Militarism is the military readiness of a state or society and includes factors such as maintaining a standing army and actively developing advanced combat techniques and weaponry. Throughout the world, conflicts are occurring on varying scales of size and severity but constitute militarization and war when state forces (police and military) are being actively developed and deployed toward perceived or looming ‘threats.’
Examples range from wars between states over resources and political power, to intrastate conflict between a state or state-supported actors and sections of civil society. Adopting or accepting military culture and ideology can also militarize internal state police forces, governments, and society as a whole.
Globally, militarization is on the rise; the last two decades have seen a significant and steady rise in military spending worldwide, while budgets for social services decline. The last decade has also witnessed a global downturn in the number of peace operations – peace projects are being de-prioritized and underfunded in favour of smaller, short-term, and less holistic missions. More worrisome, the recent drive to develop, acquire, and deploy drones and killer robots and the lack of international law to regulate new, more deadly technologies represents growing levels of threat to human security.
“Armaments, Disarmaments, and International Security,” SIPRI Yearbook 2012.