Not that I was in favor of assassinating Castro, but placing boundaries on the fighting of a war nearly always insures a larger, longer military engagement than simply removing a few problem people at the top. The way I see it, the larger the death toll and the greater the path of destruction, the longer it will take to heal the deep-seated emotional wounds festering among the masses.
While property damage can be repaired, and economies can be rebuilt, it is the emotional wounds that carry hatred and other significant problems from one generation to the next. Similarly, the separate and distinct universes of peace and not- war do share common ground, but they are also not one and the same.
Done incorrectly, the likelihood of having to “start over and finish a war at a later date increases dramatically. It’s an intriguing exercise to think through the process that people will use to rise to power in the future.
Will non-governmental organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and perhaps even ICANN rises in influence to a point where they can overrule individual countries? In the past, the power of a country was determined largely by the size of its military and the control over the land and people within its geographical borders.
As the world becomes increasingly mobile, crossing country borders grows increasingly less onerous, and communication systems enable instant connections between people in remote locations, the overall power and authority of the individual nation state begins to wane. Couple this with the fact that the level of complexity within many professions has grown beyond the point where governmental leaders can reasonably oversee the policies and legal framework within specific industries, and we have the stage set for some sort of power shift.
Governments manage the systems, laws, and money supplies, and without a firm foundation for these, the other entities begin to falter. Imposing the rule of law also means that governments have the ultimate veto power over an organization that oversteps its bounds.
With additional levels of complexity stemming from advancements in technology and new entities vying for control, the nature of disputes and the kinds of problems that arise will soon make traditional militaries a thing of the past. Advanced technologies mandate unusual forms of policing, and a completely new breed of military.
For many, the idea of shooting a gun seems barbaric, but human nature demands tools for exerting power and control. For “civil” people, the weapon of choice may be industry sanctions, competing standards, a new law, or the creation of a new oversight authority.
Rather, my goal has been to expand your thinking and give you a slightly different perspective on one of mankind’s greatest inadequacies. This week I have been doing some reading for a class I’m taking at ESR called Images of God.
Webster’s Dictionary gives a definition of “chaos” as a word that means the disorder of formless matter and infinite space. Hanson described the ancient Israelites sharing with their neighbors over the cook pot, their basic view that the world was situated precariously between order and chaos.
Order is defined as a life-enhancing condition which the creator God maintains by holding the unruly forces of chaos in check. Before one can truly begin to study, appreciate, and understand the LOAN they must first embrace several concepts about humanity, war, and peace.
Often people seem to think that war is a lawless place where rules simply do not exist or apply. However, history has shown us that there have been rules (in some form or another) governing warfare since the beginning of time.
); History of the Law of War on Land, 30-06-2000 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. The idea that certain fixed laws should apply even amid the violence and anarchy of war isn’t new.
The Hebrew Bible forbade soldiers from, among other things, destroying fruit-bearing trees in hostile lands, and chivalric codes existed in the Middle Ages. It was the Dutch philosopher Hugo Grotius (1583-1645), however, who came to be seen as the Solon of today’s laws of war.
This unique new work of reference traces the origins of the modern laws of warfare from the earliest times to the present day. Relying on written records from as far back as 2400 BCE, and using sources ranging from the Bible to Security Council Resolutions, the author pieces together the history of a subject which is almost as old as civilization itself.
General Mark Carleton Smith, the professional head of the British army, recently offered the view that ‘ peace and ‘ war are artificial and binary characterizations of a strategic contest that no longer exists today, but which still drives much of our policy ”. General Rupert Smith, the leading soldier intellectual of an earlier generation, offered much the same view in his seminal book The Utility of Force.
The key issue that joins all these observers of the conflicts we fight now is that the idea of clearly defined conditions called ‘ war and ‘ peace is not fit for 21st century purpose. In particular, war as a condition between clearly defined state entities, initiated by a formal declaration, concluded by the occupation of the enemy’s capital and codified by instruments of surrender is not an adequate description of Iranian proxy forces sustaining Bashar al-Assad in a conflict with his own people.
There is no single, definitive answer, but Western hubris, globalization, the emergence of non-traditional forms of warfare, a loss of tolerance in religion and politics, organized crime, the return of Russian belligerence and the rise of China have all played a role. The effect has been to move away from conflict defined in black and white terms and towards infinite shades of gray, where insidious, episodic, ambivalent and, above all, persistent forms of violence between factions, religions, ethnic groups and criminal enterprises are replacing wars between states.
Durable disorder might in future see mercenaries return to the battlefield, large corporations or even the super-rich raising their own armies and governments acting as spectators to conflicts fought out within their borders, as Mexico, Somalia, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo illustrate. In the early years of this century, a revanchist Russia and a rising China separately drew the same conclusion: that to take on the USA in anything resembling conventional war was a mug’s game and alternatives had to be found.
Most closely associated with General Valery Asimov, Russian military doctrine has moved decisively away from its traditional reliance on overwhelming force and towards the subtle and insidious application of all instruments of national power to test the boundaries of conflict, but never cross them. In this way, the occupation of the Crimean Peninsular by attributable “little green men”, followed by a rigged referendum and supported by a deluge of publicity, disinformation and online cheer-leading restored territory to Russian control without ever giving the West sufficient pretext to intervene.
Ukraine is currently receiving the same treatment, and, if you want to unravel the institutions of Western Europe, don’t confront NATO or alienate the EU, just bomb Syria and start a massive migration of refugees; that’ll do the job in half the time. Strategic disguise can trace its provenance back to Sun Tau’s writings in the 6th century BC, and it was brought up to date in a book titled Unrestricted Warfare, written by two Chinese colonels in 1999.
Its central theme was not to attack strength but exploit weakness: avoid conventional conflict and use psychological warfare, restrictive trade practices, economic entry ism, terrorism, cyberwar, “lawfare” (bending or rewriting the rules of international order in China’s favor), disinformation masquerading as education, media and the Chinese diaspora to achieve national aims in a way that never offers a single provocation sufficient to justify the threat of conventional war. While the West ponders its strategies for Iraq and Syria, Iran recognizes that national borders are artificial devices and orchestrates the 140 million Shia Muslims living between Lebanon and Afghanistan by subsidy, militia forces, online propaganda and pleas to religious solidarity.
A process encouraged by pork barrel politics and the disproportionate power of defense manufacturers and the swarm of lobbyists, consultants and fixers that support them, particularly in Washington. Third, every dimension of national power can only be engaged if we step outside established institutional assumptions; many of the capabilities we need don’t exist in government departments but in civil society.
“The economy was slumping, unemployment was high and discord was largely prevalent in the nation at this time.” Opposite of the state of being secluded or shut out, as from company, society, the world, etc.