The Savage Wars of Peace: Toward a New Paradigm of Peace Operations

The Savage Wars of Peace: Toward a New Paradigm of Peace Operations

The Savage Wars of Peace: Toward a New Paradigm of Peace Operations

The Savage Wars of Peace: Toward a New Paradigm of Peace Operations


Providing a theoretical framework for US military doctrine as it relates to peace-keeping, this is an historical overview of UN and non-UN peace operations. The contributors lay out the political and strategic context for peace operations.


"The savage wars of peace-- Fill full the mouth of Famine And bid the sickness cease... The ports ye shall not enter, The roads ye shall not tread, Go make them with your living, And mark them with your dead!"

The words above, quoted from Rudyard Kipling's politically incorrect (for the 1990s) poem, "The White Man's Burden," describe far better than any modern writing, the challenge of post Cold War peace operations. When I reread the entire poem a couple of years ago, I was impressed with how well the "poet of imperialism" had captured both the challenges of this world as well as his own but also the character of the then newly emerging American world power. Today, almost a century later, the United States still has not come to terms with its super power status--as the chapters in this book attest.

Our purpose in the book, however, is not to castigate the Americans or any other national participant in modern peace operations. Rather, it is to apply theory developed from social science research to military doctrine and test it against specific cases of peace operations. These operations run the gamut from situations that developed in the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, to the present. We have divided our nine cases into "traditional peacekeeping", "wider peacekeeping", and "peace enforcement" categories. Yet, having done so, we found that in retrospect the categories are quite arbitrary. The commonalties run through all the cases. And they are all unique. Nevertheless, our model informs them all and suggests that such fine distinctions are not necessary or even truly helpful.

The authors of this book are a varied group. They range from established scholars and practitioners to very junior scholars and practitioners. Without exception they have some experience in the real world of security; without exception they have some experience in the academic world. In most cases the authors are in some way affiliated with the US Army Command & General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This institution, which has been called the "crossroads of the US Army" is really much more. It is the crossroads of the armies of the world (and to a lesser extent, the navies and air forces as well). More important, it is the intellectual heart of the American army and the . . .

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