'Security Council' or 'Weapon Council'?' - KEREM ALKIN

'Security Council' or 'Weapon Council'?'

Almost 20 years ago, after the Cold War ended, the European Union was enthusiastic about the end of the Soviet threat; many EU politicians were saying that they did not need the US any more for the security of Europe.

There was a need to establish a European unified army; Germany had withdrawn from production of many goods and services. There was talk of taking away all of Germany's tanks, cannons, rifles and aircraft.

In the late 1990s and the early 2000s, post-Soviet Union when the Russian Federation was experiencing troubled days, the European Union started to use a single currency, under the leadership of Germany, with the Euro Zone, while taking one of the most critical steps for the United European States, Europe was drunk with the complete disappearance of European security threats.

That's why, in many middle-sized European countries which all along thought that they already spent too much on security began to reduce defense expenses unnecessarily.

I will skip over the small and medium-sized European countries; in the 2005-2014 period, Germany reduced its defense expenses 0.8 percent, France 3.2 percent, England 5.5 percent and Italy 27 percent.

Between 2010 and 2015, Belgium reduced its defense expenses from $5.2 billion to $4 billion, Denmark from $4.5 billion to $3.3 billion, whereas Germany went from $46 billion to $37 billion.

In the 2005-2014 period, Russia increased its defense expenses 97 percent and China 167 percent.

Between 1995 and 2015, China increased its defense expenses from $23 billion to $216 billion and Russia from $34 billion to $84 billion.

Today, while Turkey has been making an extraordinary effort sheltering 3 million refugees, maintaining border security, fighting against terror, managing its 911 kilometers of Syrian border and 384 kilometers of Iraqi border including humanitarian aid, it is a pity that a European Union that destroyed its defense capabilities with its own hands is frightened of both a Russian threat that reemerged and is unable to handle 600,000 refugees.

Peace or weapons?

Do you realize what percent of the global arms industry is owned by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council? Thirty percent? Forty percent or 50 percent? Only the USA, France, China, Great Britain and Russia dominate 74 percent of it.

As long as the five permanent members of the UN Security Council dominate 74 percent of the arms industry, how will peace emerge from this council?

While I was looking at the news on the cease-fire that US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov negotiated as of February 27, I can't help thinking that the USA and Russia dominate almost 60 percent of the world arms market alone.

Who are their customers? The biggest US customer is Saudi Arabia, which requests 9.7 percent of arms export from the US yearly. The United Arab Emirates follows it with 9.1 percent and then comes Turkey with 6.6 percent.

I look at the USA; you have been with Turkey since 1954 in NATO; you are its strategic partner and it is one of your most important arms customers.

And, on Monday I was reading our elder brother Abdulkadir Selvi's article with surprise; how could the negotiated text of a meeting be changed after hours, after all this togetherness, by breaking all the diplomatic rules of courtesy?

There can be no reason for the careless approach of the White House administration towards a strategic partner with such a critical value.

How about Russia's customers?

It is interesting that 39 percent of the total arms export of Russia is only to India, 11 percent to China and 11 percent to Vietnam.

Europe does not buy arms, but sells them

How about Europe? It is interesting that in spite of all this global threat, Europe has been reducing its defense expenses, between 2006 and 2010, in global arms sales as the buyer its share was 20 percent, whereas since 2011 till today this share declined to 11 percent.

On the other hand, world arms sales continue at full speed. In international arms sales, after the US and Russia's share of almost 60 percent, China has the third-highest share with 5.9 percent, then France with 5.6 percent.

When we add Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands, Europe's share in the global sales market makes up 23 percent. Well, what happened to the historic NATO decisions taken at the Berlin and Istanbul summits, and the new task positioning in the global scale?

Turkey is the only guarantee for the global threat against the European NATO member countries. Was NATO's radar positioned in Kürecik town of Malatya city coincidentally? My question is simple: before the veto right of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council is removed, can peace come to the world?


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