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PLANNING PEACE November 30, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in Peace.
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Might the American Empire fall, as the Roman Empire did?

The most likely reason would be the popular apprehension it is sucking too many resources from the domestic economy. Of course that would mean that the costs and opportunity costs of “war” spending would have to be accounted for. Meanwhile the planning for war continues as do the refinements to the marketing campaigns to justify them, although for the most part they are hardly necessary. The Occupy Movement may have been an expos’e of sorts, but the propaganda outlets will continue churning out their stuff combined with the opinion surveys.

Choice provides a moral dilemma. A better world may be possible. Who knew there was an alternative to insanity and stupidity, or that human beings were so capable? At Open Democracy, several authors suggest two propositions. Firstly, violence can be prevented. It could be handled as a public health issue. Secondly, peace can be planned.

The multiple authors suggest the following elements beginning with an awareness of the costs of violence to Global well being:

For how much longer can the world continue to spend almost 2000 times more on its military than on its peace-builders? How much longer can the world afford not to invest properly in peace-building and conflict prevention?

It’s been estimated that violence cost the global economy more than $8.12 trillion in 2010. That’s a staggering sum when debt is ballooning in many countries – especially as it’s clear that conflict prevention is so extraordinarily cost-effective. The economic losses from Kenya’s post-election violence in 2008 have been estimated at $3.6 billion . The successful 2010 initiative to prevent violence around the vote on the new constitution cost about $5 million.

So compelling are figures like these that some commentators argue that the surest way to revive the global economy is to commit effort, resources and political will to one area above all others – reducing violence.

What then might a coherent peace-building strategy look like?

The vision would be of a world in which conflict is managed without violence.

The mission would be to support greater coherence of efforts – by civil society, NGOs, governments and inter-governmental organisations – to prepare for and prevent violence and violent conflict.

The approach would be based on what is actually working – plus the emerging twenty-first century paradigm of holding collective responsibility for the planet, rather than on the twentieth century paradigm of exercising national power. To reflect the need for systemic change, conflict response mechanisms must be more strategic, more guided by long-term planning and crisis readiness, more collaborative at all levels and more inclusive of grassroots initiatives. We must move away from responses that are slow, late, reactive, fractured and destructive, and towards a focus on early warning, early response and preventive action.

The initial objectives, specifically, would be:

To support more countries to build national Infrastructures for Peace – dynamic networks of interdependent structures, mechanisms, resources, values and skills which, through dialogue and consultation, contribute to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in a society

To establish a ‘Global Fund for Local Peace’ that will find, grow and replicate the best locally-led peace-building initiatives around the world

To create a sustainable, measurable increase in the number of young people participating in and leading peacebuilding programmes, including in economically-advanced countries – with the right training, skills and support young people can play a critical role in conflict prevention

To make it the norm – not the exception – for qualified and representative women to be included in peace processes, and for their agency as peace-builders to be recognised and utilised. In places such as Rwanda and Liberia where women have taken a more active and positive role in ending conflict and developing post conflict constitutions, they have led the way in finding more equitable transitional settlements and putting in place the foundations for longer lasting peace. In 2000 the United Nations passed resolution UNSCR1325, mandating the inclusion of women at all stages of peace building. Yet ten years on, and a number of subsequent resolutions later, women generally remain disempowered in fragile states. Having recognized how vital it is to have greater numbers of women in positions of influence on peace and security issues and to ensure they are present in good numbers at peace talks, the practical question is how to get them there and how to ensure their participation at all levels in building peace

To start a global campaign to render the arms trade obsolete

The Pentagon is not going to go away, and it is doubtful whether its’ budget will be significantly reduced for example of 60%, and the same applies to budgets of other nation states that fund the global arms trade. Still, developing a strategic plan for the next 200 years has got to begin somewhere. That sounds a long time, but when the period is broken down by generations it becomes more manageable as it does when computer programs are designed to organize information and alternatives. A reduction in “defence” spending would effect a reduction in greenhouse gases and reduce pressure on the existing petroleum stocks.

ELSEWHERE:

The War Party is on the long march through the institutions engaged in manufacturing consent.

Incredible as it may seem, the Chinese economy is expected to be larger than that of the US by 2016 if things continue as they are now. I am not sure it is as straight forward as suggested. RT has the story:

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