Cease U.N. Interventions & Give War a Chance

Discussion in 'Clean Debate Zone' started by Swagger, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    The following has been inspired by a paper written by Edward Luttwak, 1999.


    An unpleasant truth often overlooked is that although war is a great evil, it does have a great virtue: it can resolve political conflicts and lead to peace. This can happen when all belligerents become exhausted or when one wins decisively. Either way the key is that the fighting must continue until a resolution is reached. War brings peace only after passing a culminating phase of violence. Hopes of military success must fade for accommodation to become more attractive than further combat.

    Since the establishment of the United Nations and the enshrinement of great-power politics in its Security Council, however, wars among lesser powers have rarely been allowed to run their natural course. Instead, they have typically been interrupted early on, before they could burn themselves out and establish the preconditions for a lasting settlement. Cease-fires and armistices have frequently been imposed under the aegis of the Security Council in order to halt fighting.

    Cease-fires enforced by the United Nations arrest war-induced exhaustion and lets belligerents re-arm. This intensifies and prolongs the struggle once the cease-fire ends. This was the case during the Arab-Israeli War, which may have drawn to an end in a matter of weeks instead of a year had two cease-fires not been ordained by the Security Council, which allowed the combatants to recuperate.

    The most disinterested of all interventions in war - and most destructive – are humanitarian relief operations. The UN’s humanitarian relief departments were established after the Arab-Israeli War, and have created a refugee nation. By keeping post-WWII European refugees in Spartan conditions the Red Cross et al encouraged rapid emigration or local resettlement and helped disperse revanchist national groups. UN refugee camps in the Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip provided, on the whole, a better standard of living than most Arab villages could offer. The camps thus became more desirable places to live, as opposed to eagerly abandoned transit camps. They turned escaping civilians into lifelong refugees whose descendents are also refugees.

    Lastly, but not least, proliferating, feverishly competitive non-governmental organisations perpetuate the refugee problem. Like any institutions, these NGOs are interested in sustaining themselves, which means their first priority is to attract charitable contributions by being seen to be active in high-visibility situations. War refugees can win significant press coverage if concentrated in reasonably accessible camps. To keep refugee nations intact and preserve their resentments forever is bad enough, but inserting material aid into an ongoing conflict is even worse. Many NGOs that operate in an odour of sanctity routinely supply active combatants. Defenceless, they cannot exclude armed warriors from their feeding stations, clinics and shelters. Sometimes NGOs, impartial to a fault, even help both sides, thus preventing mutual exhaustion and resulting settlement.
     
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  2. M14 Shooter
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    M14 Shooter The Light of Truth

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    Summed up:

    There's a peace only to be found on the other side of war.
     
  3. onecut39
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    onecut39 VIP Member

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    Sounds good. Kill em all and let sort t them out.
     
  4. ItsjustmeIthink
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    ItsjustmeIthink Social Capitalist

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    Your post regards war in vague ways. Carefully avoiding the graphic nature of war.

    This may look good on paper, sure, but how it looks in real life often leads people to despise warfare on all levels.

    When people suggest that the U.N not involve itself with other countries I like to think back to Rwanda. The U.N. didn't stick its nose into that much, and it...was horrible.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  5. M14 Shooter
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    M14 Shooter The Light of Truth

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    I see that you did not actually address, must less negate, any of the points he made.
     
  6. High_Gravity
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    High_Gravity Belligerent Drunk Supporting Member

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    The UN should just cease, period.
     
  7. Swagger
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    Swagger Gold Member

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    Correct on both counts. I wanted to avoid sensationalising my OP with visualising conflict. Thus making my case look good on paper was my objective. But ask yourself this: has war and its aftermath been lead to be despised through footage catered for by perpetual, readily available refugee camps? They've almost become purpose-built film sets to accomodate war correspondents looking for soundbites of misery.

    Rwanda's just as good an example as the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, where the UN were heavily involved - as opposed to Rwanda - and even sanction NATO to launch airstrikes against Bosnian forces, for whatever good they were. The refugee circus was in full swing, as well as fueled by NATO/UN reluctance to commit sustained attacks against forces displacing civilians, not to mention those involved in committing genocide. This lack of committment was reflected on the ground where, despite cases of Dutch and Danish forces engaging positions without provocation - a violation of their terms of engagement, though positive in outcome. Despite aiding the perpetuation of refugee people and their status as such, military efforts were equally futile and stagnated the path to peace. On that note, consider how protracted events in Rwanda would've been had the UN intervened further than it did.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  8. Bill Angel
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    Bill Angel Gold Member

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    That sounds fine in principle, but it doesn't take into consideration how terrorists can continue to perpetuate a conflict and disrupt efforts to reach a peaceful accommodation.
    Look at what happened in Iraq in terms of the violent conflict between Sunni and Shiite communities, how terrorists have perpetuated it.
     
  9. ItsjustmeIthink
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    ItsjustmeIthink Social Capitalist

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    I just don't see how pointing out the nature of war could be considered sensationalising. I think its just listing how war really is. It is violent and horrid. I don't see how allowing people to kill one another will lead to a better understanding. If anything, it starts a cycle. When was the last time you heard of a "battlefield" actually being in a field intead of a city?

    I don't think so. For one, I have rarely seen footage of refugee camps. In my opinion, refugees can be considered the "luckly ones" as they managed to escape with their lives. No doubt a lot of the footage out there on wars is taken to make the viewers of said footage against war. Personally, I get my information from reading credible books, eye-witnesses, documentaries, and to a much lesser degree, the news. I think war is "despised" because everything about it is despicable, regardless of what's being seen. When I talked about Rwanada, I was more referring to the genocidal events like civilans being gunned down and chopped up, as opposed to the flood of refugees.

    When I said "it looks good on paper" what I meant was that it would be far less effective in reality, or so is my opinion. Like the quote says in my sig, war can't be controlled, battles transpire where they transpire; be that a major highway, an industrial complex, or a residential neighborhood, etc. Soldiers know that they are soldiers and may die, its quite a different situation for a family sitting in their home. I think back to WW2, where nearly 20 million more civilans died than did soldiers

    Honestly, when I read your orig. post it immediatly made me think of my experiences at rodeos. At rodeos, you always have "tough guys" mixing and through that disagreements arise. If no bystanders were to intervene, it is very likely the two having the arguement will start to exchange fists. Interesting thing here is that if someone were to intervene and seperate the two, there is seriously like a 99% chance (it doesn't always happen tho) that those two will end up getting along, or at the very least have an obvious desire not to fight.
    I don't mean to equate the complexity of two nations warring to the simplicity of two dudes brawling, but I think the moral still stands: forcing people to think more when they want to fight often has postive effects.

    My question is this: War has been used to resolve differences for thousands of years, isn't it time for humanity to start considering alternatives?



    Edit: If you're saying something like the U.N. needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, I totally agree. Their methods suck, hell, they suck. Their method of "intervention" is just...stupid. They essentially intervene by saying to the agitated factions "now, you guys play nice, because we said so" IMO a succesful intervention would consist nearly entirely of addressing the governmental or cultural issues plaging the said groups/factions.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  10. FA_Q2
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    FA_Q2 Gold Member

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    Very interesting read. Still digesting it though. If I am correct, it seems your cite is making the claim that intervention leads to MORE war rather than less, just over a more protected time frame. The examples cited seem to point to that at least but I am not sure I agree that it is the simple fact of intervention that has led to that. There are some instances where intervention is better than war and others where war is a simple necessity. The problem with using the UN as an example is that the UN is incredibly inefficient and stupid.
     

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