“The War to End all Wars” a term used to describe World War I, in the hope that it will indeed inspire mankind, by observing the scale of atrocities caused during the war, to never use war as a way of resolving any political conflict. (for a greater reflect on this point see this article).
Was that vision correct? Arguably and evidentially it wasn’t!
Many wars did follow; starting by the WWII and until our present time, with more than 10 ongoing armed conflicts and civil wars. To name a few; the war in Afghanistan, war in Yemen, war in Syria, the conflict in Myanmar, conflict in Nigeria, conflict in the occupied Palestine, and the list goes on.
Some of these wars, and armed conflicts, have been given more highlight and attention globally. This goes back to the fact that global media focuses, understandably and so ununderstandably at the same time, on the areas where the conflict will more likely have an impact on the main global powers.
Going back to my main question here; is war the right way to end any of these conflicts? Can violence be demolished by violence? Have we not learned anything from the atrocities of the two world wars, the wars before that and the wars that followed?
Looking at the advancement of military weapons (chemical, biological, atomic, … etc) will only show us that mankind does not intend to end war, instead a speedily progressive industry was created for war.
To be realistic, I do not believe that diplomatic negotiations will always work their magic. I believe, bitterly, that both soft powers and hard powers are in need to solve armed conflicts and based on the type of conflict and the gravity of human loses. (for more on soft and hard powers see here.)
But who gets to determine when a military intervention is acceptable? And at what point?
International law provides a layout of these conditions;
Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter prohibits the use of force “against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state” and that any dispute between any of the states to be resolved in a peaceful manner, Article 2 (3). In addition, states should respect other states’ decisions that affect their internal affairs, Article 2(7).
The UN Charter gives two scenarios where the rule of non-intervention does not apply; in case of self-defence or where the international peace and security needs to be restored, (Articles 51 and 42 respectively).
This remains ambiguous as to what is considered a breach of ‘international peace and security’. Does the targeting of innocent civilians in a given state shakes that international peace? Or would the mass-killing of a protected group, that is arguably classified as a genocide under international law (in particular Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide), by their own government be considered an internal affair? What is ‘international peace and security’ and where do these borders lay?
In my opinion, this is determined on the ‘global’ interest that unfortunately have neglected the interest of the lost lives of innocent civilians. The so-called international peace and security is not threatened if the atrocities are contained within a given area and where arm sales are making the stokes’ market alive!
In an ideal world, war would never exist in the first place to be solved by another war. But in our world, wars do exist and they will remain because of our human hunger to power in its all kinds and types (economical, political, religious etc). But will war always be the way to end a war?
Where all I can see is further advancement of arm weapon technology and competition over arm deals, the true success of war to end war remains a mystery to me!
*Tell me your thoughts on this. Is war and armed intervention an effective way to end armed conflict and wars? *