The cost of saying no to Peacekeeping

by Abhishek Bhatnagar

Virginia Page Fortana of Columbia University has a great paper out titled Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? [1], which shows through a comprehensive study of recent civil wars that peacekeeping in general does lead to greater stability in conflict zones. In her own words “peacekeeping after civil wars does indeed make an important contribution to the stability of peace.”

In another release from 2011, Australia’s Institute for Economics and Peace showed that peace is generally profitable to the global economy. It calculated that conflicts had caused a loss of about $8 trillion in 2011, and $38 trillion over five years.

While we can all submit that it would be pure fantasy to expect a conflict free world, we should be able to categorize easily preventable conflicts, and at the very least work towards them. The GPI report shows that a 25% reduction in conflict would deliver a $2 trillion net return to the world economy.

With countries like Mali, Mauritania, and Syria now falling away to Islamic extremists in stark opposition to US interests, you really wonder, what is the true cause of reluctance from international interventionism. In my opinion, it is nothing but the lack of political will.

1. Does Peacekeeping Keep Peace? International Intervention and the Duration of Peace After Civil War

2. Vision of Humanity – Global Peace Index 2011

3. You may also want to check out some of the conflicts that The Sentinel Project for Genocide Prevention is tracking through its early warning system.

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