Peace Through Strength

StrategyPage notes something exceptionally interesting:

The War on Terror has had an unintended, and welcome, side effect; world peace. Since September 11, 2001, and the aggressive American operations against terrorist organizations, several long time wars have ended, or moved sharply in that direction. Many of these wars get little attention in American media, but have killed hundreds of thousands of people over the last decade. These include conflicts in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Chad, Congo, Kashmir, Israel, Kurdistan, Philippines, Burundi, Somalia and Sudan. Some of these conflicts diminished because they had been going on for a while and, as is usually the case with wars, eventually the participants are worn down and make peace. But in all these sudden outbreaks of peace there was another factor; an American crackdown on terrorist activities around the world. The rebels in most of these wars depended on money raised outside their country to keep the fighting going, and on gun runners able to get weapons in. American anti-terrorism operations, energized by the shock of the September 11, 2001 attacks, now included cooperation from many nations, especially in Europe, that had tolerated, on their territory, fund raising, recruiting and public relations efforts by various rebel groups. No more. Most of these rebel organizations had already been declared “terrorist groups” (which they were, as most rebellions use terror, the American Revolution included). Once the U.S. and other nations began to crack down on the fund raising and other activities, it became difficult to keep many wars going.

You mean by actively combatting terrorism rather than ignoring it there would be a decrease in terrorism and conflict? You mean sitting around and dispatching ineffective peacekeepers while holding equally worthless meetings doesn’t help while starving conflicting parties of funds and arms doesn’t?

I’ve long argued that the Bush Doctrine is the single most important shift in US policy since NSC-68 and the theory of containment. It’s a doctrine that is the only current geopolitical strategy that acknowledges the current unwillingness of international institutions to be effective agents of world peace. The only way to reduce international conflict is to attack it directly and attack those who continue to exacerbate these conflicts. History will judge this period much more fairly and in a far less reactionary and shrill manner than the critics do today.

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