Recently, I wrote about the uselessness of the United Nations in the context of the happenings in Syria.
The World has suffered many wars over the past 100 years. Now, we have become more civilized, and we should reflect our culture and civilization by engaging in talks to resolve world’s problems, rather than rush into war.
And, this time around, the United Nations should play a strong and proper role in avoiding wars and bloodshed. While wars are waged on principled grounds and sometimes, on philosophical differences, it is not at all appropriate in the 21st Century to bomb countries and kill people. Collateral damage cannot be avoided in today’s densely packed cities, and no reason is big enough to go to war.
It is easy to launch a war in today’s world because the technological innovations allow that in the new battlefield. It could even be a cyber war, wherein hopefully there will be no lives lost.
However, it would be necessary for the United Nations Security Council to throw its weight behind any decision to avert a war. I believe that when deciding to approve a war, no one actually bothers to take into account the potential loss of innocent lives – the most affected being women, children and old people. Is the war necessary, or is an attack justified ? Have all possibilities for a diplomatic resolution been examined and exhausted ? Have we given peace a chance ?
Don’t get me wrong – I also believe that deterrence is the best way to bring folks to the negotiating table. Strong military build-up is absolutely necessary, and I think India should be spending at least three times what it currently spends annually on its military. An enemy should think many times before launching a war on a strong adversary – whether state-sponsored or launched by non-state actors.
However such investment and preparation does not mean that we should press the button when situations get hot. That’s why the world always needs expert negotiators who could take things in calmly and discuss matters out without ever tiring. That’s why the State Department (in the U.S.) and Ministry of External (Foreign) Affairs (India and many other countries) exist and justify their existence. The basic premise is to avoid war at all cost, before deciding to go to war !
We are at this moment in the development of the world which can be considered as the turning point towards the democratization of the world – the first time in world history that so many countries are moving towards full-fledged democracy. We should give these countries a chance to work out their differences.
Let us avoid new wars which could cost billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money which could have otherwise been invested on alleviating poverty and hunger in this world.
29th July 2012