Knowledgeable in the first place. In other
Knowledgeableof the various aspects of Goldstein’s prospective on the decline of war due tothe previous discussion enables deeper analysis for the second half of the novel,”Winning the War on War: The Decline ofArmed Conflict Worldwide.
The assigned four chapters glance at implementedpeace movements and convey that war is on the decline. The focus of thiscritical analysis will be on Goldstein’s topic of prosperity as a source ofpeace, peacekeeping and R2P. Whatis erroneous with Goldstein’s story is his mention of prosperity as a source ofpeace throughout chapter 11. In agreeance,growing prosperity certainly does aid in the explanation of the decline ofcivil wars, although the organizational strength of the state is an equally vitalfactor. The notion of economic forces pushing toward peace among advancedindustrial state is typically framed with regards to economic interdependenceinstead of prosperity. In point of this fact, the ‘capitalist peace’ now rivalsthe ‘democratic peace’ as primary explanations for the near absence of warsbetween democracies in the last two centuries. Both contribute to peace in theWest, but neither can explain peace between the superpowers during the ColdWar. Tofollow in brief, Goldstein raises peacekeeping has a vital topic for winningthe war on war, which creates an even bigger problem.
Goldstein’s enterprise isheavily dependent on his ability to illustrate why war has not been breaking outas often as it did in the previous years, which means he has to be concernedabout the causes of war and peace. However, it is informative to note thatpeacekeeping occurs after a war breaks out, and thus has little to do with whywar breaks out in the first place. In other words, UN peacekeeping, which isthe foundation of Goldstein’s argument, cannot account for the reasons warsoccur or not.
Consequently, it cannot explain the decline in the number ofarmed conflicts since WWII; it can only explain why some wars were shut downafter they started, a concern largely irrelevant for explaining why war hasdeclined since the last few decades. A closing comment is in order aroundGoldstein’s embrace of R2P. Focusing specifically on chapter 12 and R2P: it callsfor initiating wars against countries that commit serious crimes against theirown civilian populations. That concept, which goes well beyond peacekeeping,can only be applied under UN auspices. If the major powers, notably the UnitedStates, turn serious about this concept, there will certainly be a substantialincrease in the number of wars fought in the near future. After all, there aremore than a few countries at a time behaving poorly toward a portion of theircivilian population. That almost certainly means war would be with us for theforeseeable future and Goldstein’s hope of winning the war on war would fall.
He might argue that these are good wars (a distinction he avoids in his book),but this development would also keep the United States addicted to war for sometime to come. Fortunately, R2P is not likely to gain much traction simplybecause it will be difficult to get the Security Council to sanction R2Poperations. If this is the case do you think UN might end up making moresubstantial contribution to world peace? In order for it to do so, it wouldhave to act in ways that cut against Goldstein’s prescription for what can bedone to make the world far more peaceful (Goldstein, p. 308).