Redefine Security in the New World Order

In the New World Order, dominated by trade liberalization, war on terrorism, and the hegemony of giant corporations, we need to redefine security in terms of human security. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was held essential for "security" by the Bush administration. The military budget for fiscal year 2003 was increased by $45.5 billion - the largest single increase since 1966-to become a total annual military budget of $396.1 billion-26 times larger than the combined military budgets for the countries considered "rogue states" by the administration: Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Libya.

The military buildup and the costs of war have been paid out of funds that could be used to address hunger, poverty, and health care needs, both at home and abroad. Left behind is a nation where family farmers face foreclosure and millions go hungry every night, and where the social safety net has been dismantled. And with the rise in unemployment, the poor have few options left.

Bob Herbert, the New York Times Columnist captured this well in his editorial: "Their (administration) goals may or may not coincide with the best interests of the American people. Think of the divergence of interests, for example, between the grunts who are actually fighting this war, who have been eating sand and spilling their blood in the desert, and the power brokers who fought like crazy to make the war happen and are profiteering from it every step of the way."

The Oakland Institute works to establish that true security starts with human security and re-defines security in such terms to reach a broader spectrum of society.