How the arms race grows apace

Spending for weapons passed $500 billion last year, with the superpowers and their allies accounting for more than 80 percent of the total, according to the annual survey "World Military and Social Expenditures,"

The report says:

* The United States and Soviet Union are still investing "well over $100 million per day" to make their nuclear larger and more sophisticated, despite a stockpile of some 50,000 weapons between them.

* Weapons research receives eight times as much public money worlwide as research for new energy sources.

* Military expenditures outraced the 12 percent world inflation rate while also fueling that inflation.

* The amount of money spent on arms will continue to grow as weapons become both more expensive and more vulnerable. A World War II tank cost about $50,000 . The current model of the US XM-1 tank costs 30 times as much, about $1.5 million. At the same time, "can't-miss, smart weapons" are being developed to destroy tanks with a single shot.

The annual survey is sponsored by the Institute for World Order, the Arms Control Association, Peace Through Law Education Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Stanley Foundation, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Project Ploughshares, and the British Council of Churches.

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