The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that there was minimal change in North America, with modest improvements in peace levels due to lower military expenditure as a percentage of GDP in both countries.
The United States now ranks 94th out of 162 countries. Its revised ranking, up two places from last year’s index, is due in large part to an improved score for number, duration and role in external conflicts as President Barack Obama reduced US military involvement abroad, winding down the US presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The last US combat troops left Afghanistan at the end of 2014, and the remaining troops transitioned to a training and support role.
The Obama administration has also worked hard to strike a nuclear disarmament deal with Iran, pushing back the deadline for talks to June 2015 to give negotiators more time.
Canada remains one of the most peaceful countries in the world. However, a fatal terrorist attack in October 2014 outside parliament caused the impact of terrorism score to deteriorate. The incident was used as justification for a bill to expand the counter-terrorism powers. In addition, Canada has steadily increased its involvement in the international coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), after deploying military personnel in October 2014.
The 2015 Global Peace Index shows that the world is becoming increasingly divided with some countries enjoying unprecedented levels of peace and prosperity while others spiral further into violence and conflict.
Vision of Humanity is an initiative of the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). IEP have offices in New York and Sydney. For more specific inquiries related to the peace indexes and research, please contact IEP directly.