“Give war a chance”
Posted on June 27th, 2009

Edward N. Luttwak -Foreign Affairs Jul/Aug 1999, Volume: 78, Issue: 4

Summary — Since the establishment of the United Nations, great powers have rarely let small wars burn themselves out. Bosnia and Kosovo are the latest examples of this meddling. Conflicts are interrupted by a steady stream of cease-fires and armistices that only postpone war-induced exhaustion and let belligerents rearm and regroup. Even worse are U.N. refugee-relief operations and NGOs, which keep resentful populations festering in camps and sometimes supply both sides in armed conflicts. This well-intentioned interference only intensifies and prolongs struggles in the long run. The unpleasant truth is that war does have one useful function: it brings peace. Let it.

Edward N. Luttwak is Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

PREMATURE PEACEMAKING

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. NATO’s intervention in the Kosovo crisis follows this pattern.

Full Aricle

 http://www.scribd.com/doc/7258092/Luttwak-Give-War-a-Chance

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