Tagged: british

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Retired military leaders urge Trump to choose words, not action, to deal with North Korea


This image provided by the North Korean government on Nov. 30, 2017, shows what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP)

TOKYO — A group of 58 retired American military leaders is making a rare public plea to President Trump, urging him not to take military action against North Korea but to instead pursue a diplomatic resolution to the current standoff.

As North Korea has demonstrated its increasing technical abilities[1], including the capacity to send a missile anywhere in the United States, Trump and some of his top aides have suggested that a military strike on North Korea might be the solution.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” with the United States, state media reported Wednesday.

Dozens of retired military leaders from across the services are writing to Trump to urge him not to start a conflict with North Korea, but to instead choose diplomacy.

“The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology,” states the letter, which will be sent to the White House on Wednesday. “The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.”

The. U.S., South Korea and Japan held a joint-missile tracking drill on Dec. 11 as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons program. (Reuters)

Military action would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea, putting the lives of more than 150,000 Americans there at risk, and the United States would be drawn into a preventable war, the letter says.

“Military options must not be the preferred course of action,” it continues. (Full text below.)

The 58 retired admirals and generals who signed the letter were motivated by the deteriorating situation in North Korea, said Michael E. Smith, the retired U.S. Navy rear admiral who initiated the letter and leads a new nonpartisan organization called the American College of National Security Leaders.

“We felt we had a moral obligation to share our concerns with the president,” Smith said. “It is clear that more can be done and we are urging the President to explore every possible diplomatic option before it is too late and we find ourselves in a dangerous and preventable war.”

The fact that former military leaders were prepared to come out publicly on such a sensitive issue shows how strongly they feel about it, said Tom Z. Collina, director of policy at Ploughshares Fund[2], a nonprofit organization that advocates for nuclear disarmament.

Ploughshares is working with the American College of National Security Leaders to promote a diplomatic solution to the crisis in North Korea.

“It is very difficult to get senior officers to speak out on an issue like this where troops could soon be sent into action,” Collina said. “This is very sensitive.”

The Trump administration is continuing to send mixed signals to North Korea.

Right now is the “last, best chance to avoid conflict” with North Korea but “time is running out,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said at a British think tank Tuesday[3].

But even as McMaster was speaking in London, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[4] said that the Trump administration wants talks.

“We’ve said from the diplomatic side we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk, and we’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson told a forum at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

Joseph Yun, the State Department’s envoy on North Korea policy, is in Tokyo and Bangkok this week for talks with government officials about “ways to strengthen the pressure campaign” against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test, the State Department said.

North Korean officials are struggling to decipher the Trump administration’s policy[5] and the president’s tweets. They have contacted former officials, some with Republican ties[6] and some who have been involved in North Korea policy in the past, to ask them to interpret Trump for them.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing out of grave concern for the course of events on the Korean Peninsula. The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology. The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.

Like you, many of us have been to Seoul.  Its millions of residents live within artillery range of North Korea.  Military action by the United States and its allies prompting an immediate, retaliatory artillery barrage on Seoul would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties.  At risk are the lives of more than 150,000 Americans living in Korea.  The United States would be drawn into a preventable war.

Military options must not be the preferred course of action.

The United States and its allies must maintain a robust military posture as a deterrent to North Korea, yet the urgent need for success demands we exhaust every possible diplomatic solution.

Retired General and Flag Officers:

General Johnnie Wilson, USA (Retired)

Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (Retired)

Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (Retired)

Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General John W. Morgan III, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)

Major General Wallace C. Arnold, USA (Retired)

Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Retired)

Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Retired)

Major General David P. Burford, USA (Retired)

Major General M. P. Caulfield, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Chris Cole, USN (Retired)

Major General Peter Cooke, USA (Retired)

Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Retired)

Major General Mari K Eder, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral F. Stephen Glass, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)

Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Retired)

Major General Sanford E. Holman, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Retired)

Major General Steven J. Lepper, USAF (Retired)

Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral David Oliver, USN (Retired)

Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)

Major General Gale Pollock, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Retired)

Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)

Major General Keith Thurgood, USA (Retired)

Major General Margaret C. Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (Retired)

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert J. Felderman, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert A. Glacel, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Judy M. Griego, NMANG (Retired)

Rear Admiral Charles Harr, MD, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Don Harvel, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Dave McGinnis, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald F. Rokosz, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John M. Schuster USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Earl Simms, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Michael Smith, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USA (Retired)

References

  1. ^ demonstrated its increasing technical abilities (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org)
  3. ^ said at a British think tank Tuesday (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ the Trump administration’s policy (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ some with Republican ties (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

Retired military leaders urge Trump to choose words, not action, to deal with North Korea


This image provided by the North Korean government on Nov. 30 shows the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press)

TOKYO — A group of 58 retired American military leaders is making a rare public plea to President Trump, urging him not to take military action against North Korea and instead to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the current standoff.

As North Korea has demonstrated its increasing technical abilities[1], including the capacity to send a missile anywhere in the United States, Trump and some of his top aides have suggested that a military strike on North Korea might be the solution.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” with the United States, state media reported Wednesday.

Dozens of retired military leaders from across the services are writing to Trump to urge him not to start a conflict with North Korea, and instead to choose diplomacy.

“The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology,” states the letter, which will be sent to the White House on Wednesday. “The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.”

The. U.S., South Korea and Japan held a joint-missile tracking drill on Dec. 11 as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons program. (Reuters)

Military action would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea, putting the lives of more than 150,000 Americans there at risk, and the United States would be drawn into a preventable war, the letter says.

“Military options must not be the preferred course of action,” it continues. (Full text below.)

The 58 retired admirals and generals who signed the letter were motivated by the deteriorating situation in North Korea, said Michael E. Smith, a retired Navy rear admiral who initiated the letter and leads a new nonpartisan organization called the American College of National Security Leaders.

“We felt we had a moral obligation to share our concerns with the president,” Smith said. “It is clear that more can be done and we are urging the president to explore every possible diplomatic option before it is too late and we find ourselves in a dangerous and preventable war.”

The fact that former military leaders were prepared to come out publicly on such a sensitive issue shows how strongly they feel about it, said Tom Z. Collina, director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund[2], a nonprofit organization that advocates for nuclear disarmament.

Ploughshares is working with the American College of National Security Leaders to promote a diplomatic solution to the crisis in North Korea.

“It is very difficult to get senior officers to speak out on an issue like this where troops could soon be sent into action,” Collina said. “This is very sensitive.”

The Trump administration is continuing to send mixed signals to North Korea.

Right now is the “last, best chance to avoid conflict” with North Korea but “time is running out,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said at a British think tank Tuesday[3].

But even as McMaster was speaking in London, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[4] said that the Trump administration wants talks.

“We’ve said from the diplomatic side we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk, and we’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson told a forum at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

Joseph Yun, the State Department’s envoy on North Korea policy, is in Tokyo and Bangkok this week for talks with government officials about “ways to strengthen the pressure campaign” against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test, the State Department said.

North Korean officials are struggling to decipher the Trump administration’s policy[5] and the president’s tweets. They have contacted former officials, some with Republican ties[6] and some who have been involved in North Korea policy in the past, to ask them to interpret Trump for them.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing out of grave concern for the course of events on the Korean Peninsula. The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology. The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.

Like you, many of us have been to Seoul.  Its millions of residents live within artillery range of North Korea.  Military action by the United States and its allies prompting an immediate, retaliatory artillery barrage on Seoul would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties.  At risk are the lives of more than 150,000 Americans living in Korea.  The United States would be drawn into a preventable war.

Military options must not be the preferred course of action.

The United States and its allies must maintain a robust military posture as a deterrent to North Korea, yet the urgent need for success demands we exhaust every possible diplomatic solution.

Retired General and Flag Officers:

General Johnnie Wilson, USA (Retired)

Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (Retired)

Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (Retired)

Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General John W. Morgan III, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)

Major General Wallace C. Arnold, USA (Retired)

Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Retired)

Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Retired)

Major General David P. Burford, USA (Retired)

Major General M. P. Caulfield, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Chris Cole, USN (Retired)

Major General Peter Cooke, USA (Retired)

Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Retired)

Major General Mari K Eder, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral F. Stephen Glass, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)

Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Retired)

Major General Sanford E. Holman, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Retired)

Major General Steven J. Lepper, USAF (Retired)

Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral David Oliver, USN (Retired)

Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)

Major General Gale Pollock, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Retired)

Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)

Major General Keith Thurgood, USA (Retired)

Major General Margaret C. Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (Retired)

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert J. Felderman, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert A. Glacel, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Judy M. Griego, NMANG (Retired)

Rear Admiral Charles Harr, MD, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Don Harvel, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Dave McGinnis, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald F. Rokosz, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John M. Schuster USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Earl Simms, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Michael Smith, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USA (Retired)

References

  1. ^ demonstrated its increasing technical abilities (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org)
  3. ^ said at a British think tank Tuesday (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ the Trump administration’s policy (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ some with Republican ties (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

Retired military leaders urge Trump to choose words, not action, to deal with North Korea


This image provided by the North Korean government on Nov. 30 shows the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press)

TOKYO — A group of 58 retired American military leaders is making a rare public plea to President Trump, urging him not to take military action against North Korea and instead to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the current standoff.

As North Korea has demonstrated its increasing technical abilities[1], including the capacity to send a missile anywhere in the United States, Trump and some of his top aides have suggested that a military strike on North Korea might be the solution.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” with the United States, state media reported Wednesday.

Dozens of retired military leaders from across the services are writing to Trump to urge him not to start a conflict with North Korea, and instead to choose diplomacy.

“The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology,” states the letter, which will be sent to the White House on Wednesday. “The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.”

The. U.S., South Korea and Japan held a joint-missile tracking drill on Dec. 11 as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons program. (Reuters)

Military action would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea, putting the lives of more than 150,000 Americans there at risk, and the United States would be drawn into a preventable war, the letter says.

“Military options must not be the preferred course of action,” it continues. (Full text below.)

The 58 retired admirals and generals who signed the letter were motivated by the deteriorating situation in North Korea, said Michael E. Smith, a retired Navy rear admiral who initiated the letter and leads a new nonpartisan organization called the American College of National Security Leaders.

“We felt we had a moral obligation to share our concerns with the president,” Smith said. “It is clear that more can be done and we are urging the president to explore every possible diplomatic option before it is too late and we find ourselves in a dangerous and preventable war.”

The fact that former military leaders were prepared to come out publicly on such a sensitive issue shows how strongly they feel about it, said Tom Z. Collina, director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund[2], a nonprofit organization that advocates for nuclear disarmament.

Ploughshares is working with the American College of National Security Leaders to promote a diplomatic solution to the crisis in North Korea.

“It is very difficult to get senior officers to speak out on an issue like this where troops could soon be sent into action,” Collina said. “This is very sensitive.”

The Trump administration is continuing to send mixed signals to North Korea.

Right now is the “last, best chance to avoid conflict” with North Korea, but “time is running out,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said at a British think tank Tuesday[3].

But even as McMaster was speaking in London, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[4] said that the Trump administration wants talks.

“We’ve said from the diplomatic side we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk, and we’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson told a forum at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

Joseph Yun, the State Department’s envoy on North Korea policy, is in Tokyo and Bangkok this week for talks with government officials about “ways to strengthen the pressure campaign” against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test, the State Department said.

North Korean officials are struggling to decipher the Trump administration’s policy[5] and the president’s tweets. They have contacted former officials, some with Republican ties[6] and some who have been involved in North Korea policy in the past, to ask them to interpret Trump for them.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing out of grave concern for the course of events on the Korean Peninsula. The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology. The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.

Like you, many of us have been to Seoul. Its millions of residents live within artillery range of North Korea. Military action by the United States and its allies prompting an immediate, retaliatory artillery barrage on Seoul would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties. At risk are the lives of more than 150,000 Americans living in Korea. The United States would be drawn into a preventable war.

Military options must not be the preferred course of action.

The United States and its allies must maintain a robust military posture as a deterrent to North Korea, yet the urgent need for success demands we exhaust every possible diplomatic solution.

Retired General and Flag Officers:

General Johnnie Wilson, USA (Retired)

Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (Retired)

Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (Retired)

Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General John W. Morgan III, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)

Major General Wallace C. Arnold, USA (Retired)

Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Retired)

Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Retired)

Major General David P. Burford, USA (Retired)

Major General M. P. Caulfield, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Chris Cole, USN (Retired)

Major General Peter Cooke, USA (Retired)

Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Retired)

Major General Mari K Eder, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral F. Stephen Glass, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)

Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Retired)

Major General Sanford E. Holman, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Retired)

Major General Steven J. Lepper, USAF (Retired)

Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral David Oliver, USN (Retired)

Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)

Major General Gale Pollock, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Retired)

Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)

Major General Keith Thurgood, USA (Retired)

Major General Margaret C. Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (Retired)

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert J. Felderman, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert A. Glacel, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Judy M. Griego, NMANG (Retired)

Rear Admiral Charles Harr, MD, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Don Harvel, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Dave McGinnis, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald F. Rokosz, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John M. Schuster USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Earl Simms, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Michael Smith, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USA (Retired)

References

  1. ^ demonstrated its increasing technical abilities (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org)
  3. ^ said at a British think tank Tuesday (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ the Trump administration’s policy (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ some with Republican ties (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

Retired military leaders urge Trump to choose words, not action, to deal with North Korea


This image provided by the North Korean government on Nov. 30 shows the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press)

TOKYO — A group of 58 retired American military leaders is making a rare public plea to President Trump, urging him not to take military action against North Korea and instead to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the current standoff.

As North Korea has demonstrated its increasing technical abilities[1], including the capacity to send a missile anywhere in the United States, Trump and some of his top aides have suggested that a military strike on North Korea might be the solution.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” with the United States, state media reported Wednesday.

Dozens of retired military leaders from across the services are writing to Trump to urge him not to start a conflict with North Korea, and instead to choose diplomacy.

“The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology,” states the letter, which will be sent to the White House on Wednesday. “The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.”

The. U.S., South Korea and Japan held a joint-missile tracking drill on Dec. 11 as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons program. (Reuters)

Military action would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea, putting the lives of more than 150,000 Americans there at risk, and the United States would be drawn into a preventable war, the letter says.

“Military options must not be the preferred course of action,” it continues. (Full text below.)

The 58 retired admirals and generals who signed the letter were motivated by the deteriorating situation in North Korea, said Michael E. Smith, a retired Navy rear admiral who initiated the letter and leads a new nonpartisan organization called the American College of National Security Leaders.

“We felt we had a moral obligation to share our concerns with the president,” Smith said. “It is clear that more can be done and we are urging the president to explore every possible diplomatic option before it is too late and we find ourselves in a dangerous and preventable war.”

The fact that former military leaders were prepared to come out publicly on such a sensitive issue shows how strongly they feel about it, said Tom Z. Collina, director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund[2], a nonprofit organization that advocates for nuclear disarmament.

Ploughshares is working with the American College of National Security Leaders to promote a diplomatic solution to the crisis in North Korea.

“It is very difficult to get senior officers to speak out on an issue like this where troops could soon be sent into action,” Collina said. “This is very sensitive.”

The Trump administration is continuing to send mixed signals to North Korea.

Right now is the “last, best chance to avoid conflict” with North Korea, but “time is running out,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said at a British think tank Tuesday[3].

But even as McMaster was speaking in London, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[4] said that the Trump administration wants talks.

“We’ve said from the diplomatic side we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk, and we’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson told a forum at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

Joseph Yun, the State Department’s envoy on North Korea policy, is in Tokyo and Bangkok this week for talks with government officials about “ways to strengthen the pressure campaign” against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test, the State Department said.

North Korean officials are struggling to decipher the Trump administration’s policy[5] and the president’s tweets. They have contacted former officials, some with Republican ties[6] and some who have been involved in North Korea policy in the past, to ask them to interpret Trump for them.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing out of grave concern for the course of events on the Korean Peninsula. The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology. The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.

Like you, many of us have been to Seoul. Its millions of residents live within artillery range of North Korea. Military action by the United States and its allies prompting an immediate, retaliatory artillery barrage on Seoul would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties. At risk are the lives of more than 150,000 Americans living in Korea. The United States would be drawn into a preventable war.

Military options must not be the preferred course of action.

The United States and its allies must maintain a robust military posture as a deterrent to North Korea, yet the urgent need for success demands we exhaust every possible diplomatic solution.

Retired General and Flag Officers:

General Johnnie Wilson, USA (Retired)

Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (Retired)

Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (Retired)

Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General John W. Morgan III, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)

Major General Wallace C. Arnold, USA (Retired)

Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Retired)

Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Retired)

Major General David P. Burford, USA (Retired)

Major General M. P. Caulfield, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Chris Cole, USN (Retired)

Major General Peter Cooke, USA (Retired)

Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Retired)

Major General Mari K Eder, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral F. Stephen Glass, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)

Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Retired)

Major General Sanford E. Holman, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Retired)

Major General Steven J. Lepper, USAF (Retired)

Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral David Oliver, USN (Retired)

Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)

Major General Gale Pollock, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Retired)

Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)

Major General Keith Thurgood, USA (Retired)

Major General Margaret C. Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (Retired)

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert J. Felderman, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert A. Glacel, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Judy M. Griego, NMANG (Retired)

Rear Admiral Charles Harr, MD, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Don Harvel, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Dave McGinnis, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald F. Rokosz, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John M. Schuster USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Earl Simms, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Michael Smith, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USA (Retired)

References

  1. ^ demonstrated its increasing technical abilities (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org)
  3. ^ said at a British think tank Tuesday (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ the Trump administration’s policy (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ some with Republican ties (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

Retired military leaders urge Trump to choose words, not action, to deal with North Korea


This image provided by the North Korean government on Nov. 30 shows the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press)

TOKYO — A group of 58 retired American military leaders is making a rare public plea to President Trump, urging him not to take military action against North Korea and instead to pursue a diplomatic resolution to the current standoff.

As North Korea has demonstrated its increasing technical abilities[1], including the capacity to send a missile anywhere in the United States, Trump and some of his top aides have suggested that a military strike on North Korea might be the solution.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to “win victory in the showdown” with the United States, state media reported Wednesday.

Dozens of retired military leaders from across the services are writing to Trump to urge him not to start a conflict with North Korea, and instead to choose diplomacy.

“The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology,” states the letter, which will be sent to the White House on Wednesday. “The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.”

The. U.S., South Korea and Japan held a joint-missile tracking drill on Dec. 11 as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula over North Korea’s fast-developing weapons program. (Reuters)

Military action would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties in South Korea, putting the lives of more than 150,000 Americans there at risk, and the United States would be drawn into a preventable war, the letter says.

“Military options must not be the preferred course of action,” it continues. (Full text below.)

The 58 retired admirals and generals who signed the letter were motivated by the deteriorating situation in North Korea, said Michael E. Smith, a retired Navy rear admiral who initiated the letter and leads a new nonpartisan organization called the American College of National Security Leaders.

“We felt we had a moral obligation to share our concerns with the president,” Smith said. “It is clear that more can be done and we are urging the president to explore every possible diplomatic option before it is too late and we find ourselves in a dangerous and preventable war.”

The fact that former military leaders were prepared to come out publicly on such a sensitive issue shows how strongly they feel about it, said Tom Z. Collina, director of policy at the Ploughshares Fund[2], a nonprofit organization that advocates for nuclear disarmament.

Ploughshares is working with the American College of National Security Leaders to promote a diplomatic solution to the crisis in North Korea.

“It is very difficult to get senior officers to speak out on an issue like this where troops could soon be sent into action,” Collina said. “This is very sensitive.”

The Trump administration is continuing to send mixed signals to North Korea.

Right now is the “last, best chance to avoid conflict” with North Korea, but “time is running out,” H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security adviser, said at a British think tank Tuesday[3].

But even as McMaster was speaking in London, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson[4] said that the Trump administration wants talks.

“We’ve said from the diplomatic side we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk, and we’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson told a forum at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

At the 2017 Atlantic Council-Korea Foundation Forum on Dec. 12, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. is ready to talk with North Korea with no preconditions on the first meeting. (Reuters)

Joseph Yun, the State Department’s envoy on North Korea policy, is in Tokyo and Bangkok this week for talks with government officials about “ways to strengthen the pressure campaign” against North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test, the State Department said.

North Korean officials are struggling to decipher the Trump administration’s policy[5] and the president’s tweets. They have contacted former officials, some with Republican ties[6] and some who have been involved in North Korea policy in the past, to ask them to interpret Trump for them.

Below is the full text of the letter:

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing out of grave concern for the course of events on the Korean Peninsula. The current approach taken by the United States is failing to stop North Korea from developing its nuclear and missile technology. The United States must initiate and lead an aggressive, urgent diplomatic effort to freeze North Korean nuclear and missile development and reduce regional tensions.

Like you, many of us have been to Seoul. Its millions of residents live within artillery range of North Korea. Military action by the United States and its allies prompting an immediate, retaliatory artillery barrage on Seoul would result in hundreds of thousands of casualties. At risk are the lives of more than 150,000 Americans living in Korea. The United States would be drawn into a preventable war.

Military options must not be the preferred course of action.

The United States and its allies must maintain a robust military posture as a deterrent to North Korea, yet the urgent need for success demands we exhaust every possible diplomatic solution.

Retired General and Flag Officers:

General Johnnie Wilson, USA (Retired)

Vice Admiral Donald Arthur, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Robert Gard, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin, USMC (Retired)

Vice Admiral Kevin P. Green, USN (Retired)

Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, USAF (Retired)

Lieutenant General Claudia Kennedy, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General John W. Morgan III, USA (Retired)

Lieutenant General Willie Williams, USMC (Retired)

Major General Wallace C. Arnold, USA (Retired)

Major General Juan G. Ayala, USMC (Retired)

Major General Donna Barbisch, USA (Retired)

Major General David P. Burford, USA (Retired)

Major General M. P. Caulfield, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Chris Cole, USN (Retired)

Major General Peter Cooke, USA (Retired)

Major General J. Gary Cooper, USMC (Retired)

Major General Mari K Eder, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral F. Stephen Glass, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Richard S. Haddad, USAF (Retired)

Major General Irv Halter, USAF (Retired)

Major General Sanford E. Holman, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral John Hutson, JAGC, USN (Retired)

Major General Dennis Laich, USA (Retired)

Major General Steven J. Lepper, USAF (Retired)

Major General Randy Manner, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral David Oliver, USN (Retired)

Major General John Phillips, USAF (Retired)

Major General Gale Pollock, CRNA, FACHE, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Joe Sestak, USN (Retired)

Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Retired)

Major General Keith Thurgood, USA (Retired)

Major General Margaret C. Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Dick Young, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Clara Adams-Ender, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ricardo Aponte, USAF (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jamie Barnett, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Donald C. Bolduc, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General David Brahms, USMC (Retired)

Brigadier General Stephen A. Cheney, USMC (Retired)

Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General John Douglass, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert J. Felderman, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Robert A. Glacel, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Judy M. Griego, NMANG (Retired)

Rear Admiral Charles Harr, MD, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Don Harvel, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General David R. Irvine, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John H. Johns, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald S. Mangum, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Carlos E. Martinez, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Dave McGinnis, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Ronald F. Rokosz, USA (Retired)

Brigadier General John M. Schuster USA (Retired)

Brigadier General Earl Simms, USA (Retired)

Rear Admiral Michael Smith, USN (Retired)

Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor, USAF (Retired)

Brigadier General Marianne Watson, USA (Retired)

References

  1. ^ demonstrated its increasing technical abilities (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Ploughshares Fund (www.ploughshares.org)
  3. ^ said at a British think tank Tuesday (twitter.com)
  4. ^ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (www.washingtonpost.com)
  5. ^ the Trump administration’s policy (www.washingtonpost.com)
  6. ^ some with Republican ties (www.washingtonpost.com)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 billion) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)
0

The 12 countries that spend the highest proportion of GDP on their military

US MilitaryA US soldier.Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThe United States regularly has the world’s highest military expenditure, and upped its budget to $603 billion (£467 million) this year.

But when military spend is looked at as a percentage of a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), the picture is different.

This measurement looks at the relative size of a country’s miltary spending, rather than comparing budgets.

Keep scrolling for the top 12 countries. 

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

12. Yemen — 4.02% of GDP

Forensic experts investigate the scene at the community hall where Saudi-led warplanes struck a funeral in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, October 9, 2016. Khaled Abdullah/Reuters

Population: 27.4 million (48th in the world)

18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service, but over 40% of Yemen’s population is 14 or younger, and the median age is 19.2.

Yemen has been gripped by civil war since 2014, when Houthi rebels took much of the country by force. In response, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies — with assistance from the United States and the UK — launched a drone strike campaign in an attempt to retake territory from the rebels.

Yemen is currently suffering a famine, which the UN has called the world’s largest hunger crisis[3], and an outbreak of cholera.

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

11. Lebanon — 4.04% of GDP

Hundreds of Syrian families wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees headquarters in Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 30, 2017.AP/ Hassan Ammar

Population: 6.2 million (108th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service is between 17 and 30, and there is no conscription.

Parts of Lebanon are still controlled by Hezbollah — a Shi’a Islamist military group and political party, named as a terrorist organisation by the European Union. Hezbollah was involved in a war with Israel in 2006.

Meanwhile, in 2012 the Syrian conflict spilled into Lebanon, and tensions and violence in the country escalated. According to the UN refugee agency[4], there are now over one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

10. Armenia — 4.1% of GDP

Protesters gesture as a riot police vehicle sprays a jet of water to disperse them during a rally against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, June 23, 2015. The protest started on Monday, when about 5,000 demonstrators marched to the presidential headquarters, as they rallied against a recent decision to raise public electricity prices, but were stopped by riot police. The protesters began a sit-in protest, blocking traffic on a central boulevard. Police asked demonstrators to leave the road but they refused. Reuters/Vahram Baghdasaryan/Photolure

Population: 3.1 million (136th in the world)

People between the ages of 18 and 27 are eligible to volunteer for military service, and there is a two-year mandatory conscription period for men.

On Tuesday the Azerbaijani Defence Ministry reported that Armenia’s military forces had violated a ceasefire between the two nations 128 times in 24 hours.

This conflict began in 1988 when Armenia tried to take Azerbaijani territory. The ceasefire was agreed in 1994 following peace negotiations, but tensions remain in the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh region, which has an ethnic Armenian majority.

Last year, violent protests erupted in Armenia’s capital, with armed protestors demanding the resignation of President Serzh Sarkisian and the release of opposition leader Jirair Sefilian.

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

9. USA — 4.35% of GDP

TAJI, IRAQ – APRIL 12: U.S. Army trainers speak with Iraqi Army recruits at a military base on April 12, 2015 in Taji, Iraq. Members of the U.S. Army’s 5-73 CAV, 3BCT, 82nd Airborne Division are teaching members of the newly-formed 15th Division of the Iraqi Army, as the Iraqi government launches offensives to try to recover territory lost to ISIS last year.Getty Images

Population: 324 million (4th in the world)

The legal minimum age for voluntary military service in the United States is 18, or 17 with parental consent. In 2011, the US Department of Defence said the country had active military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries.

Most recently and most prominently, US forces have been involved in airstrikes and raids in Yemen,, Syria and Iraq. US forces have been criticised[5] for civilian deaths in all three countries.

The election of President Donald Trump has caused concerns that US military intervention in the Middle East is set to increase. In May, the US budget increased military spending by $15 billion, below the $54 billion Trump called for[6] in March.

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

8. Algeria — 4.48% of GDP

President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.Thomson Reuters

Population: 40.3 million (34th in the world)

The legal age for military service is 17, and men are conscripted for 18 months between the ages of 19 and 30. 

Algeria suffered a civil war beginning in 1992, sparked by a military coup against the Islamic Salvation Front. The war led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people, with thousands more missing. In 1999 President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who still rules Algeria, agreed a peace deal with the rebels and banned the Islamic Salvation Front party. 

In June, Algeria joined Egypt and Tunisia in calling for political dialogue to end the crisis in neighbouring Libya, rejecting a military solution. 

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

7. Jordan — 4.65% of GDP

A Jordanian soldier carries a Syrian refugee child to help him board a Jordanian army vehicleThomson Reuters

Population: 8.2 million (97th in the world)

Jordanians must be 17 to join the military, and conscription for men was reintroduced in 2007.

In 2014 Jordan’s national airline introduced new restrictions on travel for men of military age, in preparation for military action against Islamic jihadists in Iraq and Syria. The biggest age group in the country is 0-14, and the median age is 22.3. 

In June, Germany announced it would move its military forces from Turkey to Jordan following a diplomatic dispute.

Jordan is a close military ally of the US and holds a strategically important position between Iraq and Syria.

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

6. Azerbaijan — 4.7% of GDP

A house which was damaged during clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces is seen in Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is controlled by separatist Armenians, in this still image taken from video provided by Nagorno-Karabakh region Defence Ministry April 2, 2016.REUTERS/Nagorno-Karabakh Military Handout via Reuters TV

Population: 9.9 million (92nd in the world)

Men between 18 and 35 are required to perform military service for 18 months, or for 12 months if they are university graduates. 

The landlocked region of Nagorno-Karabakh remains disputed territory between Azerbaijan and Armenia. 

A ceasefire, brokered in 1994, was violated severely last year when troops marched on the region and hostilities heated up. Azerbaijan also said Armenia had broken it 128 times in 24 hours on Tuesday.

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

5. Israel — 5.69% of GDP

Two Israeli Border Police officers detain Palestinian photographer Shadi Hatem, during a protest organized by activists in support of Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails, in front of the Israeli Ofer prison, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, August 3, 2016.Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Population: 8.2 million (99th in the world)

Both men and women must do military service, although men must serve for longer (32 months compared to women’s 24 months).

Israel has been locked in a conflict over territory with neighbouring Palestine for years, despite numerous attempts by international forces to broker a peace agreement. Israelis have ruled over Palestinians in the West Bank, in the east of Israel, and eastern Jerusalem since 1967, and low-level fighting between the two sides are ongoing.

US President Donald Trump boasted before his election that he could help broker a peace deal between the two nations, but reports from June suggested he may be considering pulling out of the process.

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

4. Saudi Arabia — 7.98% of GDP

Saudi youths demonstrate a stunt known as “sidewall skiing” (driving on two wheels) in the northern city of Hail, in Saudi Arabia March 30, 2013.Reuters

Population: 28.2 million (47th in the world)

The minimum legal age for men (women are not permitted) to join the military in Saudi Arabia is 17, and there is no conscription. 

In May, oil-rich Saudi Arabia signed a $110 billion[7] weapons deal with the United States, which included items that had been put on hold under the Obama administration due to concerns about civilian deaths in Saudi’s attacks on Yemen.

The British government has also been criticised for continuing to sell arms to Saudi, despite civilian deaths in Yemeni raids.

Saudi and its allies in the Middle East cut diplomatic ties with and imposed sanctions on Qatar earlier in June, after accusing the country of supporting extremism. After issuing an ultimatum last week, Saudi announced on Wednesday[8] that it had received a response, and would reply in due course.

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

3. Oman — 8.61% of GDP

Oman’s leader Sultan Qaboos bin Said. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

Population: 3.4 million (134th in the world)

The legal age for voluntary military service is between 18 and 30, and there is no conscription.

The UK sold £2.5 billion[9] worth of weapons to Oman, a close ally, in 2013, and the UK government has a military base in Oman’s Duqm Port complex. But human rights campaigners have criticised the UK’s support for the country: Human Rights Watch[10] says Oman does not permit freedom of expression, discriminates against women and allows the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers.

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

2. Iraq — 8.7% of GDP

A member of the Counter Terrorism Service walks past the ruined Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City in MosulThomson Reuters

Population: 38.1 million (37th in the world)

The median age in Iraq is 19.9, and military service is open to those aged between 18 and 40. There is no conscription.

Military spending in Iraq has increased considerably since 2011, when it stood at 3.18% of GDP. 

Iraq was ravaged by war between 2003 and 2011, that began following an invasion by a United States-led coalition to topple Saddam Hussein. The UK’s Chilcot inquiry has since condemned the war as unnecessary since Hussein did not pose an immediate threat to the UK and intelligence reports that he had weapons of mass destruction were false.

The governments that have held power in Iraq since Hussein have battled to keep order, and the country is still suffering violence and instability. In 2014, ISIS seized large parts of the country. Much of this territory has since been regained, but thousands of people have been displaced in the conflict.

1. South Sudan — 10.32% of GDP

Population: 12.3 million (75th in the world)

The median age in South Sudan is 17.1, and over 44% of the population is between the age of 0 and 14. However, charity UNICEF estimates[11] that more than 17,000 child soldiers have been used to help fight the country’s civil war, which began in 2013. Despite this, 18 is the legal minimum age for both compulsory and voluntary military service.

The war erupted after President Salva Kiir accused his former vice-president of plotting a coup. Although a ceasefire was brokered in 2014, it has been repeatedly broken.

The war has caused over one million people to be displaced, and reports suggest civilians are being routinely targeted. In December 2016, the UN said ethnic cleansing[12] was occurring in some parts of the country.

In February, the UN formally declared a famine[13] in parts of South Sudan, warning that 100,000 people were facing starvation and over a million were on the brink of famine. In May, the President declared a ceasefire, but the violence has continued.

References

  1. ^ One Page (www.businessinsider.com)
  2. ^ Slides (www.businessinsider.com)
  3. ^ world’s largest hunger crisis (www.un.org)
  4. ^ UN refugee agency (data.unhcr.org)
  5. ^ US forces have been criticised (uk.businessinsider.com)
  6. ^ $54 billion Trump called for (uk.businessinsider.com)
  7. ^ signed a $110 billion (uk.businessinsider.com)
  8. ^ Saudi announced on Wednesday (www.businessinsider.com)
  9. ^ sold £2.5 billion (www.gov.uk)
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch (www.hrw.org)
  11. ^ UNICEF estimates (www.unicef.org)
  12. ^ the UN said ethnic cleansing (www.un.org)
  13. ^ UN formally declared a famine (www.un.org)