The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace

Shannon D. Beebe and Mary Kaldor, PublicAffairs, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 9781586488239
Beebe, Senior Africa Analyst for the U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, and Kaldor, director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance at the London School of Economics, illustrate the failures of military might as the solution for insurgencies in global hotspots like Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans. The authors argue that issues of basic human security, such as access to water, power, and medical services, will ultimately turn local opinion and support to whomever can provide it. Focusing primarily on Iraq and Afghanistan, Beebe and Kaldor believe that a challenge to ending the insurgency is the fact that the U.S. and its allies are following the Laws of Land Warfare, or more simply, the rules of war, whereas the insurgents are not; for them, the ends justifies the means. The authors argue that providing for basic security can work in winning hearts and minds, but that basic security isn't enough. Real change will require re-educating people to demand security from their own governments. A shift such as this will happen only if the people want it to, and it will have to take place over many generations.
 (May)
Reviewed on: 07/19/2010
Release date: 05/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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