Why was the UN surprised?

IPS reports:

The United Nations is surprised at the continued rise in global military spending — particularly at a time when the international community is grappling with a spreading financial crisis which threatens to undermine the poverty reduction goals of the world body.

Well, unlike a nation's military apparatus, poor folk do not stage coup d'états when it perceives a political threat to its interests. Poor people are not always passive, though. They may engage in terroristic acts, mass demonstrations, food riots, etc. But their actions only draw a violent response from the overfunded local military or police.

One technique the powerful might use to reduce the poverty problem is to refuse to care about the well-being of the impoverished. This technique works only when the powerful have the means to adequately defend themselves.

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