The global economy has been slowing for some time now, and has affected things such as the movie industry and the restaurant business. But war seems like an untouchable thing to the slowing global economy. It doesn't matter if we don't have enough money to buy guns, we'll continue fighting for the causes we believe in with sticks and stones. But that is mistaken. War is affected by the economy.
The war in Iraq and Afghanistan has been going on for seven years now, and it has had many effects, some of them positive, some of them negative. I'll be talking about the negative though, unfortunately. It has dramatically increased petroleum and crude oil prices as both of those countries were a major provider of those products.This constrainment on oil and gasoline sources affects us in our home countries by the inflation in gas prices, but it also affects our troops wherever they are in the world.
Army ground combat vehicles are a big guzzler of gas, most of them getting around 5 mpg on average, which is very, very bad. The United States military, for example, is the largest single consumer of gasoline and diesel in the world. According to http://www.treehugger.com/, the US military uses about 340,000 barrels of oil per day for its various vehicles. If the US Department of Defense was its own country, it would be ranked 38th in oil consumption, right behind the Philippines, a country of 90 million people. The Abrams combat tank, for example, gets around 0.6 miles per gallon. With fuel efficiency that bad, and gas prices so high, the Army has to find alternative fuel sources fast. This also goes for all world militaries. There is only a limited amount of fuel left, so new fuels must be found. This especially applies to countries with a large military. Providing fuel for large armies is difficult when fuel costs so much.
The US dollar has been experiencing a drop in value lately in world markets. This leads to the price inflation in everyday objects as well as guns because more dollars must be used to pay for a product. Subsequently, the US armed forces must pay more for everything from toothbrushes for their soldiers to sub machine guns. This devalue of the dollar will place a more tight spending limit on the armed forces as they only have a limited amount of money.
The soldiers of the armed forces anywhere in the world are not famous for being millionaires. A US Army recruit, for example, according to http://www.jobbankusa.com, receives one thousand dollars per month as a salary, which is a paltry amount. This low salary, coupled with the fall of the dollar, will discourage many people from joining the armed forces as they find themselves struggling to pay for daily household objects. They probably have other jobs, but these jobs probably don't give much pay. Mind you, there are benefits for joining the army if you stay for more than two years, such as a healthcare plan or something of the sort.
War is affected by the slowing economy in many ways. By the examples I used, it is affected by the drop in the value of currency, the low salary of a soldier, and the inflated gas prices caused by the Iraq war.
Please comment if I have missed something or if you have some ideas to share as I am not an expert on economics or war.
Image courtesy of ajdavis on
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