What is the way ahead?

I cling to the hope that sometime very soon, we will disentangle ourselves from the current armed conflicts and then come to realise that there are very few military methods capable of successfully dealing with internal disorder or internecine struggle. The daily slaughter in NI ended when both sides accepted there was no military solution, Cyprus and Aden may have been others and Iraq/Afghanistan look to be headed down the same route.
The United Nations is exposed as an expensive talking shop. Whilst there have been some successes where the UN has achieved some benefit, these are outweighed by those instances where UN has been exposed as a toothless watch-dog. Nations concentrate on their own interests and form alliances only as needed to achieve their own selfish aims.
The super-powers have lost much of their influence. The events around 9/11 seem to have been based upon Islamic disgust at American actions and influence. The UK has now reduced itself like a Gordon Ramsey sauce until our armed forces is classified as a defence force. Russia has sufficient problems with former USSR member states to keep them busy. China has a monster standing army but seems likely to achieve all they want to commercial means rather than military adventure. India and Pakistan will keep each other amused. The proliferation of nuclear weapons will, hopefully, lead people back to MAD which did work in the past.
So, what is the alternative? Swords into ploughshares has a nice sound to it. As it applies to UK, we might retain a small Army but the main military resources would be formed into a militia. The Army would ensure that the pure military techniques and skills would be ring-fenced against the sort of loss that might occur from the militia concept. Engineers would be employed to improve infrastructures at home and in what are now regarded as 3rd World countries. Logistics would be in support of the engineering effort in addition to the services needed by the standing Army. We have seen the benefits afforded by a disciplined force when introduced into natural disaster scenario.

I am not going to detail this redeployment of our armed forces. There is – I regret – sufficient fuzziness and (maybe) clouded thinking in what I have written but I am sure there are readers who should be able to pick this up and run, walk or limp with it.

With the dreadful increase in our ability to guarantee death from military weapons and methods allied to fighting amongst the civil community, we sure as hell cannot carry on as we are doing right now.

A couple of points,

MAD only works if BOTH sides are afraid of death. As we have seen, this cannot be said for some in the islamic world. We really do have to fear the spread of nuclear weapons, especially iran.

Part of the reason countries / groups go to war is that they think they can win, or get something from invading or attacking other countries. For this reason, we, the democratic nations MUST be well armed and willing to use force against those who attack or threaten others. To minimise the 'ammount' of armed conflict in the world we should increase our defence expenditure dramatically so we can 'police' the world. We should also not involve ourselves in 'crusades' which deplete our capabilities to the point where we cannot stand up to countries like Iran. (I'm thinking Iraq not AFG.)

Most in the west would like to see a peaceful world with no wars and everyone getting along so no need for armies. (or defence forces). others like stalin, hitler, bin-laden, Sadr would only see opportunity to spread their influence and power. As much as I applaude the sentiment, the route to peace is for those who have a vested interest in the stauts quo, to be well armed.


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