The withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan should lead us to reflect and analyse current events in the light of historical time.
Since the Soviet Union’s military involvement in Afghanistan (1980), with the concomitant involvement of the United States on the side of the Taliban, then the wars against Iraq (1991 and 2003), and finally the global war on terrorism declared by the USA after the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers (2001), the lesson to be learned is that the war presented as a solution is in fact a generalized failure.
The US left Afghanistan totally unstructured and the power almost in the hands of those they intended to fight. On the other hand, the logic of war and militarisation of the world has led to the death of 800,000 people in Iraq, the destruction of a country and the extension of the war to the entire Middle East. The logic of war applied to Libya has not solved anything and has led to the spread of war throughout the sub-Saharan region.
At a time when the current problems facing the whole world require all of humanity to work together on human solutions to the economic, social, health and climate crises, we must clearly establish the diagnosis: war is never the solution, it aggravates all problems.
This proven fact leads us to strongly reaffirm that there is no solution to the challenges facing humanity without a drastic reduction in military spending.
But beyond the reduction of military expenditure, we must forcefully attack all the logics of militarisation of the world and of international relations, the logics of war, the development of a culture of war, because it is not only the $2,000 billion that is wasted in one year on world military expenditure, it is also a large part of humanity’s resources, in terms of collective intelligence, scientific, financial and technological resources, which are diverted towards destructive objectives instead of contributing to human security through, for example, the concrete realisation of human rights and the objectives of sustainable development.
An analysis of historical events over the past forty years confirms the need to fight for humanity to turn its back on the logic of power and force. It is more than time to put in place logics of cooperation, of conflict resolution through dialogue in compliance with the United Nations Charter and to revalorise the diplomatic, scientific and economic tools at our disposal to build peace, as the UN resolutions on the culture of peace and the objectives of sustainable development encourage us to do.
A few days before the commemoration of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the words of Albert Camus, written on 8 August 1945, two days after Hiroshima, have perhaps never been so topical: “In the face of the terrifying prospects that are opening up to humanity, we realise even more clearly that peace is the only battle worth fighting. It is no longer a prayer but an order that must go up from the peoples to the governments, the order to choose definitively between hell and reason”. On 7 July 2021, the fourth anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons, which entered into force on 22 January 2021, was celebrated everywhere, to engage beyond the threat of nuclear weapons and the priority of climate change in the project of building a global society that makes people and peace the common priorities of humanity from north to south and east to west.
Signataires : Roland Nivet (porte-parole national du Mouvement de la paix-France, (représentant consultatif auprès d’Ecosoc Onu), Jim Anderson (war veteran and Peace activist – Peace action USA) Alain Rouy (secrétaire exécutif de l’Association Internationale des Educateurs à la Paix (AIEP), Ingeborg Breines (Norvège) ex co-Présidente du Bureau International de la Paix, Cathy Schneider Associate Professor school of international service, American University of washington DC (USA)