Stop Fuelling War exists to witness against the arms trade and to show why it makes the world more dangerous, and not safer.
We are told we can have security if we are protected by a strong military equipped with powerful weapons.
We’re also told that each country needs its own weapon manufacturers to ensure that each country can guarantee its supply of weapons.

But we challenge this!
What if the weapons industry only sells a small proportion of the arms to our military, and most is exported?
What if our country’s arms industry sells weapons to people who use them to make the world less safe?
- to oppressive governments who use military equipment to attack public protests and to torture political prisoners.
- selling arms to both sides in a conflict, increasing fear and making the consequences of war much worse.

Our governments know that security in our own countries does not mean flooding society with weapons, so why do we think that selling huge quantities of weapons to different countries and groups across the world will make the world safer? Profit is a large part of the answer.

With military expenditure so high, the investment of time and money in the arms trade means that changing the security system is going to take a lot of work. The Global Peace Index report indicated that $12.6 trillion in 2015 was the economic impact of all violence, 70% of that is conventional spending for military and internal security and the other 30% are the losses from violence and conflict. (Source: Business Plan for Peace, Dr Scilla Elworthy, and Global Peace Index report)

However, the threats that we are facing today, with climate change, increasing inequality, forced migration, water shortage, these cannot be answered with traditional military force.

There needs to be a widening of definitions, what constitutes a military threat, what is a security threat and how do we answer security threats, other than through weaponry and military intervention.

Lack of investment in viable alternatives to military intervention:

Dr Scilla Elworthy published a book in 2017 about the cost and feasibility of a 'Business Plan for Peace'. We recommend it to anyone who wants to know how we can achieve peace together, what time and investment it will take and how each individual can work towards peace. The three main principles of reducing conflict and achieving peace in her book, based on years of experience in the field, are early intervention, dialogue and prevention. These would help to prevent conflict before it breaks out, reduce the need with weaponry and cost less.

In “The Business Plan for Peace”, Dr Scilla Elworthy discusses how the arms trade fits into a culture of violence and limits our possibilities for building peace. For example, she mentions that “Five of the world's six largest arms sellers are the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council. This explains why efforts to curb the arms trade have so far failed.” (Elworthy, 2017, p.21)

One of the topics that Dr Elworthy addresses as well is the lack of women in participating in peace agreements, however in contradiction of this low number, a peace agreement is 35% more likely to last if women are a part of the process.

Women and young people, the environment, building relationships between groups and states based on trust, these alternatives to the arms trade and military intervention need to be invested in to reduce violence and to help us face the security threats that concern us today.

For a precise breakdown of her Business Plan for Peace, you can purchase the book or e-book.

So many great organisations are working for peace around the world, check out our peace resources page to see a list of organisations working in France and in Europe.

But how often have you heard non-military security policies being discussed by politicians or in the media? 

The following tools could replace traditional security policy:

  • Mediation
  • Unarmed civilian accompaniment and peacekeeping
  • Preventive diplomacy
  • Cultural diplomacy
  • Economic diplomacy
  • Disarmament
  • International police deployments
  • Peace education
  • Empowering women and promoting equality

For a more detailed introduction into Peacebuilding, and how different levels (local, national and international) fit in together, please read the Quaker Council for European Affairs report "Building Peace Together".

“In our twenty first century the lethal combination of technological advances, terrorism, global crime, state-sponsored violence and socio-economic inequality has raised instability and insecurity to alarming levels. At the same time, the engine that has driven this escalation, the global arms trade, grows ever more sophisticated, complex and toxic in its effects… It operates according to its own rules, largely un-scrutinised, bringing enormous benefits to the chosen few, and suffering to millions. The trade corrodes our democracies, weakens already fragile states and often undermines the very security it purports to strengthen.”
- The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade, Andrew Feinstein, Penguin, London, 2012, p.xxii.

How often have you heard non-military security policies being discussed by politicians or in the media?

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