Thursday, May 31, 2007

Funny, America is the LEAST peaceful nation between Iran and Yemen, how Ironic


Published on Wednesday, May 30, 2007 by Reuters

New Peace Index Ranks US Among Worst Nations by Deborah Charles

WASHINGTON- The United States is among the least peaceful nations in the world, ranking 96th between Yemen and Iran, according to a new index released on Wednesday that evaluates 121 nations based on their peacefulness.According to the Global Peace Index, created by The Economist Intelligence Unit, Norway is the most peaceful nation in the world and Iraq is the least, just after Russia, Israel and Sudan.

"The objective of the Global Peace Index was to go beyond a crude measure of wars by systemically exploring the texture of peace," said Global Peace Index President Clyde McConaghy.

He said the inaugural effort proves "peace can and has and will continue to be measured."

The index was compiled based on 24 indicators measuring peace inside and outside of a country. They included the number of wars a country was involved in the past five years, how many soldiers were killed overseas and how much money was made in arms sales.

Domestic indicators included the level of violent crimes, relations with neighboring countries and level of distrust in other citizens.

The results were then reviewed by a panel of international experts.

"We were trying to find out what positive qualities lead to peace," said Leo Abruzzese, the North American editorial director of the intelligence unit that is part of The Economist Group that publishes the well known magazine.

He said they found in general the most peaceful countries were the smallest, the most politically stable and democratic.

"Democracy didn't actually correlate with peace, but a well-functioning democracy did. Efficient, accountable government seems to be the leading determinant of peace. Beyond that, income helps."

Fifteen of the top 20 most peaceful nations are in Western Europe, and countries with higher income appeared to lead to higher levels of peace, he said.

The United States ranked 96th out of 121 nations, just worse than Yemen and just better than Iran, Honduras and South Africa.

Abruzzese said the United States' score was pulled down by the number of wars it is involved in, large numbers of soldiers killed on the battlefield and high defense spending.

He said the fact the United States has the world's largest prison population per share of overall population also pulled down the score.

"It also has relatively high levels of violent crime,"
he added.

McConaghy said the index would be revised each year and increase the number of countries included. Some countries like Afghanistan and North Korea were not included in the first index because reliable data for all 24 indicators was not available.

121 GPI rankings

Countries most at peace ranked first
1 Norway 1.357
2 New Zealand 1.363
3 Denmark 1.377
4 Ireland 1.396
5 Japan 1.413
6 Finland 1.447
7 Sweden 1.478
8 Canada 1.481
9 Portugal 1.481
10 Austria 1.483

22 Oman 1.641

25 Australia 1.664

30 Qatar 1.702

37 Malaysia 1.744
38 United Arab Emirates 1.747
39 Tunisia 1.762

46 Kuwait 1.818

48 Morocco 1.893
49 United Kingdom 1.898

58 Libya 1.967
59 Cuba 1.968
60 China 1.980
61 Kazakhstan 1.995
62 Bahrain 1.995
63 Jordan 1.997

73 Egypt 2.068

77 Syria 2.106
78 Indonesia 2.111
79 Mexico 2.125

89 El Salvador 2.244
90 Saudi Arabia 2.246

92 Turkey 2.272
93 Guatemala 2.285
94 Trinidad andTobago 2.286
95 Yemen 2.309
96 United States of America 2.317
97 Iran 2.320
98 Honduras 2.390

109 India 2.530

114 Lebanon 2.662
115 Pakistan 2.697

119 Israel 3.033
120 Sudan 3.182
121 Iraq 3.437

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