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Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones: Living with Uncertain Wars

Padraig O’Malley
Paul L. Atwood
Patricia Peterson
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 312
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  • Book Info
    Sticks and Stones
    Book Description:

    Albert Einstein famously remarked that he did not know what weapons would be used in World War III, but World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars, government officials, politicians, journalists, and statesmen examine what can be learned from the wars of the twentieth century and how that knowledge might help us as we step ever so perilously into the twentyfirst. Following an introduction by Padraig O'Malley, the book is divided into four sections: "Understanding the World as We Have Known It"; "Global Uncertainties"; "Whose Values? Whose Justice?"; and "Shaping a New World." The first section reviews what we have learned about war and establishes benchmarks for judging whether that knowledge is being translated into changes in the behavior of our political cultures. It suggests that the world's premier superpower, in its effort to promote Westernstyle democracy, has taken steps that have inhibited rather than facilitated democratization. The second section examines the war on terror and the concept of global war. From the essays in this section emerges a consensus that democracy as practiced in the West cannot be exported to countries with radically different cultures, traditions, and values. The third section visits the question of means and ends in the context of varying value systems and of theocracy, democracy, and culture. In the final section, the focus shifts to our need for global institutions to maintain order and assist change in the twentyfirst century. Although each contributor comes from a different starting point, speaks with a different voice, and has a different ideological perspective, the essays reach startlingly similar conclusions. In sum, they find that the West has not absorbed the lessons from the wars of the last century and is inadequately prepared to meet the new challenges that now confront us. Contributors to the volume include J. Brian Atwood, Susan J. Atwood, John Cooley, Romeo Dallaire, Ramu Damodaran, Valerie Epps, Michael J. Glennon, Stanley Heginbotham, Robert Jackson, Winston Langley, Alfred W. McCoy, Greg Mills, Jonathan Moore, Chris Patten, Gwyn Prins, Jonathan Schell, John Shattuck, Cornelio Sommargua, Brian Urquhart, Stephen Van Evera, and Robert Weiner.

    eISBN: 978-1-61376-143-4
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Padraig O’Malley
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    The twenty-first century had hardly put its fledgling year behind it when the promise of its possibilities, so endlessly recapitulated at the millennium’s turn, was shattered. The television images of two huge Boeing jets lumbering at low altitude across the skyline of a bright Manhattan morning—bellies full of baleful fuel, and ripping into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, symbols of New York’s global stature, and the towers collapsing in the inferno of a towering rage—were replayed endlessly across our planet, imprinting indelible memories of random mayhem and sudden death, as the once unthinkable became an...

  5. Understanding the World as We Have Known It

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 13-18)
      Padraig O’Malley

      The first cluster reviews what we learned from the wars of the past century and establishes some benchmarks for gauging whether knowledge translates into changes in the behavior of our political cultures. In “What Have We Learned from the Wars of the Twentieth Century” Winston Langley suggests that those wars are best understood in two contexts: relative deprivation (RD)—the perceived incongruity between what a nation-state believes it is entitled to and what it actually has—and “othering”—the propensity for human beings to divide themselves along the lines of “them” and “us”—to exclude from our group those whom...

    • What Have We Learned from the Wars of the Twentieth Century?
      (pp. 19-32)

      With the dawn of a new millennium, few areas of human enquiry and reflection can rival, in moral and social importance, the lessons we have learned from the social scourge we call war. My focus here has a central theme (with subthemes) that has been examined before, but that theme has frequently been largely confined in its application to intranational conflicts and has even more often been burdened with a limiting definition.

      The theme or concept is that of relative deprivation, soon to be defined and discussed. My thesis is that the wars of the twentieth century, both the civil...

    • The Link between Poverty and Violent Conflict
      (pp. 33-40)

      “Blessed are the [poor] for they shall inherit the earth.”¹ This biblical aphorism is being realized at an alarming pace. Almost half the world’s six billion people live under the poverty line of two dollars a day: 1.2 billion people earn less than one dollar a day and are in the extreme poverty category.² By 2020, the globe likely will add two billion more people, 95 percent of whom will reside in the developing world.³ Absent any dramatic shift in policy priorities, the poor may indeed inherit the earth in the lifetimes of most of us.

      The implications of these...

    • The Costs of Covert Warfare: Airpower, Drugs, and Warlords in the Conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy
      (pp. 41-62)

      In his address to Congress after the events of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush told the nation that America’s current war against terrorism would be like no other our nation had ever fought. On this point Mr. Bush seemed ill-advised. Our ongoing war in Afghanistan is the logical outcome of a succession of covert wars that the United States has fought along the mountain rim of Asia since the end of World War II.

      Looking back on the long history of American intervention in highland Asia, there are two particularly troubling aspects: first, the rise of a problematic...

  6. Global Uncertainties

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 63-70)
      Padraig O’Malley

      The second cluster examines dimensions of the war on terror and begins with the answers participants in the 2004 Tufts symposium gave to the question, “What do we know about the war on terror?”

      Gwyn Prinz starts by defining terrorism. He distinguishes between “traditional” terrorists, such as the IRA, who have political demands that can be satisfied, and “unconditional terrorists,” such as Al Qaeda, who have no such specific demands. He believes that the Islamic fundamentalists, who divide the world into themselves and infidels, have hijacked what he calls the Islamic revolution. Containment is no longer possible. For the West,...

    • The War on Terror
      (pp. 71-85)
      Gwyn Prins, Stanley Heginbotham, John Cooley, Stephen W. Van Evera and Jonathan Schell

      Terrorism is very strange, very frightening, and appears amorphous, so I want to try to bound the problem. We need to know what it is that we are talking about. Just before 9/11, I chaired a study for the U.K. Ministry of Defense that gave us the opportunity to review what everybody was saying at that time in the open and in some of the not-open literature. In the open literature, without any question, the best study on terrorism that was published before September 11, 2001, was by the Norwegian Defense Search Agency. It pointed out that we were moving...

    • Islam and the West: At the Crossroads
      (pp. 86-97)

      If Samuel Huntington were a share, he would today be what market tipsters call a strong buy. That is bad news, because the clash of civilizations, which he predicted in his essay forForeign Affairsin 1993,¹ at the moment casts a gibbet’s shadow over the prospects for liberal order around the world. Depressingly, witlessly, we have to a great extent shaped our own disaster-in-waiting.

      Some of the global problems that we shall face in this century; for example, whether China can make an accommodation between economic license and political authority, are matters for a circumscribed few, in this case...

    • Transitions from Terrorism to Modernity: Linking External and Internal Dimensions of Change
      (pp. 98-114)

      Amid the theories and conspiracies around 9/11, the only two obvious common denominators about the nineteen terrorists were their religious identity and the fact that they had spent time in Afghanistan.¹ Ironically, the link between the two was understood by and familiar to the U.S. government, which, in the course of the Cold War, had supported a war of Muslim fundamentalists against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

      Many Arabs understandably bemoan their association with radicalism and backwardness. They prefer to stress the great achievements of Arab culture over the centuries, including such contributions as the arch, the zero, the preservation...

  7. Whose Values? Whose Justice?

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 115-120)
      Padraig O’Malley

      The third cluster looks at the question whether the end justifies the means. In “From Just War to Just Intervention” Susan Atwood addresses a problem that has engaged theologians and ethicists since early Christian days. What constitutes the grounds for a just war? She discusses how the Just War Ethic has been used to define the just use of force, and how the Reformation, the birth of the nation-state, and the advent of the nuclear age (to name a few) have forced changes in our interpretation. After World War II, the United Nations became our authority on right intent and...

    • From Just War to Just Intervention
      (pp. 121-145)

      The Just War Ethic, which traces its origins back to the medieval Christian Church, has faced many challenges regarding its relevance in different historical eras. But until today, it has remained the touchstone for defining the just use of force. It has done so by undergoing a number of evolutionary changes in focus, in response to fundamental shifts in world thinking and order—the Reformation, the birth of the nation-state, the advent of the nuclear age, to name but a few.

      In 1945, the United Nations Charter drew directly on the Just War Ethic in its commitment to uphold world...

    • The Responsibility to Protect
      (pp. 146-148)
      Romeo Dallaire

      It is the aim of those us who have survived the catastrophe of the Rwandan genocide never to let it disappear. During the genocide in Kigali in Rwanda, my mandate was self-defense. I was not authorized to protect the forty thousand-odd people that we protected. That was done against orders.

      We do not know how to resolve conflict today within these new, complex problems. We do not have the structures or instruments we need. We still insist on solving them within two years—from the peace agreement to a democratic process and elections in two years. That’s impossible. In my...

    • Human Rights and the International Criminal Court
      (pp. 149-159)
      John Shattuck and Valerie Epps

      I must take you first into the heart of the U.S. government where I spent eight years. On one hand, there is a tremendous amount of lip service paid to the subject of human rights in the U.S. government, and values and norms of international law find their way into the discourse of leaders frequently. We know that President George Bush, when he appeared before the UN General Assembly last fall [2002], spent a great deal of time speaking about human rights in the context of Iraq. We also know, to be bipartisan about it, that my boss, President Bill...

    • Cruel Science: CIA Torture and U.S. Foreign Policy
      (pp. 160-216)

      In April 2004, the American public was stunned when CBS broadcast photographs from Abu Ghraib prison showing Iraqis stripped naked, blinded by bags, and contorted in humiliating positions while U.S. soldiers stood smiling.¹ As the scandal grabbed headlines around the globe, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assured Congress the abuse was “perpetrated by a small number of U.S. military,” whom columnist William Safire soon branded “creeps.”² Other commentators, citing the famous Stanford prison experiment, attributed the abuse to a collapse of discipline by overstretched American soldiers.³

      These photographs are snapshots, however, not of simple brutality or a breakdown in discipline...

  8. Shaping a New World

    • [Introduction]
      (pp. 217-224)
      Padraig O’Malley

      The final cluster focuses on global responsibilities to protect and how to deal with the growing phenomenon of failed states, among them those most poor and purported to be the most likely sources of terrorism. Global institutions relating to these matters fail us, and while a considerable portion of the blame can be attributed to the unwieldy, inefficient, and bureaucratic nature of these institutions, nation-states tend to make global declarations and then pursue narrow sovereign state interests. We speak globally, act parochially—even when it is in the perceived interests of all to act together in the face of a...

    • Globalization: New Challenges
      (pp. 225-237)
      Cornelio Sommaruga, Robert Jackson, Ramu Damodaran and Gwyn Prins

      At a time when the information revolution has largely freed economics from the reins of politics, when globalization has indeed brought economic growth and liberated innovation, there is a need to also globalize responsibility. The state is being undermined by the assertion of so many different identities.

      Globalizing responsibility implies, I believe, the improvement of human security, that is, the security of individual persons—their physical safety, their economic and social well-being, respect for their dignity and worth as human beings, and the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, namely, those of religious choice. There is a growing recognition...

    • The United Nations and War in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
      (pp. 238-267)

      The United Nations was created in 1945 to prevent another world war. It was designed, as the preamble to the UN Charter states, to eliminate the scourge of war that had befallen humanity twice in the first half of the twentieth century. The United Nations, as the successor to the failed experiment of the League of Nations, embodied Wilsonian idealism. It represented the liberal internationalist approach to world politics, which offered an alternative model to realism,¹ dealing with the central problem of international relations—the avoidance of world war. From a realist perspective, there were elements in the British government...

    • The Role of the United Nations in a Unipolar World
      (pp. 268-278)
      Brian Urquhart and Michael J. Glennon

      To call something irrelevant is, I suppose, the most biting insult you can possibly give to anything, a person or an institution, and the word has been used quite a bit about the UN. But I think that its demise is somewhat unlikely, certainly in the near future.

      The last time this insult was thrown at the UN was by none other than the president of the United States. It was over the failure of the Security Council to reach unanimity on the occupation of Iraq and the regime change. Here we are a year later [February 2004] and, God...

    • Peace Building in an Inseparable World
      (pp. 279-300)

      Peace building, the United Nations term and the less cantankerous one for nation building,¹ is not working. Since it takes generations rather than years, a true evaluation is not yet possible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so in order to keep trying and to avoid demoralization, hope lives that success will be achieved. But not yet, and not the way things are going.²

      The countries addressed here are among the sorriest and most afflicted, some regarded as failed or failing.³ They are radically different from one another, while sharing certain qualities. Each peace-building country has...

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 301-303)
  10. Back Matter
    (pp. 304-304)