GPUS Endorses “Rage Against the War Machine” demonstration

The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) has voted to endorse the “Rage Against the War Machine” demonstration planned for February 19 in Washington D.C. This action has been endorsed by other anti-war groups and individuals. GPUS  joins them to strengthen opposition to the United States’ endless wars.

GPUS plans to play a leading role in the emergence of a unified and strong U.S. anti-war movement. The involvement of the US and NATO in the war in Ukraine presents a world-wide emergency that demands a strong anti-war movement around the following demands being made at this upcoming event:

    • Not One More Penny for War in Ukraine
    • Negotiate Peace
    • Stop the War Inflation
    • Disband NATO
    • Global Nuclear De-Escalation
    • Slash the Pentagon Budget
    • Abolish the CIA and Military-Industrial Deep State
    • Abolish War and Empire
    • Restore Civil Liberties
    • Free Julian Assange

The Green Party US Peace Action Committee (GPAX) urges Greens across the country to attend or to hold similar events locally. We are proud to say that Jill Stein will be speaking  at the rally about what makes GPUS’s position so inclusive – our commitments to social, economic and environmental justice. We believe the extreme danger to world peace posed by the war in Ukraine should make unified action against this war a priority for all peace activists.

For more information, contact:

Madelyn Hoffman

Co-Chair, Green Party Peace Action Committee

Haig Hovaness

Co-Chair, Green Party Peace Action Committee

GPAX/GPUS Statement on Ukraine War

The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) views the war in Ukraine with great concern. As the US party of peace, we emphatically oppose the recourse to war as a means of inter-state dispute resolution and, accordingly, condemn the present violence in Ukraine by all sides. With respect to the US and Western response, we express specific concerns regarding:

  1. The militaristic approach of indefinitely arming Ukraine. This strategy is demonstrably flawed. Ukraine is losing the war (despite heavy Western military assistance) and protracting the conflict through further armament will only lead to more death and destruction in Ukraine – not to a Ukrainian victory. This approach does not reflect a sincere interest in the well-being of the Ukrainian people, but rather the geopolitical and financial interests of Western elites.
  2. The misbegotten approach of imposing inefficacious and self-destructive sanctions on Russia. This strategy is empirically flawed. In keeping with the long track record of previous failures of punitive sanctions regimes, the current sanctions on Russia have not altered its behavior in Ukraine. Instead, they have increased its energy revenues and strengthened the Ruble, while damaging the Western European economy and undermining confidence in the US financial system. Aggravating international tensions through economic warfare will not bring peace to Ukraine.
  3. The unwillingness to engage in diplomacy. A ceasefire, and subsequent negotiated peace, is the only realistic way to end the war shy of the utter ruination of Ukraine. Adoption of a realistic negotiating position and willingness to make concessions is essential to the initiation of genuine peace talks, but the U.S. has failed to pursue a diplomatic solution.
  4. The dishonest portrayal of developments in Ukraine. Russian aggression is rightfully covered and denounced. However, sole attribution of blame to Russia whitewashes an extended history of inimical US interference in Ukraine, contributing to current hostilities. Additionally, depiction of the Zelensky Government as a democratic force representative of the Ukrainian people and selective coverage of Ukrainian military successes deceitfully engender popular support for the failing strategy of continued military aid. The West proudly lauds its freedom of speech and press. We encourage Western media to make use of this right in accurately and critically covering events in Ukraine.GPUS calls for cessation of unconditional military aid to Ukraine, lifting of counter-productive sanctions regimes, and initiation of genuine negotiations toward a ceasefire and sustainable peace framework! We implore the Biden Administration to use its position of influence to facilitate peace by encouraging peace talks and engaging with Russia to de-escalate tensions – not to fuel war by further arming Ukraine and prolonging a terrible conflict.


GPAX Statement on Ukraine

The Green Party of the United States’ Peace Action Committee (GPAX) views the unfolding conflict in Ukraine with great concern. We emphatically urge the Biden Administration to use its influence to encourage the resumption of negotiations toward i) a ceasefire in the near-term; and ii) a plan and implementation framework for a sustainable peace. GPAX rejects the Administration’s present approach of frustrating negotiation prospects and perpetually arming Ukraine to weaken Russia through a lengthy war of attrition. This will result in more loss of life and devastation in Ukraine and risks a Russia-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) conflict with catastrophic escalation potential. Negotiation is the only way to end the suffering in Ukraine and head off a possible nuclear war!

GPAX is also concerned about the extraordinary United States sanctions against Russia, which include freezing of central bank assets; blocking Russian banks from the SWIFT international payments system; prohibition of investment in the Russian Federation; blocking of Russian debt payments; and encouragement of U.S. corporations to leave Russia. These sanctions are disrupting international trade, weakening the U.S. economy, and undermining confidence in the U.S. financial system. These ill-advised measures have failed to alter Russia’s conduct in the Ukraine war and have backfired by inflicting serious economic damage on America’s European allies. Aggravating international tensions through economic warfare will not bring peace to Ukraine.


The Weaponization of Falsehood: America’s Embrace of Propaganda in the Ukraine War

Perhaps the most sinister development in America’s involvement in the war in Ukraine is the steady expansion of a propaganda campaign supporting the Zelensky government. Not only has the intensity of this effort been increasing, but there have been explicit statements from media and government sources attempting to normalize falsehood as a proper weapon of war. U.S. journalists now acknowledge that the Zelensky government is issuing propaganda as part of “information operations.”

“It’s a war — everything they do and say publicly is designed to help them win the war. Every public statement is an information operation, every interview, every Zelensky appearance broadcast is an information operation,” said another source familiar with western intelligence. “It doesn’t mean they’re wrong to do it in any way.”

U.S. propagandists, aware of the availability of accurate reports of events from independent Internet sources, are now boldly declaring that propaganda lies are justified in wartime. Since the U.S. is now engaged in a proxy war with Russia, actively arming Ukraine and applying damaging economic sanctions against Russia, the weaponization of anti-Russian propaganda is being defended as patriotic. Thus, the Russians are depicted as barbaric war criminals and American news on the war is dominated by stories of Russian atrocities that are often unsubstantiated Ukrainian claims. Meanwhile, documented atrocities committed by Ukrainians are ignored by the major U.S. media outlets.

The eager participation of U.S. mainstream media in this propaganda campaign is reminiscent of the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, during which doctored intelligence was uncritically accepted as justification for a disastrous military adventure that devastated a nation that had no connection to the 9/11 attacks. The current biased MSM coverage of the war in Ukraine is further undercutting the diminishing credibility of mainstream news sources.

The U.S. intelligence agencies, whose reputation was damaged by their failures in regime change wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria, are now further injuring their reputations by abandoning objectivity in favor of a commitment to information war. A recent comment from a government source indicated how intelligence is now manipulated to support the information war against Russia:

“It doesn’t have to be solid intelligence when we talk about it,” a U.S. official said. “It’s more important to get out ahead of them — Putin specifically — before they do something. It’s preventative. We don’t always want to wait until the intelligence is 100 percent certainty that they are going to do something. We want to get out ahead to stop them.”

The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies were established to provide accurate information to guide the policies of the government. By entering a gray zone where accurate information is mingled with engineered disinformation, the value of these organizations has become questionable. How can our nation trust “intelligence” that has been corrupted by political expediency?

The corrosive effects of official normalization of falsehood by a government is a serious problem. If lying is deemed a worthy patriotic defense of the nation, then when is it not justified? Should America lie about its economic statistics? Should our government lie about our national health and crime information? Where does the political justification for falsehood end? A major reason for the collapse of the Soviet Union was widespread public distrust of a government that lied about everything to preserve the regime.

The normalization of lying destroys social capital, the valuable store of trust among individuals and institutions. When citizens believe that everyone is lying to secure their own interests, trust diminishes, cooperation declines, and discord spreads. Corruption flourishes in low-trust societies, with damaging economic consequences, while high-trust societies tend to have superior economic performance. Americans in leadership positions would do well to consider an old maxim from Plato: But above all things, truth beareth away the victory.

America’s Neocons Betray the Plutocracy

As the Ukraine conflict expands into an economic war between the U.S. and Russia, it has become clear that U.S. foreign policy no longer serves the interests of the U.S. plutocracy. The following developments, engineered by Washington’s Neocons, will inflict increasing harm on the business interests of the United States:

  • Freezing of the assets of the Russian central bank. More than $100 billion of Russian central bank assets held in U.S. financial institutions have been seized, resulting in permanent damage to trust in the safety of U.S. dollar deposits.
  • Blocking Russian petroleum imports. Although the U.S. is less dependent on imports of Russian oil, there will be inflation of petroleum and commodity prices in the U.S., leading to reduced economic growth.
  • Removing Russian financial institutions from the SWIFT electronic payments network. Russia, China, and India will resort to alternative electronic trading networks that will bypass SWIFT and reduce the role of the dollar in world trade.
  • Encouraging dozens of U.S. corporations to abandon their Russian business operations. This action has nullified decades of U.S. investment in Russia and will likely lead to the permanent displacement of those businesses by competitors from other nations.

In 1953, a General Motors executive famously said that what was good for GM was good for America, indicating that there was no conflict between the goals of the U.S. government and U.S. business. Today, America’s Neocon ideologues are pursuing policies clearly detrimental to American business and damaging to the U.S. economy. How did this strange situation arise?

The Neocon project, originating with the collapse of the Soviet Union, was to forcibly spread liberal democracy worldwide, with the corresponding expansion of markets for U.S. global corporations. Launched as a response to the 9/11 attacks, the Neocon Global War on Terror was a military campaign aimed at imposing democracy and economic exploitation on the Mideast. After some initial success, this scheme turned into a costly series of stalemated and abandoned wars that spread ruin and chaos in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria.

Having been frustrated in military power projection, the Neocons have increasingly turned to economic warfare, imposing sanctions on unfriendly nations that cannot be cowed by threats of invasion. Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, and Yemen have been subjected to crippling economic sanctions causing vast human suffering but yielding no geopolitical triumphs. Thus, it came as no surprise that Russia’s attack on Ukraine would trigger massive economic sanctions from the U.S. and its NATO/EU allies.

Unfortunately for the Western business community, impairing the Russian economy through financial and trade sanctions also harms the U.S. and European economies. The Europeans will suffer disproportionally because of their dependence on Russian energy imports, but the U.S. will also suffer because of commodity price inflation; damage to the role of the U.S. dollar; and distrust sown among trading partners. If the economic war expands to China, there will be much more economic damage.

America’s plutocrats are slowly awakening to the fact that in enabling the Neocons, they have created a monster that is now damaging their vital interests, but it is too late for them to tame this monster. Neocon ideology has fully permeated the U.S. political establishment and the media, and opposition to the Neocon economic warfare agenda is now branded as unpatriotic if not treasonous. It is now generally accepted in Washington that America has a right and a duty to bend all other nations to our will by any means necessary, whatever the cost.

The Neocons will not go gently into the night of their failed ideology. Their organizations, reputations, and livelihoods are at stake. They will cling to even the smallest possibility of a final triumph, doubling down at every opportunity rather than accepting defeat. Unlike the plutocrats, they have no financial capital at risk; only their careers are at stake. To this day, the advocates of the disastrous War on Terror regime change invasions are fully in control of U.S. foreign policy and are ratcheting up conflict with Russia and China.

History shows that once a nation becomes dominated by a pernicious ideology, its business community is powerless to change the course of foreign policy. This was the case in WWII Germany and Japan, as business leaders, who earlier supported expansionist militarism, watched helplessly as their assets were destroyed in losing wars. It remains to be seen whether the damage inflicted on the U.S. by the Neocons will be limited to years of economic decline or will extend to the catastrophe of a nuclear war. The American plutocracy sowed the wind by backing the Neocons, and it will now reap the whirlwind of Neocon foreign policy folly.

Haig Hovaness

Co-Chair, U.S. Green Party Peace Action Committee

Statement on Western Imperialism and the Conflict in Ukraine

The Green Party Peace Action Committee (GPAX) views the conflict in Ukraine as the tragic, yet inevitable, result of relentless effort by the U.S., NATO, and the European Union for global economic, political, and military dominance. Within this context, the current conflict stems from the 2014 US-backed coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected government – and in the determination of the U.S./EU/NATO to convert Ukraine, whose government recently stated its intention to acquire nuclear weapons, into a heavily militarized NATO member nation located on the border of the Russian Federation.

NATO’s expansion has been a pressing security concern for Russia since 1998, when the U.S. govt. inaugurated the formal process of growing NATO’s membership to include former nations of the Warsaw Pact – Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. NATO expansion into Eastern Europe has been carried out, not only in violation of a pledge – made by Secretary of State James A. Baker to then-Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 – that NATO would not expand one inch eastward with the end of the Cold War, but also in violation of subsequent treaties in which the U.S. and its allies committed to respect the security concerns of other countries, including the Russian Federation.

Today, as the conflict escalates, NATO’s aggressive expansion has become an existential threat to all oppressed and colonized people around the world. A similar effort to expand is occurring in Latin America with the use of Colombia and Brazil as U.S. proxies against Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba. Also, in the African continent, regime change is enacted through AFRICOM funding and training. For peace to arrive in these regions and in the world, NATO and AFRICOM must be dismantled.

For GPAX, peace is not merely the absence of conflict. Peace means a world liberated from militarism, nuclear proliferation, imperialism and unjust war, patriarchy, and white supremacy. The resurgence and celebration of Nazism in Ukraine, as well as in the West, demonstrates that the global consolidation of xenophobia and racism, especially white supremacy, is an integral part of imperialism.

For GPAX, peace also means: dismantling the military-industrial complex and all intelligence agencies that engage in covert warfare & that subject U.S. citizens to unconstitutional surveillance for “anti-government” views; nationalizing the oil & gas industries that realize windfall profits from contrived world shortages (i.e. oil/gas from Iran, Venezuela and Russia are restricted); abolishing illegal unilateral economic sanctions that kill and cause untold suffering to the people of targeted countries; and nationalizing the Federal Reserve system – that funnels stolen & frozen foreign assets to select member banks which misuse these illicit funds in the repurchasing market to realize extraordinary profit. Witness what’s happening with Afghanistan’s assets, more than 20 years after the U.S. first invaded.

The only way to end war is to end corporate profiteering!

Bloated “defense” budgets must be reinvested into education, health and childcare, housing, and a people centered Green New Deal. While we grieve for the current loss of life in Ukraine, we also mourn over 14,000 deaths in Eastern Ukraine caused over the last 8 years by the Ukrainian military armed heavily by the U.S. We also mourn hundreds of thousands of deaths in Somalia, Yemen, and in every nation suffering because of NATO provoked wars and armed conflicts. We offer our unwavering solidarity with all victims of imperialism.

To secure the interests of the Russian and Ukrainian people, there must be good faith negotiations between the Russian Federation, representatives of the peoples of Donbas, and the Ukraine. The EU and the U.S. must end their continuous shipments of arms and other “lethal aid” to Ukraine. The 2015 Minsk agreements, signed by both Ukraine and Russia and the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and approved by the UN Security Council in 2015, offer one formula for a diplomatic solution to the conflict that would satisfy the aspirations of the peoples of the Donbass for autonomy from the current Ukrainian government.

It was only after the Ukrainian government’s shelling of Eastern Ukraine, in violation of the Minsk agreement – which was confirmed by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – that Russia, in mid-February, withdrew its support. The conflict in Ukraine has exposed the destructive effects of imperialism: war, racism, and militarism, which continually result in the unjust and anti-democratic redistribution & concentration of capital. Our demand for peace requires an end to U.S. imperialism and its implementation by NATO and other U.S. military alliances.



The United States Is Stumbling Toward Nuclear War

The most important and troubling fact of the current war in Ukraine is that the U.S. is on the brink of nuclear war with Russia. Our foreign policy establishment has maneuvered the U.S. into a position of direct confrontation with Russia, the most heavily armed nuclear power. The United States has the second largest nuclear armament. To support the Ukrainian government, the U.S. has effectively declared economic war on Russia, and we are supplying lethal military aid to Ukraine to be used on the battlefield against Russia. We are urging other countries, like Germany, to do the same. How did we get to this precarious situation?

Over the last two decades, U.S. foreign policy has been dominated by militaristic thinking. The use of military power through aggressive war and the threat of military action has been a means of asserting U.S. influence in international affairs. This approach has been unsuccessful, to say the least. Now the same policy makers who created the disasters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria are urging similar militaristic adventures directed against Russia and China. But Russia and China are not militarily weak and vulnerable states like the past victims of U.S. aggression. They are nuclear armed, and there is no defense against nuclear weapons. Once a nuclear war begins, the whole world will be impacted!

The American people are now asked to trust the judgment of a Washington power elite with a record of repeated disastrous miscalculation as it urges increasing hostility toward Russia and China. Errors of judgment in Iraq and Afghanistan led to death and destruction in distant lands, but similar errors in dealing with Russia and China could lead to the nuclear destruction of cities in the United States and around the world..

The Peace Action Committee of the Green Party of the U.S. calls for ending America’s militaristic foreign policy, beginning with advocacy of a negotiated settlement of the war in Ukraine. The U.S., which has enormous influence over the Zelensky government, and has interfered greatly in Ukraine’s affairs at least since the coup of 2014, is currently acting to prolong the armed struggle. Sacrificing the lives of thousands of Ukrainians in a futile struggle against an overwhelming invasion force is an irresponsible action. A neutral Ukraine can coexist peacefully with Russia, just as Finland and Austria have since the end of WWII.

Keeping the U.S. on the brink of nuclear war with Russia and China by sustaining and aggravating regional disputes risks world-wide catastrophe. We must prevent the U.S. policy of unending war fever from becoming a fatal affliction for all humankind.  All countries in the world deserve to live in peace and security.

Statement on Ukraine Crisis

Russia’s military buildup around the borders of Ukraine has raised the prospect of a major war in Eastern Europe. The tensions between Ukraine and Russia are largely the product of a misguided U.S. foreign policy aimed at displacing Russia’s influence in the former republics of the USSR. In Ukraine, the U.S. has engaged in saber-rattling through substantial military assistance and provocative naval and aircraft maneuvers. The Russians believe Ukraine is moving toward becoming a de-facto NATO member and a threat to their security. The NeoCon ideologues who directed two decades of disastrous foreign policy have now maneuvered the U.S. into confronting a nuclear-armed nation with massive conventional armed forces poised to strike.

Unable to respond militarily to this crisis, the U.S. is threatening to impose extreme economic sanctions on Russia, which would inevitably strengthening economic and military ties between Russia and China, further weakening U.S. global influence. None of this matters to the Blob, the Washington military-industrial-congressional complex, which seeks endless international conflict as a sure means of continuing and expanding U.S. weapons sales worldwide.

GPAX calls for the U.S. government to end the policy of deliberate aggravation of international conflicts in Ukraine, Taiwan, and the Mideast. The risk of one or more of these conflicts erupting into a disastrous large-scale war is too great to ignore in order to please arms makers and bellicose politicians. Specifically, in the matter of Ukraine, the U.S. should negotiate a reduction of military forces in the conflict zone and a halt to NATO expansion. U.S. economic aid to Ukraine should be conditioned on acceptance of the Minsk accords, which would grant partial autonomy to the breakaway provinces in the Donbass region. This would end the current military confrontation between Ukraine and Russia.

Ever since the end of WWII, the United States has squandered its wealth on a series of futile regional wars. These wars have been justified by vague threats and dubious theories and have wasted trillions of dollars and cost millions of lives. It is time to stop what has become a pathological foreign policy and to return to responsible statecraft that serves the interests of the American public and not the greed of arms merchants and the ambitions of cynical politicians.


Haig Hovaness

Secretary, Green Party U.S. Peace Action Committee



The Future of Militarism: A Fatal Prognosis

By Haig Hovaness

Despite the gross failures of a 20-year “War on Terror,” American foreign policy in 2021 showed no change from the militaristic ideology which has characterized it since WWII. Indeed, in 2021 the U.S. government approved a record $750 billion defense budget, rewarding the armed services for enabling a remarkably costly and fruitless series of foreign misadventures. The Washington policy elite is handling the debacles of the post-9/11 regime change wars with media messaging intended to make their “mistakes” disappear through public amnesia. Meanwhile, this establishment (now regularly referred to as the Blob) has found new targets for military confrontation in Russia, and China, while remaining in a state of economic war with Iran.

Based on current events, a casual observer might conclude that U.S. militarism is an invincible ideology impervious to any contrary developments. However, the relentless advance of technology has changed the character of armed conflict in ways that render militaristic foreign policy futile, dangerous, and ultimately doomed. The reasons for this assertion are the increasing infeasibility of large-scale use of modern weapons, and the instability of sustained conflict brinkmanship.

Unusable weaponry

The supreme irony of the vast efforts made by major powers to develop and deploy advanced weaponry is the increasingly self-limiting character of much of this arsenal. Over the last decade, non-nuclear weapons have achieved a potential for mass destruction rivaling that of nuclear weapons. This has resulted from dramatic advances in the range, speed, and targeting precision of guided missiles and the emergence of cyber-warfare. Today, even a non-nuclear war between advanced nations would result in rapid and widespread destruction of military and civilian facilities, imposing an unacceptable cost on the belligerents. Moreover, such a devastating “conventional” war could easily escalate into a nuclear conflict if vital defense assets were destroyed.

In the recent regional war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in Karabakh, the use of sophisticated drones and precision-guided munitions by Azerbaijan resulted in the destruction of almost half of Armenia’s military assets in Karabakh in the first hour of the conflict. On the modern battlefield, there is no place to hide, and anything that can be detected can be targeted and destroyed quickly by precision weapons. A large-scale conflict between two modern armies would entail massive destruction and heavy casualties, but unlike world wars 1 and II, this would take place in days, not years. Unfortunately, the new realities of high-tech warfare have outpaced the political thinking of leaders committed to militarism.  The telescoping of the time domain in which modern wars would be fought could enable events to outrun political deliberations and raises the possibility of runaway escalation of hostilities. Leaders persist in believing that they can control the scope of armed conflict and avoid catastrophe, but this is a dangerous delusion.

Unsustainable Instability

 The conventional wisdom in national foreign policy circles is that a state of antagonistic foreign relations on the brink of war can be maintained indefinitely because prudent leaders will carefully modulate provocative behavior to avoid war while preserving the benefits of militaristic policies. These benefits accrue to the military leadership, arms makers, and politicians, but the general public bears the heavy financial cost of militarism and would pay the bloody price of war. Despite ample evidence that accidental nuclear war has been narrowly avoided many times since 1945, the fortuitous avoidance of nuclear war is considered “proof” of the success of militarism in maintaining peace.

The advent of increasingly destructive non-nuclear weapons, and their continued unrestrained deployment will make the brinkmanship required to sustain militaristic policies unsustainable. The new weaponry is destabilizing because it magnifies the consequences of human error; increases proliferation danger; introduces greater potential for malfunctions; and amplifies the dangers of escalation.

Human error in military use of anti-aircraft missiles has been responsible for the destruction of three civilian airliners in recent years: Iran Air flight 665 (1988); Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (2914); Ukraine International Airlines flight 752 (2020). A total of 764 civilians died in these incidents. They were killed by militarism. In each case, a military officer mistakenly responded to a perceived threat from a military adversary without a declared state of war.  The high-tech weaponry being developed and deployed today will increase the probability of erroneous use because it amplifies the destructive power available to local military commanders. Junior officers can now control weapons with a range of hundreds of miles. A fear of “decapitating” pre-emptive strikes by an adversary will motivate leaders to disperse launch authority widely through lower ranks of the military hierarchy. Today, a single precision-guided missile or torpedo can sink a ship in a matter of minutes. Sustaining a high level of international tension in a world flooded with hair-trigger, high-speed weapons is a recipe for disaster.

Proliferation of weapons technology is an inevitable process that raises the potential for global violence as weapons fall into the hands of rogue states and non-state organizations. Precision-guided missiles are slowly entering the arsenals of groups like Hezbollah, and cyber-weapons leaked from U.S. government agencies have already been used by criminals for ransomware attacks. The longer unrestrained high-tech arms racing continues the more danger exists of reckless actors using these weapons to wreak destruction.

Malfunctioning of weapons is a function of their complexity. An unfortunate characteristic of computer programming is that non-trivial software cannot be exhaustively tested, and military software is extensive and complex. (The U.S. F35 fighter jet is estimated to have eight million lines of software code.) Moreover, the competitive pressure of arms racing can cause new high-tech weapons to be rushed into production with hidden software failure modes that can have catastrophic consequences.

Escalation in military conflict occurs when adversaries exchange progressively more damaging blows. In the past, the pace of escalation was limited by the slow movement of troops and supplies necessary to expand the scale of fighting. Today, the speed of high-tech weapons delivery and the efficiency of command-and-control communications makes possible an accelerated tempo of escalation. This speed-up of combat is especially dangerous for nuclear-armed powers because the end of the escalation ladder is a massive exchange of nuclear strikes. If future weapons and battle management systems are increasingly computer-controlled, there will be a danger of runaway escalation.


The long era of militarism is approaching an end. Enormous expenditures on advanced weaponry and large military establishments have no practical value if the consequences of employing such weapons are intolerable. Thus, the elimination of militarism should be a high priority in the agenda of all political parties and national governments. If militarism persists, with its need to sustain dangerous international tensions, disastrous armed conflict is inevitable, by design, accident, or error. The end of militarism will come – either from policy reform or military disaster. The only question is how many will die needlessly before this pernicious ideology vanishes.