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Trillions Spent for War—⁠What Is the Real Cost?

Trillions Spent for War—⁠What Is the Real Cost?

 The cost of war is enormous.

  •   “Global military spending hits record $2.2 trillion amid multiple wars.”—The Washington Post, February 13, 2024.

 The cost includes much more than money. Consider just one example: The war in Ukraine.

  •   Soldiers. By some estimates, almost 500,000 soldiers have been killed or wounded since the war began two years ago.

  •   Civilians. More than 28,000 have died or been injured, according to the United Nations. However, a senior UN official stated: “The full lasting toll of this devastating war on the civilian population is beyond measure.” a

 The cost in human suffering as a result of war and conflict around the world is immense.

  •   114 million. The number of people displaced by war and violence worldwide as of September 2023.

  •   783 million. The number of people facing chronic hunger. “Conflict is still the biggest driver of hunger, with 70 percent of the world’s hungry people living in areas afflicted by war and violence.”—World Food Programme.

 Will there ever be an end to war? What hope is there for peace? Will the world’s abundant resources ever be used to fight hunger and erase poverty? What does the Bible say?

A time of war

 The Bible foretold widespread warfare, describing it symbolically as a rider on horseback.

  •   “Another came out, a fiery-colored horse, and it was granted to the one seated on it to take peace away from the earth so that they should slaughter one another, and he was given a great sword.”—Revelation 6:4.

 That symbolic horseman is followed by two others who represent widespread famine and death due to plague or other causes. (Revelation 6:5-8) To learn more about this Bible prophecy and why we can be certain it is being fulfilled in our day, read the article “The Four Horsemen—Who Are They?

A future of peace

 Soon, the world’s resources will no longer be used for war. However, this will not result from human effort. The Bible says:

  •   God will bring “an end to wars throughout the earth.”—Psalm 46:9.

  •   God will undo the tragic effects of war. “He will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”—Revelation 21:4.

  •   God will ensure lasting peace for all. “My people will dwell in a peaceful abiding place, in secure dwellings and in tranquil resting-places.”—Isaiah 32:18.

 According to Bible prophecy, the wars and other events we see today indicate that this time of peace is near at hand.

 How will God bring about this peaceful future? He will do so by means of his heavenly government, or Kingdom. (Matthew 6:10) To learn what this Kingdom is and what it can mean for you, watch the brief video What Is God’s Kingdom?

a Miroslav Jenca, United Nations assistant secretary-general for Europe, December 6, 2023.