Thursday, May 14, 2015
Realities of Peace Management
To achieve peace on a global scale a few realities need to take root: - Armies give security not peace. - Leaders need to keep talking no matter what takes place. - No country or person is above the law – respect is the issue here. - The adhoc manner in which we deal with conflicts needs to change. Take any current conflict and each of the above points will clearly standout where mistakes are made. At the outset of a conflict, the third point is often the fuel for unrest to begin. In broader terms the rule of law speaks to fairness and when people live with the feeling of imbalance long enough, they begin to protest. For examples we can look at Ukraine, Syria, Yemen and Burundi. Also we can not ignore the unrest in many communities of RUSA such as in Baltimore, Maryland. These protests present leaders of the community and these leaders must be listened to. Unfortunately this step is often missed. The reasons or causes for the miscommunication rests with two factors – time and panic. It takes quick action to quell the swell of emotions. This quick action leads to panic on both sides. From there the people begin to rally and hold demonstrations. Again this is the opportunity to talk and set solutions in motion. What we often experience is the rush to arms. Police or military are moved in due to panic on both sides. This is when we hear the tag lines that peace must be restored. In fact peace was broken well before the demonstrations happen. What is being sought is security. That security will allow time for peace talks to find solutions. The above paragraph is the process that usually takes place. If leaders are interested in finding solutions, taking responsibility and taking charge greater efforts must be made. These efforts (discussions to find solutions) need to happen well before the swell of emotions rises to the level of public protests. All too often we allow such protests to spin out of control. This is due again to the panic people feel from the unknown of what to do and little or no hope of improvement. What is clear is that peace is a constant, fluid process. Ultimately the constant need of focus on peace is the main reason peace efforts often fail. The efforts of peace are deemed unnecessary when life seems to run quite predictably. The lull of order allows for discussion to be viewed as tedious. Once that mentality sets in, issues go unchecked, communication is lost and anger rises. The Arab Spring movement is a great example of the breakdown in peace management amongst government, business and society. The second point of the list is encompasses in respect. Each of us have laws, rules and guidelines to follow. These are in place to provide structure and a sense of knowledge about the future. When these are not adhered to, the entire system is thrown into question. For example the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 put the entire global system of law into question. From there a complete distrust in leadership had given rise to Arab Spring, the fall of Syria and the worldwide turmoil of Islamic State. Had certain people adhered to the rule of law and the guidelines of international law the world would be a very different place today. In the context of law, we have the capacity to take actions when governments use questionable methods. Unfortunately the laws or guidelines are thrown aside for reasons that are centralized on a one sided perception of righting a wrong and a peace process takes too long. Also, these processes again take great effort. However the need for quick action puts panic into the minds of leaders. This panic leads to adhoc methods, questionable actions, less communication and disrespect of law. The opening four points are not the total list of needs for peace to take root. The complete list would include insanity. For every effort of peace we must take into account the acts of insane people. Clearly such situations are part of life and cannot be foretold. However in the process of peace, such factors can be mitigated. This is why we must be diligent in our efforts to keep talking, respect laws and manage peaceful solutions. The recent talks held between RUSA and Russia has shown some promise of a respectful peace process finally taking place.