Common Security

(This is section 18 of the World Beyond War white paper A Global Security System: An Alternative to War. Continue to preceding | following section.)

The island fort: rugged, romantic, picturesque . . . but not of much use as a model for 21st century global security. (Image: Abandoned fort on the Mamula island on the entrance to the Boka Kotorska bay , MonteNegro
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Conflict management as practiced in the iron cage of war is self-defeating. In what is known as the “security dilemma,” states believe they can only make themselves more secure by making their adversaries less secure, leading to escalating arms races that have culminated in conventional, nuclear, biological and chemical weapons of horrific destructiveness. Placing the security of one’s adversary in danger has not led to security but to a state of armed suspicion and as a result, when wars have begun, they have been obscenely violent. Common security acknowledges that one nation can only be secure when all nations are. The national security model leads only to mutual insecurity, especially in an era when nation states are porous. The original idea behind national sovereignty was to draw a line around a geographical territory and control everything that attempted to cross that line. In today’s technologically advanced world that concept is obsolete. Nations cannot keep out ideas, immigrants, economic forces, disease organisms, information, ballistic missiles, or cyber-attacks on vulnerable infrastructure like banking systems, power plants, stock exchanges. No nation can go it alone. Security must be global if it is to exist at all.

Continue to preceding | following section.)

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