vis pacem para bellum.
Those who seek peace should prepare for war.
Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus in Epitoma rei militaris
"Eternal Vigilance Is The Price
"In order to achieve peace we must first and
foremost be prepared for war.
We have to change this state of mind at the core. It wasn't
only the Romans who said that those who seek peace should
prepare for war. Even game theory, for which I received
the Nobel Prize, says so. We have to be emotionally prepared
to bear and to inflict casualties - and not to scream
"peace, peace," all day long. Only if we are prepared to
kill and be killed - we shall not be killed. This is the
paradox of war."
Economics Nobel Prize laureate Prof. Israel Aumann
During times of peace our enemies prepare for war. Hostile nations and terrorist organizations are currently stockpiling chemical, biological and conventional weapons. Hostile countries are producing nuclear weapons. In July 15, 1998 the Rumsfeld commission warned that the threat of Ballistic missiles to the United States was evolving more rapidly than predicted by prior estimates. As if to underline the commission's July warning, Iran test-launched its Shahab-3 missile just days later. And on August 31,1998 North Korea fired a Taepo-Dong 1 missile right over Japan.
So far the democratic countries of the world have only experienced a small taste of what is yet to come, for example the poisoning of people on a Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinri Kyo cult, attacks on embassies and airports, hijacking and blowing up of planes and so on. It's only a matter of time before some terrorist group releases sarin or anthrax in a major city or in more than one major city in the United States. (Note this was written before 9/11)
Pacifists feel very self righteous when they protest against war. Yet if the war is a just one protesting against it just increases the time for the enemy to grow stronger and increases the chances that he will win when he chooses to strike.
Before World War II the democracies of Europe ignored the German military buildup and the disastrous consequence of that policy is well known. During peace time it is tempting for many politicians to ignore the threat of war, and to divert money from military expenditures to social programs. During peacetime the threat of war seems far off. In the short term not spending money on the military improves the economy and spending money on social programs makes the constituents of those social programs happy. A good economy and happy constituents are what every politician knows will insure another term in office. Yet the long term consequences of a peaceful country having a weak military will be military actions by a militant country with a strong army. If we want the world to stay peaceful we must prepare for war. In fact in some cases we must strike first to prevent them from acquiring nuclear capability as Israel did against the Osirak reactor in Iraq. The United States destroyed much of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in operation Desert Fox and Desert Storm but that is likely to only slow them down. Other countries such as Iran and North Korea are also developing weapons of mass destruction.
It Won't Happen Again
It is tempting to believe that the massacres of history won't be repeated. It is tempting to believe that Holocausts will not happen again. Yet between the Holocaust and the date of this writing of November 29, 1998 one million people were killed by the Khmer Rouge, tens of thousands of Bosnians were killed in Serbian concentration camps and in Rwanda 1 million Hutus were massacred, and hundreds of thousands of Tutsies as well. More Bosnians would have died if Nato had not intervened. We need to make ourselves strong enough so that we can act pro-actively to prevent tragedies like these from happening again.
It is tempting to believe that war will not happen again. In the United States it's tempting to believe that we are strong enough to avoid future wars. Yet the United States has been strong for a long time but since World War II has had to fight in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War etc.. If we don't want future wars than in times of peace we should prepare for war.
The first step to war is creation of paranoia. It's better to fight this creation of paranoia with words before it becomes a battle with weapons. If a country is indoctrinating it's people to hate one's country than one's country should make an effort to disseminate corrective information before it's too late.
c o p y r i g h t ( c ) 1 9 9 9 - 2004 Karl Ericson Enterprises. All rights reserved
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