The difference between who pays for war and who dies [pic]

I recently came across these two maps of the world which pretty much demonstrate much of what’s wrong with the world (original source). 

These maps try to show what the world would look like if maps were drawn based on something other than geographic mass.

As you can see, there is a complete disjunction between who pays for war and who gets to die for war.

Map: Military spending per country — 2002 (BEFORE the Iraq War!)

Military Spending

Surprise, surprise, the U.S. takes up approximately 45% of the world’s landmass with everyone else  — by far and away comprised mostly of Europe — together making up the remainder.

But when we shift over to see who actually receives the crappy end of this equation, we see more or less the same countries who either are currently or have historically been the stomping grounds for U.S. and European imperialism and colonialism.

Map: Military deaths per country — 2002

Military deaths

So who gets to die? 

Colombia.

Democratic Republic of Congo (the big dark red country on the map).

Ethiopia.

Somalia.

All countries the U.S. has long and bloody histories with.  And, in the case of Ethiopia and Somalia, the U.S. is even now in the process of funding the Ethiopian slaughter of Somalis as you read this.

Now this may seem like an obvious phenomenon to you, but consider that before the ‘invention’ (if you can call it that) of highly mobile capital, in Ancient Greece, if a given city was under attack, it was the responsibility of the property-owners to defend the city and they would go out and be the ones on the front lines.  Now, sure, they could pay some peasants to help them fight, but the fact of the matter is that either killing or dying in warfare was nevertheless married to being wealthy.

I wonder what happens when you completely divorce the unpleasant aspects of war from the ability to bankroll it as we have finally accomplished today?

20 Responses to “The difference between who pays for war and who dies [pic]”


  1. 1 Polly Jones 13 August, 2007 at 10:40 am

    “I wonder what happens when you completely divorce the unpleasant aspects of war from the ability to bankroll it as we have finally accomplished today?”

    *shudder*

  2. 2 Rob 13 August, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Interesting article. Learn to spell Colombia

  3. 3 Jason 13 August, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    These charts are a great advertisement for military spending. Apparently it’s quite effective.

  4. 4 RPJ 13 August, 2007 at 2:17 pm

    Yes Jason and so are nuclear weapons “effective”, especially if you never have to worry about the MORALS involved. So basically it is alright to annihilate the world in the pursuit of your own narrow goals and self interest. How impressive.

  5. 5 F 13 August, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Interesting view. BTW, it’s spelled Colombia (I am from there).

  6. 6 fitnessfortheoccasion 13 August, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    wonder what happens when you completely divorce the unpleasant aspects of war from the ability to bankroll it as we have finally accomplished today?

    More War. Perhaps rather than a draft, we should have a pro-war draft. You support it, you fight in it.
    Although one point to raise is in some of these countries the conflicts are internal. Although they do have external beginnings, they are so far in the past that creating that direct connection between stakeholder and violent action becomes very difficult if not impossible.

  7. 7 paulitics 13 August, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you all for catching my typo on Colombia.

  8. 8 Dick 13 August, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    You spelled Columbia wrong.

  9. 9 lovetoexpress 14 August, 2007 at 1:42 am

    pretty good stuff actually leaves an impression on ur mind and forces u to think!!!

  10. 10 kikuyusworld 14 August, 2007 at 3:39 am

    Very good stuff it makes my mind who the real warlords are. Well something will have to be done when time comes to end all mischief and unwarranted deaths.

  11. 11 kikuyusworld 14 August, 2007 at 3:42 am

    Well I meant it makes my mind clear as to who the real culprits of wars are. Remember the five biggest warlords sitting at UN security council posing as peace makers?

  12. 12 britishyosef 14 August, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Wow… If I blog about it, I will be sure to link you.

  13. 13 paulitics 14 August, 2007 at 10:17 am

    This comment was just posted over on Reddit, and I figured it’d be good to post it here as well:

    I think you people are missing the point entirely. The point isn’t whether the Rwandans or the Congolese are using an American Manufactured M-16 to kill. The point is that these are all countries where the U.S. has overthrown democratically-elected governments and/or supported brutal dictators.

    America had a significant roll in shaping the political circumstances of these countries (especially Columbia, Congo and Somalia).

    Don’t any of you think it’s funny that there is a direct and near perfect correlation between governments the U.S. (and to a lesser extent European colonial powers) has overthrown and the countries with terrible instability and sky-high military deaths?

    That’s a mighty big bunch of coincidences if you ask me.

  14. 15 dinosaur 16 August, 2007 at 9:56 am

    If europeans are that bad why is Pius Ncube, the Catholic archbishop of Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo

    Calling for the british to return?

  15. 16 Abdikher 25 April, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    This is surprising yet true.

    All big dogs have a day: meaning no matter how bad or unconsidered to others especially those less power than us, there are two prices that are paid 1 on while living on GOd’s present and 2 on the grave and Gods present but this is more more painful than pain in itself.


  1. 1 University Update - Iraq - The difference between who pays for war and who dies [pic] Trackback on 13 August, 2007 at 11:01 am
  2. 2 Mapping military money & deaths « On the Wilder Side Trackback on 13 August, 2007 at 2:58 pm
  3. 3 slate - human nature column « Milk Duds Trackback on 13 August, 2007 at 3:08 pm
  4. 4 Top Posts « WordPress.com Trackback on 13 August, 2007 at 6:58 pm

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