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US military race source of global tensions: Antiwar activist

New York, US military presence around the world is the cause of global tensions, the chairperson of the Coordinating Committee at World Beyond War said in a recent exclusive interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

'The presence of US military troops on over 800 bases in 80 countries is provocative and increases military tensions throughout the world,' Leah Johnson Bolger said.

'The US spends half of every tax dollar on its military and as much as the next eight countries combined. Additionally, it is the largest exporter of arms by far,' Bolger said.

She said the US Congress is behind the growing trend of the country's military exports.

'The US Congress is the approval authority for the military budget which continues to grow. They are unwilling to reduce the budget, and in some years have approved more money than was even requested by the Department of Defense, because the weapons manufacturing is the base of the American economy.

The chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the global nonviolent antiwar movement also referred to the way US weapons manufacturers use their factories in different states to provide jobs and ultimately to gain votes at elections.

'The major weapons corporations deliberately manufacture the various components of the weapons in several different states. The factories which create these components provide jobs to the constituents of Congress,' Bolger said.

She called on Washington to spend tax dollars on health care, education, housing and infrastructure, stressing that the White House approach toward selling more and more arms 'is a disservice to the American people' and can 'only serve to accelerate the arms race internationally'.

Answering a question on Washington's support for Riyadh and its military invasion of Yemen, she emphasized the US has done nothing to stop the Saudi war on Yemen.

The US, in fact, has contributed to the war in Yemen by selling Saudi Arabia US weapons, providing aerial refueling to their aircraft, and by honoring the Saudi naval blockade, she said.

'I believe that President [Donald] Trump supports Saudi Arabia because of his personal business interests and does not want to do anything to endanger his relationship with [Saudi crown prince] Bin Salman or anyone who has any influence regarding financial profit for himself.'

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Mansour Hadi back to power and crushing the country's Houthi Ansarullah Movement.

Some 16,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of the Saudiled aggression.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA

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