Everyone knows: wars are getting worse, more civilians are dying, and peacemaking achieves nothing, right? Wrong.
Despite all the bad-news headlines, peacekeeping is working. Fewer wars are starting, more are ending, and those that remain are smaller and more localized. But peace doesn’t just happen; it needs to be put into effect. Moreover, understanding the global decline in armed conflict is crucial as America shifts to an era of lower military budgets and operations.
Preeminent scholar of international relations, Joshua Goldstein, definitively illustrates how decades of effort by humanitarian aid agencies, popular movements—and especially the United Nations—have made a measureable difference in reducing violence in our times. Goldstein shows how we can continue building on these inspiring achievements to keep winning the war on war.
This updated and revised edition includes more information on a post-9-11 world, and is a perfect compendium for those wishing to learn more about the United States’ armed conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
American University professor and international relations expert Goldstein argues that military conflicts are on the retreat globally. Using analysis and statistics, he rebuts the claim that the 20th century was among the bloodiest in human history, that civilian casualties in warfare have been increasing as a proportion of total casualties, along with violence against women, and that the number of wars being fought has been increasing since World War II. Goldstein contends that peace is a worthwhile objective for its own sake, even without other causes, such as social justice or economic reform. Goldstein reviews the history and development of U.N. peace keeping operations from their inception under Ralph Bunche and Count Bernadotte in Palestine, and while surveying the world's ongoing armed struggles, he presents leading peace research institutes (such as the one in Uppsala, Sweden) and researchers (such as the late Randy Forsberg on nuclear weapons). In addition, he reveals the flawed nature of casualty estimates based on epidemiological models that were employed for the Congo and Iraq. The result is an optimistic, if controversial, assessment by a respected anti-war advocate.