War in the Gulf

War in the Gulf

Just wars, inevitable wars, alternatives to war—can they be sorted out as we think our way through to a position on the Gulf crisis? Are there any sturdy principles to grab hold of? When close to a million soldiers face off in the desert, when almighty oil is at stake, phrases like “international cooperation” and “world peace” sound disingenuous. But it seems to me these issues are the place to begin.

With the end of the cold war, the world community has a new chance to fashion a collective and international security policy. Former enemies can now collaborate to decrease the likelihood of war by increasing the effectiveness of other kinds of pressure. Violations of international law would be met first with collective forms of nonviolent coercion. If these failed, at least decisions about the use of force could be collective.

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Lima