Preventing Peace - New Report

On from December 16, 1999

TFF P r e s s I n f o   # 8 2

P R E V E N T I N G   P E A C E   -   N E W   R E P O R T

December 16, 1999

"We are seeing it for the umteenth time in international
conflict-management: when intellectual analysis and politics fall apart,
cover it up with military potency and give it all a human face! One would
like to believe that the West's moral, legal and political conflict
'management' disaster in the Balkans and in Kosovo 1989-1999 would be
debated throughout the West - democracies with freedom of speech. The
silence about that failure, however, is roaring. It's just the locals who
won't understand how well-meaning we were and are! 

But something else is happening: the disaster is turning into a recipe! Read
the statements from leading ministers, top generals, EU, and NATO during the
last six months. They invariably state 'that we have learnt in Kosovo' that
we need more military capacity, more force. NATO's Secretary- General, Lord
Robertson, tells the world that "the time for a peace dividend is over
because there is no permanent peace - in Europe, or elsewhere. If NATO is to
do its job of protecting future generations, we can no longer expect to have
security on the cheap." Well, Lord Robertson is of course constitutionally
prevented from pondering what world leaders have done so miserably the last
ten years since the century ends under such dark clouds.

The EU has decided to conduct a turbo-militarization. It has nothing to do
with a European Army, we are told - then we can be sure that's what they are
heading for. No, it's for peace. And it's modelled on the handling of
Kosovo. It means repetition, somewhere sometime, of that failed policy"-
says TFF director Jan Oberg.  

"To put it crudely, what the EU, the US and NATO have done with all the
unique historical peace opportunities of 1989 is to practise a new idea:
PEACE-PREVENTION. Western power political, geostrategic, geo-economic
motives and military-industrial needs coupled with world cultural and media
dominance increasingly function as force multipliers - straight toward a new
world-anatagnising authoritarianism.  For years to come, this means a less
stable, more militarised Europe, a new globalised Cold War, more destruction
and more human suffering - in the Balkans and Eurasia in the future. 

Most security and peace intellectuals seem safely immunized against
criticism and independent, alternative thinking. And neither the citizens of
Western democracies nor those of Eastern Europe are consulted at this
fateful moment of contemporary history.    

We are ending this century in an extremely ill-fated manner. The West
obviously could not survive the old Cold War's end without creating new
enemies. Some of us - - raised that worry
exactly ten years ago. It's part of the deep ideology of the West," says Oberg.

T H E   R E P O R T  

TFF has found it necessary, at this moment, to take a more systematical look
at what the West has done as self-proclaimed conflict-managers and mediators
since the war started in 1991. The collection of intellectual and moral
failures is published in "PREVENTING PEACE. SIXTY EXAMPLES OF

It contains theory and  is very concrete, with the following chapters:
- Pro-active violence-prevention
- Conflicts and emergencies
- Civil society peace culture
- and then comes the sixty examples of conflict mismanagement, concluding in
- nine peace-making lessons that must be learned - again.

This analysis will be followed up by constructive proposals and alternatives
to each of the sixty mistakes - what should have been done instead based on
a philosophy of principled mediation and peacemaking.
It's short, sharp and sad - sad as a comment on how leaders are misleading
us into what looks like impending chaos. On top of it you hear every day
that 'we have no choice' and that 'the developments require...'We hope that
it will help you think realistically and mindfully about the implications of
this particular turn of the year, decade and century. 

58 pp, 125 Swedish kronor or 15 US$ plus postage. 

How to order:
Write to TFF at, we send you payment instructions and when
your payment has arrived, we send the analysis to you.

(c) TFF 1999

You are welcome to reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but
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Dr. Jan Oberg
Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team 
to the Balkans and Georgia


Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research
Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden
Phone +46-46-145909 (0900-1100)
Fax +46-46-144512
tff at