Home | Contact us | Links | Archives

Peace In Our Time?

ISSUE 241
Front Page
Index
Headlines

The JNA Exposed As A TFG Ploy

Nine Injured In Mogadishu Grenade Attack

Djibouti Defense Minister In Eritrea To Discuss Somalia

ANALYSIS-Shift On Somalia May Make Peace Harder

Somaliland Women Challenge Islamic Roles

The 2006 Washington DC Somaliland Convention

Somalia Govt Willing To Offer Islamic Rivals Cabinet Posts

I'm Prepared To Talk Peace, Says Leader Of Somalia's Sharia Courts

Regional Affairs

Somali Lawmakers Meet Rival Islamists

No Trade, Transport 'During Prayers'

Somalis Face Anti-Immigrant Attacks In S. Africa

World Donors Urge Power-Sharing Deal For Somalia

Rwandan President Paul Kagame To Visit Rusi In London To Deliver The First Annual Nelson Mandela Lecture On African Security And Development

Editorial
Special Report

International News

The Pentagon Plans For An African Command

Rival Regimes Cloud Somalia's Future

Arab Press Says Jews Perpetrated 9/11 Attacks

Air Power: An Enduring Illusion

Kennedy And Coleman Call For Action On Banking Regulations Effect On Somali Community

Proposal Of Somali Custom Keyboard

Postcard From Dubai

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

Editorial: Sleeping With A Devil In Islamic Clothing

SECOND TAKE - The Guardian

Postglobal: Somalia's Islamic Courts

Somalian Women's Courage Goes Unrewarded

New U.S. Lie: “Islamo-Fascism”

TRIPLE CROSS: Nat Geo Channel's Whitewash Of The Ali Mohamed Story

Food for thought

Opinions

Somalia's Collapse Into Jihadism

The Prevention Of Recap Genocide

What Is The Role Of The Somali Diaspora?

Open Letter to: Speaker of Somaliland House of Representatives

Somaliland: It Is Time For Action Before It Is Too Late

Deficiency In The Samatars’ Response To ICG Report


We are enjoying the longest period of peace between nations in more than half a century, apparently.

Brian Whitaker

Brian Whitaker

August 31, 2006 – The Guardian Unlimited

You may not have noticed from the newspaper headlines and TV bulletins, but world peace has finally broken out - at least according to a fascinating article in the Christian Science Monitor.

"Last week marked 1,000 consecutive days with no wars between nations anywhere in the world," the article says. "This is the longest episode of inter-state peace in more than half a century."

The last recorded conflict between two states ended in November 2003, when India and Pakistan embarked on a ceasefire.

The article's authors - Charles Kurzman from the University of North Carolina and Neil Englehart from Bowling Green State University - readily acknowledge that other sorts of conflicts still rage around the world, but they are not wars of government against government.

There are also fewer civil wars raging around the world than there were 12 years ago, they add.

At the same time, there has probably never been more talk about "existential" threats - to the US, Israel, the western way of life, etc.

"Our sense of insecurity grows even as the threat level diminishes," the authors say.

The main threats to the United States, according to the president's National Security Strategy, are no longer the most powerful countries in the world.

Instead, they are weak or isolated states such as Iran, North Korea, and Syria, and non-state groups such as al-Qaida. Terrorism remains a global threat, like the Soviet Union during the cold war - but without the missiles, troops, and billion-dollar budgets. The conflicts we face now do not threaten us with the massive, focused destructive power of another state.

Although Americans are far more likely to die in a traffic accident than a terrorist attack, politicians don't scramble to demonstrate their toughness on auto safety.

The problem with this, the authors argue, is that while real wars decline, metaphorical wars - against drugs, crime, and above all terrorism - are proliferating.

Paradoxically, world peace may lead us to turn these non-wars into real wars. Without serious threats from other states, the US is more likely to use military power to address other goals - a temptation all the stronger when these are labeled as wars, too.

Militarizing the approach to these problems can lead to conflict with other states, and thus into real wars. The war on drugs has led us to get involved in the civil conflict in Colombia. The war on terror led us to the invasion of Iraq and, more recently, to help start a new civil conflict in Somalia, where we are funding warlords who claim to be fighting affiliates of al-Qaida.

Source: The Guardian Unlimited


Home | Contact us | Links | Archives