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  1. Indeed, arms races are not only strange deterrents that garner more fear and arms on the opposing side rather than compliance and peace, but they also present opportunity costs that are not often consider. With the billions spent on arms, we can use that money to tackle a whole spectrum of problems and challenges – from violent conflict prevention to long-lasting post-conflict reconciliation. Preventing war costs a mere fraction of the cost of war, some estimate the ratio as high as 1 to 62. BEFORE– a joint project between the Alliance for Peacebuilding and swisspeace – is working to prevent political violence around the world, so that conflicts do not escalate into wars. We wonder what the huge arsenal of WMDs, nuclear weapons and arms have done for us, but we also need to ask: what could we have done with those used resources?

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