- noncombatant mortalities and casualties
- HIV/AIDS and other STDs
- pollution of water, air and soil (thus food and drink)
- drug trafficking
- child sex trafficking
- low or no foreign direct investment
- violent crime
- lack of health care
- lopsided overspending on military
"One of the most surprising and important findings is that natural resources play a key role in triggering, prolonging, and financing these conflicts," notes Ross (p. 17). Indeed, according to World Bank conflict researchers Ian Bannon and Paul Collier (2003), the outbreak and ferocity of civil wars is vastly increased as a function of exportable high-value natural resources. Ross calls it "the resource curse." Wealth is poverty.
So, under these circumstances, assuming we are in favor of ending wars in Africa, the Middle East and across the world, what can we do, as US Americans (I apologize to all non-US western hemisphere people for every time I am referring to my countrypeople in the US and I forget to modify American with US)?
- Since the US is the largest arms exporter, we should support any and all efforts to curb and halt this war profiteering, making blood money on misery all over the world, whether those efforts are being launched by elected officials or nongovernmental organizations.
- We should support any and all efforts to sanction any country that sells arms, period. Boycott, UN sanction, unilateral sanction--there are many possible routes to effective arms transfer reduction and elimination.
- Supporting any and all aspects of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration from the UN or any other party.
- Encourage investment in post-conflict societies from the small to the large, but focused more on value-added products (crafted or manufactured) than raw natural resource-based.
- Support US or most nongovernmental organization humanitarian assistance that has zero military component.
Bannon, Ian and Collier, Paul (Eds.) (2003). Natural resources and violent conflict: Options and actions. Washington DC: The World Bank.
Ross, Michael (2003). The natural resouce curse: How wealth can make you poor. In Ian Bannon & Paul Collier (Eds.). Natural resources and violent conflict: Options and actions. Washington DC: The World Bank.