Sunday, January 5, 2014

Peace in Iraq and Afghanistan

In both countries, many military efforts to bring peace will be seen as wasted efforts, as time passes. Even though that history will be forever, we have the future to ensure the next efforts are successful. What can be done? There are some efforts that were made and are worth repeating. These efforts are the community peacebuilding programs which bring trust and stability to the people. We know that the people who seek to bring havoc to communities use fear. What we have to do is use the same tactics with trust replacing fear. Such efforts were being used by military and others to build peace. Fear needs little exposure to make an impact. Trust needs a great deal of exposure. This is the battle. This battle can be summed up in the cliché, one bad apple destroys the bunch. Fear preys on the individual to stand in the shadows, and it works. Peace relies on the individual as well, yet in the face of personal injury it is understandable why fear often wins. Such tactics are used in gang warfare, organized crime and as we have witnessed with terrorism. The only way to defeat fear is to have individuals believe in peace more than in fear. In peace operations there is the term sector security reform. This term relates to securing peace to a specific area. In the battle between fear and peace the sector is both the personal mind and the community. When we use physical tactics such as military the war of fear begins. As we have seen, the war of fear is rarely won by those who seek to bring peace. This is a reality in part due to the hypocrisy of using violence to bring peace. We have two examples of such situations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Peace is very much a long term goal. Peace requires the best of courage, strength, resilience, patience, wisdom and care, day in and day out. The trust begins to be built when those that ask for assistance receive it. Peace is obtained when the people who seek to destroy it are called out by the community. In many peaceful countries there are communities where peace does not exist because of fear. Such situations are examples of the constant work that is needed to sustain peace. The task is difficult and often takes more courage to wield than it does to shoot and or kill another. The steps to peace are to support education of wisdom, caring and fostering hope for children. Any act of violence will displace peace and breed fear, even if it is done in the name of peace. Such hypocrisy is why peace eludes most armies and why peace has not taken root in either Afghanistan or Iraq.

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