The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) describes how nine of the world’s nuclear armed nations continue to increase their spending on such weapons. Despite the pandemic raging and the world economy in ruins, nuclear armed nations increased spending on nuclear weapons by $1.4 billion last year. For every dollar spent last year governments to get them to spend more on defense.
The United States spent more than half of its total spending, valued at $37.4 billion. ICAN estimates that China will spend about $10 billion and Russia $8.0 billion. Taken together, the nuclear-weapon states, which include Britain, France, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea, spent more than $137,000 every minute in 2020.
While hospital beds are filled with patients, doctors and nurses work long hours, and basic health care is scarce, nine states find they have more than $72 billion in weapons of mass destruction. Further, these nine countries continue to spend billions on weapons of mass destruction, the whole world is busy making them illegal. The spike in costs comes not only as the world struggles with the worst pandemic in a century, but also as many other countries join forces to ban nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons companies getting more benefits: ICAN
More than 20 nuclear weapons companies benefited from last year’s deals through existing or new contracts. Only 11 Western companies making $27.7 billion in new or modified nuclear weapons contracts. The report highlights how governments are increasingly funneling taxpayer money into defense companies. For its part, the companies have spent millions to encourage politicians to spend more on defense. Moreover, spent millions to fund major think tanks that research and write about nuclear weapons.
The biggest companies to benefit from the contract are Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies and Draper. The report said nearly half of last year’s US spending, $13.7 billion went to Northrop Grumman. It was to build an entirely new nuclear weapons system.