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Sticks and Stones

Living with Uncertain Wars

edited by Padraig O'Malley, Paul L. Atwood, and Patricia Peterson

Publication Year: 2006

Albert Einstein famously remarked that he did not know what weapons would be used in World War III, but World War IV would be fought with sticks and stones. In this volume, a distinguished group of scholars, government officials, politicians, journalists, and statesmen examine what can be learned from the wars of the twentieth century and how that knowledge might help us as we step ever so perilously into the twenty-first. Following an introduction by Padraig O'Malley, the book is divided into four sections: "Understanding the World as We Have Known It"; "Global Uncertainties"; "Whose Values? Whose Justice?"; and "Shaping a New World." The first section reviews what we have learned about war and establishes benchmarks for judging whether that knowledge is being translated into changes in the behavior of our political cultures. It suggests that the world's premier superpower, in its effort to promote Western-style democracy, has taken steps that have inhibited rather than facilitated democratization. The second section examines the war on terror and the concept of global war. From the essays in this section emerges a consensus that democracy as practiced in the West cannot be exported to countries with radically different cultures, traditions, and values. The third section visits the question of means and ends in the context of varying value systems and of theocracy, democracy, and culture. In the final section, the focus shifts to our need for global institutions to maintain order and assist change in the twenty-first century. Although each contributor comes from a different starting point, speaks with a different voice, and has a different ideological perspective, the essays reach startlingly similar conclusions. In sum, they find that the West has not absorbed the lessons from the wars of the last century and is inadequately prepared to meet the new challenges that now confront us. Contributors to the volume include J. Brian Atwood, Susan J. Atwood, John Cooley, Romeo Dallaire, Ramu Damodaran, Valerie Epps, Michael J. Glennon, Stanley Heginbotham, Robert Jackson, Winston Langley, Alfred W. McCoy, Greg Mills, Jonathan Moore, Chris Patten, Gwyn Prins, Jonathan Schell, John Shattuck, Cornelio Sommargua, Brian Urquhart, Stephen Van Evera, and Robert Weiner.

Published by: University of Massachusetts Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. iii

Copyright Page

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pp. iv


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii

I would like to thank all those who made these two issues possible: Patricia Peterson, whose persistence, professionalism, and enthusiasm ensured that we could not fail; Jamie Ennis, who helped with the preparation of the text; Sandy Blanchette, assistant dean of the McCormack Graduate School, who kept us in the budget “loop”; and Edmund Beard,...

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pp. 1-12

The twenty- first century had hardly put its fledgling year behind it when the promise of its possibilities, so endlessly recapitulated at the millennium’s turn, was shattered. The television images of two huge Boeing jets lumbering at low altitude across the skyline of a bright Manhattan morning—bellies full of baleful fuel, and ripping into the twin...

Understanding the World as We Have Known It

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pp. 13-18

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What Have We Learned from the Wars of the Twentieth Century?

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pp. 19-32

With the dawn of a new millennium, few areas of human enquiry and reflection can rival, in moral and social importance, the lessons we have learned from the social scourge we call war. My focus here has a central theme (with sub-themes) that has been examined before, but that theme has frequently been largely confined in its application...

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The Link between Poverty and Violent Conflict

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pp. 33-40

“Blessed are the [poor] for they shall inherit the earth.” 1 This biblical aphorism is being realized at an alarming pace. Almost half the world’s six billion people live under the poverty line of two dollars a day: 1.2 billion people earn less than one dollar a day and are in the extreme poverty category.2 By 2020, the globe likely will add two billion more people, 95 percent of...

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The Costs of Covert Warfare: Airpower, Drugs, and Warlords in the Conduct of U.S. Foreign Policy

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pp. 41-62

In his address to Congress after the events of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush told the nation that America’s current war against terrorism would be like no other our nation had ever fought. On this point Mr. Bush seemed ill- advised. Our ongoing war in Afghanistan is the logical outcome of a succession of covert wars that the United States...

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Global Uncertainties

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pp. 63-70

Gwyn Prinz starts by defining terrorism. He distinguishes between “traditional” terrorists, such as the IRA, who have political demands that can be satisfied, and “unconditional terrorists,” such as Al Qaeda, who have no such specific demands. He believes that the Islamic fundamentalists, who divide the world into themselves and infidels, have hijacked what he calls the Islamic...

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The War on Terror

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pp. 71-85

Terrorism is very strange, very frightening, and appears amorphous, so I want to try to bound the problem. We need to know what it is that we are talking about. Just before 9/11, I chaired a study for the U.K. Ministry of Defense that gave us the opportunity to review what everybody was saying at that time in the open and in some...

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Islam and the West: At the Crossroads

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pp. 86-97

If Samuel Huntington were a share, he would today be what market tipsters call a strong buy. That is bad news, because the clash of civilizations, which he predicted in his essay for Foreign Affairs in 1993,1 at the moment casts a gibbet’s shadow over the prospects for liberal order around the world. Depressingly, witlessly, we have to a great extent shaped our own disaster-in-...

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Transitions from Terrorism to Modernity: Linking External and Internal Dimensions of Change

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pp. 98-113

Amid the theories and conspiracies around 9/11, the only two obvious common denominators about the nineteen terrorists were their religious identity and the fact that they had spent time in Afghanistan.1 Ironically, the link between the two was understood by and familiar to the U.S. government, which, in the course of the Cold War...

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Whose Values? Whose Justice?

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pp. 115-120

The third cluster looks at the question whether the end justifies the means. In “From Just War to Just Intervention” Susan Atwood addresses a problem that has engaged theologians and ethicists since early Christian days. What constitutes the grounds for a just war? She discusses how the Just War Ethic has been used to define...

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From Just War to Just Intervention

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pp. 121-145

The Just War Ethic, which traces its origins back to the medieval Christian Church, has faced many challenges regarding its relevance in different historical eras. But until today, it has remained the touchstone for defining the just use of force. It has done so by undergoing a number of evolutionary changes in focus, in...

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The Responsibility to Protect

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pp. 146-148

It is the aim of those us who have survived the catastrophe of the Rwandan genocide never to let it disappear. During the genocide in Kigali in Rwanda, my mandate was self- defense. I was not authorized to protect the forty thousand-odd people that we protected. That was done against...

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Human Rights and the International Criminal Court

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pp. 149-159

I must take you first into the heart of the U.S. government where I spent eight years. On one hand, there is a tremendous amount of lip service paid to the subject of human rights in the U.S. government, and values and norms of international law find their way into the discourse of leaders frequently. We know that President George Bush,...

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Cruel Science: CIA Torture and U.S. Foreign Policy

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pp. 160-216

In April 2004, the American public was stunned when CBS broadcast photographs from Abu Ghraib prison showing Iraqis stripped naked, blinded by bags, and contorted in humiliating positions while U.S. soldiers stood smiling.1 As the scandal grabbed headlines around the globe, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld assured Congress the abuse...

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Shaping a New World

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pp. 217-224

The final cluster focuses on global responsibilities to protect and how to deal with the growing phenomenon of failed states, among them those most poor and purported to be the most likely sources of terrorism. Global institutions relating to these matters fail us, and while a considerable portion of the blame can be attributed to the unwieldy, inefficient,...

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Globalization: New Challenges

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pp. 225-237

At a time when the information revolution has largely freed economics from the reins of politics, when globalization has indeed brought economic growth and liberated innovation, there is a need to also globalize responsibility. The state is being undermined by the assertion of so many...

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The United Nations and War in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries

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pp. 238-267

The United Nations was created in 1945 to prevent another world war. It was designed, as the preamble to the UN Charter states, to eliminate the scourge of war that had befallen humanity twice in the first half of the twentieth century. The United Nations, as the successor to the failed experiment of the League of Nations, embodied Wilsonian idealism. It represented...

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The Role of the United Nations in a Unipolar World

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pp. 268-278

The last time this insult was thrown at the UN was by none other than the president of the United States. It was over the failure of the Security Council to reach unanimity on the occupation of Iraq and the regime change. Here we are a year later [February 2004] and, God help them, the Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his remarkable assistant Lakhdar Brahimi, who...

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Peace Building in an Inseparable World

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pp. 279-300

Peace building, the United Nations term and the less cantankerous one for nation building,1 is not working. Since it takes generations rather than years, a true evaluation is not yet possible. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, of course, so in order to keep trying and to avoid demoralization, hope lives that success will be achieved. But not yet, and not the way things...


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pp. 301-303


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pp. 301-303

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781613761434
E-ISBN-10: 1613761430
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558495340
Print-ISBN-10: 1558495347

Page Count: 312
Publication Year: 2006

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • War.
  • Terrorism.
  • War -- Moral and ethical aspects.
  • War and society.
  • Military history, Modern -- 20th century.
  • World politics -- 20th century
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