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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - March 21, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 42-THE LETHBRIDGE HERAIO Wednesday, March 21, 1973 Mankind's most dangerous peril THE ARMS RACE IS WORLD-WIDE A new wave of rearmament throughout tils world Is observed by editors of a leading reference book on arms Jane's Weapon Systems in london. There are signs that a proliferation of nuclear Weapons in imminent. A report of the United Nations reveals that six countries spend more thnn four-fifths of world expenditure on arma- menls, but developing countries are increasing their purchases of wea- pons of war al a faster rate than the Dig Powers. A Swedish research or-. Sanitation reports that the Soviet Union has replaced America as the chief supplier of arms to the Third World, and has provided military equipment to 29 conulries. Oberver foreign news service writers report from the three sources- By Max Wilde and Andrew Wilson of the London Observer Today you can enjoy total relaxation in a luxury swivel rocker. Save Save Velvet tub chair. A tub chair for 'snuggle' comfort. Made with no-sag seat, foam-padded back and 3K" foam cushion. V a soft touch in Moss, Gold or Lipstick coloured velvet. Reg. Such an easy, undemanding price to pay for a chair that offers so much comfort. The moment you see ils smooth velvet upholstery in soft, inviting shades of Olive, Antique Gold and Tangerine you'll want to sit in it. But the true comfort lies in the deep tufted foam filled back and polyester-wrapped Serofoam T-cushion. No-sag spring construction and hardwood frame give lasting strength. The metal swivel base is the final touch for way and rocking comfort. Try it out for size now and onjoy the savings too! a world rise of about 3 to 4 per cent a year, military spending in the'developing countries has been increasing at a rate some seven per cent a year. This fact emerges from a report prepared by 14 consul- tant experts and submitted by .Secretary-General U Thant to the current session of tha United Nations General As- sembly. Commenting on the trend, the report says: "When the needs of economic development are so pressing it is a disturbing thought that these countries should save found it neces- sary to increase their military spending so speedily, parti- cularly when their per capita income is so low. To the citi- zen of a developing country, with a per capita income of about a year, even the diversion of a few dollars for military purposes may rob him of one of the necessities of Jife." Based on data from 120 countries, the report estimates that the world spent 000 million (at 1070 values) over tho period 1961. to 1970, inclusive. During the decade, annual expenditures increased by more than million to reach their present level of about million. Military spending is now running at 2V4 times what all govern- ments are spending on health, iVi; times what they spend on education and 30 times more than the total of all r'fielal economic aid granted by de- veloped to developing coun- tries. The scale ot spending, the report adds, can be realized even more dramatically by saying it all but equals the combined gross national pro- duct of the United Kingdom and Italy, or that of the de- veloping countries of South Asia, (he Far East and Africa together, with a total popula- tion of million. It is be- tween C and 614 per cent of the total world Gross National Product. Spending on arms is highly concentrated in a few largo countries. Six of U.S.A., USSR, People's Repub- lic of China, France, Britain and West Gerrriiny ac- counted for more than four- fifths of the world total in tho 1960s. They dominate and largely determine the world trend. They also devote to military spending more of their resources about 8 per cent of their output as an av- erage than do most other countries. Yet nine developing coun- tries spend more than 10 per cent of (heir output for mili- tary purposes, though another 11 spend less than one per cent. Tho armaments race, the report maintains, stultifies ivorld trade as well as social and economic progress, even in the richest countries. One example cited is the unsatis- fied demand for housing, which is practically univer- sal and which, together with slum clearance and urban re- newal, represents only three to 3Ms per cent of the world's total gross national product- half the amount spent on arms. Scientific research and de- velopment is another victim of the arms race: "probably at least one-quarter of the world total of scientists and engineers who are engaged in research and development are, in fact, still employed in military work; and military research and development probably absorbs some million of an estimated world total research and develop- ment expenditure of some million." By contrast, all medical research in tho world is calculated to con- sume only about mil- lion. The notion that the posses- sion of armaments increases security is denied in the re- port. It says: "The threat of ulti- mate disaster it (the arms race) has generated is by far the most dangerous single peril tho world faces today more dangerous than poverty or disease, far more dangerous than cither the population explosion or pollu- tion and it far outweighs whatever short-term advant- age armaments may havo achieved in providing peoples with a sense of national secur- ity. More than tills, the arms race makes niore acute Ui9 very international strains to which it relates. Political dif- ferences become sliarpened by the fear and suspicion which fhe amassing of arma- ments generates. International trade, already impeded by other factors, is slowed, parti- cularly in tho products of ad- vanced technological Indus- try. Military expenditures contribute to acute imbal- ances in international pay- ments. Cultural exchanges stagnate. In sliort, arma- ments, which are supposed to provide security, provoke the very political differences which nations may assume they will help dissipate." The report concludes that even if security could be achieved by these means, this could not be done by fur- ther accumulation of destruc- tive power, for "the amis race has already resulted in the stock-piling of more destruc- tive power than has any con- ceivable purpose." The consultant experts, who are unanimous in approving report, came from Ro- mania, the Netherlands, the- Soviet Union, Mexico, Yugo- slavia, Canada, Czechoslovak- ia, Japan, Prance, Poland, India, the United States, Eth- iopia and Britain. Russia top iveapon provider LONDON A major shift from the Unite! Slates lo tho Soviet Union as the chief sup- plier of arms to the countries of tho Third World is describ- ed in a massive report pub- lished by the Stockholm Inter- national Peace Research In- stitute. The report, documented with thousands of figures, says that over the past 20 years (he United States lias been the supplier, followed by the Soviet Union. These Uvo countries account- ed for two-thirds of total de- liveries. Britain comes next, and then France the two being responsible for more than one-fifth of total deliv- ery. But the same 20-year per- iod has witnessed a change in the pattern of arms sup- plies, in which the most im- portant aspect is the declin- ing share of America in the market, and the increase in the share of Russia. In tho first half of the 1950s, the United States accounted for 40 per cent of the total. From then on the American share in the total fell, ami the actual volume of U.S. supplies, ex- cluding Vietnam, was only slightly higher in the second half of 1960s than in the second half of the 1950s, This was despite a steady Increase in tho total volume of arms deliveries to the Third World, amounting to about 10 per cent a year on average. '.liie report says one reason for the declining U.S. share in the total vo'iims was the in- creased emphasis placed on guerrilla warfare. This caused an increase in the quantity of counter Insurgency weapons supply, and a levelling off in the supply of sophisticated weapons. The supply of advanced weapons in-ay also liave been discouraged by a change in the terms under which weap- ons were supplied to develop- ing countries during the 1060s. During the 1550s, nearly all arms supplied by America to developing countries were free. During the 1960s there was an increased emphasis on the sale of arms. Until last year the Soviet Union's major weapons sup- plies were increasing very fast, says the Institute. The main increase was after 1955, when Russia began supplying arms to the Middle .East. Since then, the- number of developing countries which have received Russian weap- ons has reached a tola! of 29. By the second half of the 1960s, the Soviet Union was supplying more major weap- ons to Third Worlrf countries than was the United States. The peak was reached in 1937, with Russia's replacement of Arab losses in the June war. Over a third of Soviet major weapons supplies have gone to the Middle East. The report says that Britain was still an important sup- plier of major weapons in the 1950s, but was much less im- portant in the following dec- ade. America and Russia re- placed Britain as tho main supplier in many of its tradi- tional arms markets in pre- viously dependent territories in Asia and the Middle East. France, on the other hand, increased its annual average from million In 1950-M to million in 1965-70. This in- cludes the large proportion of French arms supplied to South Africa after the British embargo of 1964. France has also entered the Latin Ameri- can market after attempts by the United States to discour- age Latin American countries from buying sophisticated weapons. The Institute says 70 per cent of all rr.. j'or weapons supplies have gone lo the Mid- dle East and Asia in the past 20 years. The Middle East has accounted for a quarter of total supplies since 1950, and the Far East, including Viet- nam, nearly a further third. The Indian subcontinent has absorbed about 15 per cent of the total. Supplies lo the Middle East ar.d Vietnam have also shown a vast and steady increase, according to the Institute's figures. In the Middle East the yearly trend rate of growth since 1050 has been 15 per cent. And in Vietnam ma- jor weapon imports in the second half of the 1960s were '24 higher than in the second half of the 1950s. SfPfU is an international Institute for research into problems of peace and con- flict, with particular attention to the problems of disarma- ment and arms regulation. It was set up as an independent foundation in 19C6 by tho Swedish Government. While the funds for the Institute are provided by the Swedish parl- iament, it is governed by an international board and has an international research staff. Reg. 139.98 Furniture DepT. STORE HOURS: Open daily from a.m. to p.m.; Thurs. and Fri. 9: 30 a.m. to p.m. Centre Village Mall Telephone 328-9231 Nuclear club may expand LONDON A warning that the world may he on the verge of a major proliferation of nuclear weapons is contain- ed in the I971-1J72 edition of Jane's Weapon Systems, the authoritative reference book on arms development, pub- lished in London. In a forward, tho editors note that, just as the book was going to press, Washington reports were claiming the existence of a new Israeli 500 kilometre-range missile called Jericho. The missile is said to be in small-scale production, and capable of carrying a warhead of between 450 and 700 kilograms. From this it is argued that a nuclear payload is probable. The editors recall that Is- rael has frequently said she would not be the first to intro- duce nuclear weapons into tho Middle East, and there has been no authentication of the report about Jericho's capa- bilities. However, they say, there is little doubt that if Israel considered that such weapons wcro needed, they would bo forthcoming. The other country mention- ed as a possible candidate for the nuclear club is India. Defence anal- ysts there have foreseen Ihe possibility of India's acquir- ing a nuclear capability, U only to ensure an adequate voice in the next two decades for a country of 600 million psoplo in an Asia in which Japan, too, could well have acquired tho Jano's Weapon Systems contains a diagrammatic present ation of the relative manpower and equipment levels of the world's nations, which shows that India is already powerful. It is recall- ed that last June the Indian minister of defence produc- tion, V. C. Shukla, said that missiles capable of carrying payloads of 80 kilograms and kilograms were under development. Other Indian sources havo stated that, st a cost, the capability exists to provide nuclear arma- ments In tho near future, say the editors, Another major theme 'n their foreword is the initiative now held by Russia in weap- ons technology. This is a re- versal of t he situation throughout most of the 1950s ar.d 1960s when the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries had a clear lead in the development of sophisticated weapons. The USSR is the only country with an anti-ballistic missile sys- tem already in operation; and, according to Jane's, there are indications that it has a clear lead in super- sojiic bomber development and in some kinds of airborne radar. The editors also draw atten- tion to what seems to be a new waae of rearmament throughout the world. Al- though there have been cuts in defence spending in some quarters, the procurement of weapons seems to be on a rising curve. Particularly sig- nificant in this context are new arms deals between the Soviet UrVm and Egypt, which are also the subject of attention in the report, due to bo published next week, by the independent Stockholm Inter- national Research In- stitute. ;