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Stop the business of war

War is one of the chief causes of poverty. It can completely undermine a country’s development prospects, destroying schools and hospitals and put agricultural land out of use for years to come.

Reuters/Gil Cohen Magen

Stop the Business of War symbol

In May 2003, President George Bush made his “mission accomplished” speech in Iraq but the War was not nearly over. Over the next eight years, casualties mounted and public opinion showed ‘boots on the ground’ wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be deeply unpopular.

In the decade since, the face of war has changed. Major developments in military technology and the growing role of the private sector is giving governments the opportunity to find new ways of conducting war.

Drones have become the latest weapon of choice in the so-called war on terror. Operated far away from conflict zones, drones make it much easier for politicians to launch military strikes and order extrajudicial assassinations without democratic oversight or accountability to the public.

Private Military and Security Companies are profiting from war and insecurity. Hired by governments and companies to perform operations previously carried out by national military forces, private military and security companies are the modern equivalent of mercenaries: armed civilians operating for profit in conflict zones.

This new, relatively low profile, way of conducting war is less accountable. It distances governments from the devastation caused by conflict therefore ensuring that public opinion is onside with fewer body bags being flown home.

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Tags: campaigns | corporations & conflict