10. How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and the us

Half theworld is vulnerable to social instability and violence due to increasing oiland food prices, to decreasing water-food-energy supplies per person, toclimate change, and to increasing migrations due to political, environmental,and economic conditions. These can trigger complex interactions of old ethnicand religious conflicts, civil unrest, terrorism, and crime, makingconventional industrial-age military force less effective. Since many countriesaffected by conflict return to war within five years of a cease-fire, moreserious efforts are required to deconstruct the structures of violence andestablish structures of peace.

The vastmajority of the world is living in peace, conflicts actually decreased over thepast decade, cross-cultural dialogues are flourishing, and intra-stateconflicts are increasingly being settled by international interventions. Theprobability of a more peaceful world is increasing due to the growth of democracy,international trade, global news media, the Internet, satellite surveillance,better access to resources, and the evolution of the UN. However, some recentsetbacks have occurred, with failing states, separatist movements, anddecreases in press freedom.

By mid-2008there were 14 wars (conflicts with 1,000 or more deaths)—one fewer than in2007. These wars were in Africa (5), Asia (4), the Americas (2), the MiddleEast (2), and worldwide anti-extremism (1). Beginning in 2008, there were160,000 peacekeepers from all sources, of which the UN had 88,000 uniformedpersonnel and 17,000 civilians in 17 operations. Total military expendituresare about $1.3 trillion per year. There are an estimated 20,000 active nuclearweapons in the world, approximately 1,700 tons of highly enriched uranium, and500 tons of separated plutonium that could produce nuclear weapons.

Futuredesktop molecular and pharmaceutical manufacturing and organized crime’s accessto nuclear materials give extremists and single individuals the ability to makeand use weapons of mass destruction—from biological weapons to low-levelnuclear (“dirty”) bombs. Unauthorized use of nuclear or radioactive materialsreports to IAEA averaged 150 per year between 2004 and 2007.

Much ofurban civilization depends on the Internet; hence, cyber weapons can also beconsidered a WMD deployable by an individual. In addition to ubiquitous sensorsand security systems in urban environments, we have to apply cognitive scienceto improve and connect education and mental health systems to detect and treatindividuals who might otherwise grow up to use such weapons.

Earlywarning systems of governments and UN agencies could be better connected withNGOs and the media to help generate the political will to prevent or reduceconflicts. The UN has established www.un.org/peacemaker containing a wealth ofinformation. Massive public education programs are needed to promote respectfor the diversity, equal rights, common ethical values, and oneness thatunderlie human diversity. It is less expensive and more effective to attack theroot causes of unrest than to stop explosions of violence. Peace strategieswithout love, compassion, or spiritual outlooks are less likely to work,because intellectual or rational systems cannot overcome the emotionaldivisions that prevent unity and harmony. Counter-terrorism strategies shouldinclude many personal conversations with hardliner groups. Sanctions shouldtarget elite criminals rather than innocent populations. Advanced communicationscould be parachuted to local citizens so that local realities could bebroadcast to the world.

Backcastedpeace scenarios should be created through participatory processes to show howpeace is possible (see CD Chapter 3.7). The UN Security Council has receivedover 150 country reports on how to keep nuclear, chemical, and biologicalweapons out of the hands of terrorists and black marketers and how to improveinternational counterterrorism strategies. Networks of CDC-like centers tocounter impacts of bioterrorism should be supported. Governments should destroyexisting stockpiles of biological weapons, create tracking systems forpotential bioweapons, establish an international audit system for each weapon,and increase the use of nonlethal weapons to reduce future revenge cycles.

Challenge10 will be addressed seriously when arms sales and violent crimes decrease by50% from their peak.


Africa:Wars in Africa cost an estimated $18 billion annually. The UN provides 2,391peacekeepers in Africa; the African Union provides 72% of the non-UNpeacekeeping forces in the region. The Chairman of the African Union broughtUganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to a peace agreement for a borderdispute over oil. The Central African Republic has signed a ceasefire agreementwith the last remaining rebel group in conflict. Although decreasing over thepast 10 years, coups, unrest, and ethnic conflicts continue to plague thecontinent, while Al Qaeda continues to influence Muslims from Mauritania toSomalia. Millions of AIDS orphans may fuel a new generation of violence.

Asia andOceania: Nuclear proliferation concerns increase with potential instability inPakistan and North Korea and uncertainty with Iran and Syria. China’s militarybudget increased 18% during 2008. The Chinese anti-satellite test explosioncreated tens of thousands of new pieces of space debris in low-earth orbitthrough which satellites, the Space Station, and space shuttles travel. Chinafaces unrest in both Tibet and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, with theTibetans and Uighurs calling for greater political and religious freedom.Taiwan’s newly elected president supports closer ties with the mainland.China’s lack of transparency and “no strings attached” loan policies haveprovoked criticism from the World Bank and IMF. India is exploring a seamlessweb of security-related linkages for Asia.

Europe:Russian budget reports indicate an effort to restore the country’s standing asa major military power. The large numbers of migrant laborers entering the EUand Russia will require new approaches to integrate them better into society ifincreased conflicts are to be prevented. As the failed EU constitution effortis replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon, France pushes for a Mediterranean Union.Stresses continue around the borders of Russia, from Estonia to Azerbaijan.

LatinAmerica: Although one of the most peaceful regions in the world, interstatestruggles with Latin American drug cartels continue. Tensions among Venezuela,Ecuador, and Colombia increased. The fact that there are few land-owningopportunities for the poor continues to cause social unrest.

NorthAmerica: The recent U.S. moves toward less aggressive military policies andmore multilateral approaches to world security problems are expected toaccelerate with the next administration. Intelligence technology and militarypower have never provided security in asymmetrical warfare without genuinecross-cultural understandings and better multilateral cooperation. Theknowledge of how to bring about mass destruction through emerging mechanismssuch as genetic engineering, nano-technology, and artificial intelligence couldhave more potential to destroy civilization than nuclear, biological, andchemical weapons.

Figure 8.Global trends in armed conflict, 1946-2007

Source: Global Conflict Trends, Center for Systemic Peace, 2008