Thursday, May 30, 2013

Use of power

A number of years ago the term Smart Power, Middle Power or Soft Power were used to describe the use of diplomacy to stave off violent conflict. This term has been seldom used in the past ten years as well as the practice. The countries that used this method are the most peaceful, least corrupt, best governed, have stable economies and most content population  as listed by numerous reports (Human Development Report, Corruption Index, Failed States Index, Happiness Index, etc…).
More often these countries ranked in the middle of military power, not one was ever a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council nor are they the biggest economic countries. As we study this reality it appears that the best countries are those that are not military or economic powerhouses. In short, money and might is not what makes a society peaceful or great.
Taking that reality, why then do we often fall back upon those that do carry the military and economic top placements? Looking at Syria, the main obstacle for peace talks is the support the UN Security Council permanent five (France, UK, Russia, China and RUSA) have divided upon. The recent announcement that European countries are allowing more weapons into the hands of the rebels as is the RUSA will only improve the death toll. Russia and China are standing firm that no preconditions be set upon peace talks.
Now I can understand the idea of no preconditions for peace talks but the supplying of weapons?  I can not see that as being a move to improve peace.  At this point the Middle East region is sitting on a volcano ready to explode. The Syrian war has already spread into Turkey, Lebanon, Israel and Iraq. There needs to be no more talk of an internal/civil war.  This is now an international war and has been for many months.
The leaders need to step back and support the old method of Smart Power. Revive that network and allow those countries to work on mitigating the use of violence, weapons, peace talks, and the political transitional methods of elections.
 We must look at what has taken place in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya as to what can happen to governments that are transitional. There will be flare ups of protests, possible violence and of course the chance of falling back into massive chaos. There is enough evidence to prove that the Permanent Five Members of the United Nations Security Council are failing at bringing peace to Syria.
The five members must endorse another group to carry the responsibility of peace negotiations.  This new group needs to be comprised of those that are well noted as the most peaceful, best governed, least corrupt and have strong economic foundations. Why not give that a shot, nothing else is working. Perhaps the fear is that such a plan will work and cast even more question on why the permanent five are not all booted out.

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