Ruth Leger Sivard's







World Military and Social Expenditures by Ruth Sivard, 13th edition (1989)

Foreword by Noel Gayler

Security can only be that combination of economic, political, and military factors which protect populations and the civilizations they build. There is no room for genocidal devices, whether they are nuclear weapons, poison gases, or bacteriological agents.

And neither is there room or necessity for the long-range strike weapons in current forces. They are not instruments of protection or of security. They can only be used offensively. Their very existence heightens the terrible tensions existing in a major political crisis.

All of these weapons represent the extraordinary dangers and intolerable burdens, monetary and human, that this report so compellingly documents. They are the product of many illusions:

  • that by continuing to create more fearful weapons we can maintain a useful technical edge.
  • that we can use weapons to negotiate to our advantage.
  • that we can achieve a defense against nuclear attack.
  • that we can start a competition in anti-satellite weapons which would somehow be to our advantage.

On all of these matters history and experience tell us that these assumptions are dead wrong.

There are many such illusions that distort the current debate on defense policy. What is missing from that debate is a clear-eyed recognition of all the elements that constitute true security. Whether in the United States, in the Soviet Union, or other parts of the world, the reality is that security depends on our common interest in humanity. For this understanding, Ruth Sivard’s report, with its strikingly accurate portrayal of the global military and social situation, provides the bedrock of fact.

The Chinese character for the English word ‘crisis’ is made up of those for ‘danger’ and ‘opportunity’. Now is certainly a time of danger. But there has never been such a time for opportunity. Let us seize it.

Noel Gayler
Admiral, former Commander-in-Chief, US Forces Pacific