 companies based in 98 countries.
American War Casualties
Revolutionary War 4,435 6,188
War of 1812 2,260 4,505
Indian “Wars” (1812-98) 1,000
Mexican American War 13,283 4,152
Civil War 498,332 281,881
Spanish American War 2,446 1,662
World War I 116,516 204,002
World War II 405,399 671,846
Korean War 54,246 103,284
Vietnam War 90,220 153,303
Persian Gulf War 1,948 467
Afghanistan 2,326 450,000
Iraq 4,486 450,000
Total 1,197,475 2,330,290
These figures do not include Post Trauma Syndrome (PTS), military suicides after the war or civilian casualties.
The Huffington Post
It is estimated that the world spends about $1.8 trillion a year (about 2.3% of Gross National Product) on the arms trade.
The countries that supply the most arms are:
CRS Report for Congress
The countries that purchase the most arms are:
Saudi Arabia 21%
United Arab Emirates 6%
CRS Report for Congress
The countries with the largest military expenditures are:
Budget % of GNP PerPerson
U.S.: $597 billion 3.3% $1,859
China: $145 billion 1.2% $106
Saudi Arabia: $81 billion 12.9% $2,949
UK: $56 billion 2% $878
Russia: $51 billion 4.1% $362
Total: $1.563 trillion 2.1% $216
The U.S. companies that sell the most arms are:
Sales % of Total Sales Profit
Lockheed: $35 billion 78% $3 billion
Boeing: $30 billion 35% $4 billion
Raytheon: $21 billion 93% $2 billion
Northrop: $20 billion 82% $2 billion
General: $18 billion 60% $2 billion
It is estimated that the combined arms sales of the top 100 largest arms producing companies amounted to an estimated $315 billion.
For comparison, the operating budget for Pax Christi USA – the largest national Catholic peace organization is around $450,000.
Much of the military’s equipment (bombs, missiles, tanks and ammunition etc.) is not considered a “consumer good.” “Consumer goods” are designed to be used and then replaced – a process which stimulates the economy. Most military equipment sits in storage waiting to be used.
The Costs of American Wars
Revolutionary War $101 million
War of 1812 $90 million
Mexican American War $71 million
Civil War $5 billion
Spanish American War $283 million
World War I $31 billion
World War II $316 billion
Korean War $54 billion
Southeast Asia War $111 billion
Persian Gulf War $61 billion
Total $578 billion
War costs often do not include: training, recuperation, counseling, peacetime operating costs of the military establishment, the prewar buildup of military expenditures in anticipation of hostilities and the postwar tapering off of such expenditures, property damage, the lost economic value of people killed or disabled in war, and the costs of wartime economic disruption.
The costs of a war are often transferred to future generations in the form of interest charges on war debts, and these charges usually continue long after the debts themselves have lost their identity in the total national debt. In a similar category are the costs of veterans’ pensions and bonuses and medical and hospital care and lifetime care.