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all_states_shall_reduce_their_militaries_and_not_plan_war_for_national_security [2019/06/13 23:14]
45.58.216.63
all_states_shall_reduce_their_militaries_and_not_plan_war_for_national_security [2019/06/17 20:35]
99.238.240.127
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 That is the condition of modern society; we all live under the sword of Damocles. About 14,000 nuclear weapons still exist on our planet,​(([[https://​www.ploughshares.org/​world-nuclear-stockpile-report|World Nuclear Weapon Stockpile]],​ The Ploughshares Fund)) nearly 3,000 of which must be launched within three to six minutes after the alarm announces that an adversary’s missiles are on the way. And false alarms are common.  ​ That is the condition of modern society; we all live under the sword of Damocles. About 14,000 nuclear weapons still exist on our planet,​(([[https://​www.ploughshares.org/​world-nuclear-stockpile-report|World Nuclear Weapon Stockpile]],​ The Ploughshares Fund)) nearly 3,000 of which must be launched within three to six minutes after the alarm announces that an adversary’s missiles are on the way. And false alarms are common.  ​
  
-We should all be terrified, but we’re not. Of those 14,000, just one single bomb—a ‘Satan 2” from Russia — could obliterate the whole of Texas or France. It is supposedly equipped with stealth technology to dodge enemy radar systems. And America’s new submarine-based Trident nuclear missiles are now powerful enough to tempt an enemy strategist to launch pre-emptive strikes.((Jenny Awford, [[https://​www.thesun.co.uk/​news/​3374419/​worlds-biggest-powerful-bombs-us-russia-north-korea/​|“Biggest Bombs in the World”]], //The Sun// (UK Edition) 20 Apr 2019.)) Should a fraction of those 14,000 bombs be exploded, civilization would end, and possibly even exterminate all of humankind. It’s uncertain which catastrophe to expect first — nuclear war or the climate crisis — but some people will deny until the end that either one is a risk. +We should all be terrified, but we’re not. Of those 14,000, just one single bomb—a ‘Satan 2” from Russia — could obliterate the whole of Texas or France. It is supposedly equipped with stealth technology to dodge enemy radar systems. And America’s new submarine-based Trident nuclear missiles are now powerful enough to tempt an enemy strategist to launch pre-emptive strikes.((Jenny Awford, [[https://​www.thesun.co.uk/​news/​3374419/​worlds-biggest-powerful-bombs-us-russia-north-korea/​|“Biggest Bombs in the World”]], //The Sun// (UK Edition) 20 Apr 2019.)) Should a fraction of those 14,000 bombs be exploded, civilization would end, and possibly even exterminate all of humankind. The DNA of our species would certainly be impaired, leaving future generations less able to cope. It’s uncertain which catastrophe to expect first — nuclear war or the climate crisis — but some people will deny until the end that either one is a risk. 
  
 Bizarrely, our rulers keep assuring us that these bombs are for our own “security.” And in a sense, they are right. ​ Nine countries are armed with nuclear weapons, all aimed at each other, so naturally each one is afraid to disarm until the others do too. This could take a while! ​ And it has — 75 years. But false alarms keep going off, and suicide bombers keep proving their resolve. You cannot deter a suicide bomber; what retaliation would you threaten him with? And now it may be possible for a hacker to launch the nuclear missiles of another country.((Bruce G. Blair, [[https://​www.nytimes.com/​2017/​03/​14/​opinion/​why-our-nuclear-weapons-can-be-hacked.html|“Why Our Nuclear Weapons Can be Hacked”]],​ //The New York Times//, March 14, 2017.  See also Andrew Futter and Des Browne, //Hacking the Bomb: Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons//, Kindle edition. (Georgetown University Press, 2018).)) ​ Bizarrely, our rulers keep assuring us that these bombs are for our own “security.” And in a sense, they are right. ​ Nine countries are armed with nuclear weapons, all aimed at each other, so naturally each one is afraid to disarm until the others do too. This could take a while! ​ And it has — 75 years. But false alarms keep going off, and suicide bombers keep proving their resolve. You cannot deter a suicide bomber; what retaliation would you threaten him with? And now it may be possible for a hacker to launch the nuclear missiles of another country.((Bruce G. Blair, [[https://​www.nytimes.com/​2017/​03/​14/​opinion/​why-our-nuclear-weapons-can-be-hacked.html|“Why Our Nuclear Weapons Can be Hacked”]],​ //The New York Times//, March 14, 2017.  See also Andrew Futter and Des Browne, //Hacking the Bomb: Cyber Threats and Nuclear Weapons//, Kindle edition. (Georgetown University Press, 2018).)) ​
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 Because conventional armed forces inevitably consume so many of the world’s resources, just cutting them back will automatically improve the environment and human health, as well as saving stupendous sums of money, which can be allocated instead to the Sustainable Development Goals or preserving biodiversity,​ limiting climate change, or improving life in some other way. Because conventional armed forces inevitably consume so many of the world’s resources, just cutting them back will automatically improve the environment and human health, as well as saving stupendous sums of money, which can be allocated instead to the Sustainable Development Goals or preserving biodiversity,​ limiting climate change, or improving life in some other way.
  
-The size of these stupendous sums can be guesstimated with a few back-of-the-envelope comparisons. In 2018, the world’s military expenditures amounted to $1822 billion (that’s $1.8 trillion!).((Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, [[https://​www.sipri.org/​databases/​milex|“World Military Spending”]] Update of April 2019.)) ​ If that sum were reduced by 80 percent, the human population would be healthier, happier, and $1457 billion richer every year. What could we do with all that money? Well, in 2016 it cost only $50 billion to run the entire United Nations.(([[https://​qz.com/​1396994/​where-does-the-un-get-its-money-a-simple-explanation-of-a-complex-system/​Quartz]],​ The United Nations General Assembly 2018,)) Of that amount, $6.7 billion was budgeted for peacekeeping operations.((//​Newsweek//,​ [[https://​www.newsweek.com/​how-much-does-peacekeeping-cost-un-1129344|“How Much Does the United Nations Spend on Peacekeeping?​ Here’s What We Know”]], Wed. June 12, 2019.)) If the UN adds a new UNEPS to prevent armed conflicts around the world, peacekeeping may cost three or four times that much, so let’s be extravagant and estimate $30 billion. That leaves us with a surplus of around $1.4 trillion — approximately the amount the UN says it would cost per year to end poverty on earth.((Michele Giddens, [[https://​www.forbes.com/​sites/​michelegiddens/​2018/​05/​24/​the-sdgs-are-an-opportunity-not-just-a-challenge/#​198127bd3ef5|“The SDGs are an Opportunity Not Just a Challenge”]],​ //Forbes//, May 24, 2018.))+The size of these stupendous sums can be guesstimated with a few back-of-the-envelope comparisons. In 2018, the world’s military expenditures amounted to $1822 billion (that’s $1.8 trillion!).((Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, [[https://​www.sipri.org/​databases/​milex|“World Military Spending”]] Update of April 2019.)) ​ If that sum were reduced by 80 percent, the human population would be healthier, happier, and $1457 billion richer every year. What could we do with all that money? Well, in 2016 it cost only $50 billion to run the entire United Nations.(([[https://​qz.com/​1396994/​where-does-the-un-get-its-money-a-simple-explanation-of-a-complex-system/​|Quartz]], The United Nations General Assembly 2018,)) Of that amount, $6.7 billion was budgeted for peacekeeping operations.((//​Newsweek//,​ [[https://​www.newsweek.com/​how-much-does-peacekeeping-cost-un-1129344|“How Much Does the United Nations Spend on Peacekeeping?​ Here’s What We Know”]], Wed. June 12, 2019.)) If the UN adds a new UNEPS to prevent armed conflicts around the world, peacekeeping may cost three or four times that much, so let’s be extravagant and estimate $30 billion. That leaves us with a surplus of around $1.4 trillion — approximately the amount the UN says it would cost per year to end poverty on earth.((Michele Giddens, [[https://​www.forbes.com/​sites/​michelegiddens/​2018/​05/​24/​the-sdgs-are-an-opportunity-not-just-a-challenge/#​198127bd3ef5|“The SDGs are an Opportunity Not Just a Challenge”]],​ //Forbes//, May 24, 2018.))
  
 Or maybe we’d rather spend our savings instead on limiting global warming by stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. The price will depend on how quickly we act, and we’re getting a late start, so according the International Energy Agency, it will cost a total of $44 trillion by 2050. Ouch. That’s more than our savings from reducing the military by 80 percent. ​ But on the other hand, there will be huge savings from reducing the consumption of fossil fuel. In fact, the overall cost of switching over will yield a slight net //​savings//,​ so we can still spend our $1.4 trillion military savings on something else—have our cake and eat it too.((Kevin Bullis, [[https://​www.technologyreview.com/​s/​527196/​how-much-will-it-cost-to-solve-climate-change/​|“How Much Will it Cost to Solve Climate Change?​”]] //MIT Bulletin//, May 15, 2014.)) Or maybe we’d rather spend our savings instead on limiting global warming by stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions. The price will depend on how quickly we act, and we’re getting a late start, so according the International Energy Agency, it will cost a total of $44 trillion by 2050. Ouch. That’s more than our savings from reducing the military by 80 percent. ​ But on the other hand, there will be huge savings from reducing the consumption of fossil fuel. In fact, the overall cost of switching over will yield a slight net //​savings//,​ so we can still spend our $1.4 trillion military savings on something else—have our cake and eat it too.((Kevin Bullis, [[https://​www.technologyreview.com/​s/​527196/​how-much-will-it-cost-to-solve-climate-change/​|“How Much Will it Cost to Solve Climate Change?​”]] //MIT Bulletin//, May 15, 2014.))
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 That is no longer the situation. We are all stakeholders,​ but now our interests are located all over the world, beyond the influence of our military or even our nation’s consulates and embassies. ​ That is no longer the situation. We are all stakeholders,​ but now our interests are located all over the world, beyond the influence of our military or even our nation’s consulates and embassies. ​
  
-Globalization has wrecked the Westphalian system for organizing the world. Not only do our friendships extend worldwide, but our physical security and health are determined by foreigners—the emitters of greenhouse gases; the destroyers of rainforests;​ the airplane passengers carrying new viruses; the politicians imposing tariffs on a product we had planned to export to their country; the bankers in nations where our swindled tax money is laundered. Our country’s military cannot protect us from such risks. Armies and sovereign states can control territory, but not even Donald Trump can reverse this new situation. ​+Globalization has wrecked the Westphalian system for organizing the world. Not only do our friendships extend worldwide, but our physical security and health are determined by foreigners—the emitters of greenhouse gases; the destroyers of rainforests;​ the airplane passengers carrying new viruses; the politicians imposing tariffs on a product we had planned to export to their country; the bankers in nations where our swindled tax money is laundered; the tossers of plastic into the ocean because poor countries have no waste management systems. Our country’s military cannot protect us from such risks. Armies and sovereign states can control territory, but not even Donald Trump can reverse this new situation. ​
  
 With our material interests extending beyond our borders, so should our political influence, though at present few global institutions provide much democratic accountability. This must change before any state can be expected to reduce its military forces and spend the savings on fixing ​ the real sources of insecurity. ​ With our material interests extending beyond our borders, so should our political influence, though at present few global institutions provide much democratic accountability. This must change before any state can be expected to reduce its military forces and spend the savings on fixing ​ the real sources of insecurity. ​
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 “wars between states where the warring parties are armies, the goals are geopolitical,​ the main method is the military capture of territory through battle, and the wars are financed through increased taxation and the mobilization of a centralized self-sufficient war economy. “wars between states where the warring parties are armies, the goals are geopolitical,​ the main method is the military capture of territory through battle, and the wars are financed through increased taxation and the mobilization of a centralized self-sufficient war economy.
 +
 “By contrast, in ‘new wars’ the warring parties are networks of state and non-state actors organized in loose horizontal coalitions rather than hierarchical military organizations. These can include regular armies and police or parts of the state security services, party militias, warlords, bandits, mercenaries,​ private security companies, insurgents, self-defence groups and so on. The political goals are largely about identity politics – that is to say, the claim to access to power and to the state apparatus on the basis of a label, be it ethnic, tribal or religious (Serb versus Croat, Sunni versus Shi’ia, Hutu versus Tutsi) as opposed to geopolitical (control of the seas or access to oil) or ideological (to promote socialism or democracy). “By contrast, in ‘new wars’ the warring parties are networks of state and non-state actors organized in loose horizontal coalitions rather than hierarchical military organizations. These can include regular armies and police or parts of the state security services, party militias, warlords, bandits, mercenaries,​ private security companies, insurgents, self-defence groups and so on. The political goals are largely about identity politics – that is to say, the claim to access to power and to the state apparatus on the basis of a label, be it ethnic, tribal or religious (Serb versus Croat, Sunni versus Shi’ia, Hutu versus Tutsi) as opposed to geopolitical (control of the seas or access to oil) or ideological (to promote socialism or democracy).
-“In ‘new wars’ battles are rare, and most violence is directed against civilians. This can be deliberate, as in wars of ethnic cleansing (Bosnia and Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh and Baghdad) or in genocides (Rwanda and Darfur), or because it is impossible to distinguish combatants from non-combatants (as in counter-insurgency wars in Afghanistan,​ Iraq, Chechnya and Kashmir). “For this reason, the techniques of ‘new wars’ directly violate international humanitarian and human rights law. And finally, in ‘new wars’ taxation falls, and the wars have to be financed by a variety of methods that are dependent on violence. These include looting and pillaging, kidnapping and hostage-taking,​ skewing the terms of trade through checkpoints,​ the ‘taxation’ of humanitarian aid, outside support from the diaspora, smuggling of valuable commodities such as oil and diamonds, and other transnational criminal activities. Whereas ‘old wars’ were state-building,​ increasing the revenue base and the power of the state, ‘new wars’ are ‘state-unbuilding’. They establish a ‘new war’ economy that is exactly the opposite of the ‘old war’ economy – one that is globalized, decentralized,​ criminalized and in which employment is very low.”((Mary Kaldor, “New Wars,” [[https://​thebrokeronline.eu/​|The Broker]], May 28, 2009.))+ 
 +“In ‘new wars’ battles are rare, and most violence is directed against civilians. This can be deliberate, as in wars of ethnic cleansing (Bosnia and Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh and Baghdad) or in genocides (Rwanda and Darfur), or because it is impossible to distinguish combatants from non-combatants (as in counter-insurgency wars in Afghanistan,​ Iraq, Chechnya and Kashmir). ​ 
 + 
 +“For this reason, the techniques of ‘new wars’ directly violate international humanitarian and human rights law. And finally, in ‘new wars’ taxation falls, and the wars have to be financed by a variety of methods that are dependent on violence. These include looting and pillaging, kidnapping and hostage-taking,​ skewing the terms of trade through checkpoints,​ the ‘taxation’ of humanitarian aid, outside support from the diaspora, smuggling of valuable commodities such as oil and diamonds, and other transnational criminal activities. Whereas ‘old wars’ were state-building,​ increasing the revenue base and the power of the state, ‘new wars’ are ‘state-unbuilding’. They establish a ‘new war’ economy that is exactly the opposite of the ‘old war’ economy – one that is globalized, decentralized,​ criminalized and in which employment is very low.”((Mary Kaldor, “New Wars,” [[https://​thebrokeronline.eu/​|The Broker]], May 28, 2009.))
  
 New wars tend to be long wars that are hard to end. Think of Iraq, of Afghanistan,​ and now of Syria. No decisive military battle ends the conflict; if foreign troops come to help, they may remain stuck there for decades. ​  Once more, this illustrates the limits of military power as a source of national security. Wars don’t work very well anymore. ​ New wars tend to be long wars that are hard to end. Think of Iraq, of Afghanistan,​ and now of Syria. No decisive military battle ends the conflict; if foreign troops come to help, they may remain stuck there for decades. ​  Once more, this illustrates the limits of military power as a source of national security. Wars don’t work very well anymore. ​
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 If the UNEPS is to be trusted more than, say, joining NATO or SEATO, it must be under the command of an organization that truly implements international laws impartially. ​ It can only be authorized by the U.N. Security Council, which today is far from impartial. Much more needs to be done to enhance the credibility of the U.N.  The Permanent Five’s veto power undermines the world’s confidence in the whole institution. The Security Council needs to be made more accountable to the whole of humankind, as also does the entire U.N. — probably by adding a parliamentary assembly directly elected by the citizens of all member states. Such changes can be attained only if the public demands it, reversing the current worldwide drift toward authoritarianism and nationalism. If the UNEPS is to be trusted more than, say, joining NATO or SEATO, it must be under the command of an organization that truly implements international laws impartially. ​ It can only be authorized by the U.N. Security Council, which today is far from impartial. Much more needs to be done to enhance the credibility of the U.N.  The Permanent Five’s veto power undermines the world’s confidence in the whole institution. The Security Council needs to be made more accountable to the whole of humankind, as also does the entire U.N. — probably by adding a parliamentary assembly directly elected by the citizens of all member states. Such changes can be attained only if the public demands it, reversing the current worldwide drift toward authoritarianism and nationalism.
  
-Finally, it is important to recognize that this plank — indeed, the whole Platform for Survival — represents one perspective that has its own limitations. This is the perspective of liberal democracy: the assumption that the best way of protecting human security is to improve our political, economic, and legal institutions. ​ But this essay should end by acknowledging that even excellent human institutions can go wrong, and often with tragic results. Democratic elections, for example, bring to power politicians who make terrible decisions that harm people and require change. Nothing in these planks offers remedy for such situations. ​+Finally, it is important to recognize that this plank — indeed, the whole Platform for Survival — represents one perspective that has its own limitations. This is the perspective of liberal democracy: the assumption that the best way of protecting human security is to improve our political, economic, and legal institutions. ​ But this essay should end by acknowledging that even excellent human institutions can go wrong, and often with tragic results. Democratic elections, for example, ​sometimes ​bring to power politicians who make terrible decisions that harm people and require change. Nothing in these planks offers remedy for such situations. ​
  
 But when human beings need to protect themselves from their own governments,​ they often invent ways of defending their rights. The Platform for Survival should explicitly recognize the importance of such campaigns of civil resistance. Social change is inexorable, and founding governments never seem never to anticipate the need for their own overthrow. ​ But when human beings need to protect themselves from their own governments,​ they often invent ways of defending their rights. The Platform for Survival should explicitly recognize the importance of such campaigns of civil resistance. Social change is inexorable, and founding governments never seem never to anticipate the need for their own overthrow. ​
  
 Historically,​ nonviolent struggle has been the main (and always is the best) alternative to war. Fortunately,​ as Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan have shown, campaigns of nonviolent resistance have been more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals. Moreover, civil resistance ushers in more durable and internally peaceful democracies,​ which are less likely to regress into civil war.((Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, //Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Action//. Columbia University Press, 2012.)) Thus, our Platform for Survival should be understood to include one extra, invisible plank: an endorsement of nonviolent opposition for those times in the future when the other planks turn out to require change. Historically,​ nonviolent struggle has been the main (and always is the best) alternative to war. Fortunately,​ as Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan have shown, campaigns of nonviolent resistance have been more than twice as effective as their violent counterparts in achieving their stated goals. Moreover, civil resistance ushers in more durable and internally peaceful democracies,​ which are less likely to regress into civil war.((Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan, //Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Action//. Columbia University Press, 2012.)) Thus, our Platform for Survival should be understood to include one extra, invisible plank: an endorsement of nonviolent opposition for those times in the future when the other planks turn out to require change.
all_states_shall_reduce_their_militaries_and_not_plan_war_for_national_security.txt · Last modified: 2019/06/17 20:35 by 99.238.240.127