According to The New York Times, in the past 10 years officers have been paid out $4.5 billion for lethal police actions in the United States.
The U.S. spends more on the military than Europe, and it’s on the whole a wasteful spending spree. (The European Union spends, on average, over $2,000 per capita.) Yet, according to an article by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate, “The United States spends far more on military spending than any other country on the planet. A recent study by the Washington-based Taxpayers Protection Alliance put the U.S. military budget at about $596 billion, with the top five military-spending countries accounting for about a third of that total.”
Pinker notes that the military’s spending on weapons leads to “war-related deaths in a variety of scenarios, including military strikes on civilians and weapons used in war-making in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Pinker also notes that “many countries use mercenaries, who are not employed by the government, but rather by private contractors who are paid to kill people for a fee.” He goes on to warn of the consequences of this situation, and how “you can get caught in a death trap of war by not doing anything to stop it.”
The U.S. was involved in another tragic case of civilian casualties last year, when the U.S. military accidentally killed seven in Somalia:
Four Americans were killed on April 16, 2012, when U.S. Special Operations Forces mistakenly launched at least 28 missiles at a car, killing seven men and causing widespread destruction. One of the victims was an Afghan civilian, Farah Qadir, who was driving a car that was being targeted. Qadir’s family said the missiles struck the vehicle as it was driving in their village about 25 miles southwest of Mogadishu. When they looked out the car window, they saw four white boxes with “Made in United States of America” written on the side of the vehicles, which they saw and then notified local police. The local police found some of the weapons inside the area they had searched about two miles away.
The Pentagon paid $40 million to buy these missiles; the contractors that manufactured them got more than $160 million for that contract. One contractor that got more than $600 million was the Lockheed Martin, with over $600 million worth of work to be done with these missiles. A new federal law stipulates that this sort of contract
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