CONTENTS: A Global Security System: An Alternative to War

Executive Summary


Introduction : A Blueprint for Ending War

Why is an Alternative Global Security System both Desirable and Necessary?

Why we Think a Peace System is Possible

Outline of an Alternative Security System

Shifting To A Pro-Active Posture
Strengthening International Institutions
Reforming the United Nations
Reforming the Charter to More Effectively Deal with Aggression
Reforming the Security Council
Provide Adequate Funding
Forecasting and Managing Conflicts Early On: A Conflict Management
Reform the General Assembly
Strengthen the International Court of Justice
Strengthen the International Criminal Court
Nonviolent Intervention: Civilian Peacekeeping Forces
International Law
Encourage Compliance With Existing Treaties
Create New Treaties
Create a Stable, Fair and Sustainable Global Economy as a Foundation for Peace
Democratize International Economic Institutions (WTO, IMF, IBRD)
Create an Environmentally Sustainable Global Marshall Plan
A Proposal For Starting Over: A Democratic, Citizens Global Parliament
Inherent Problems With Collective Security
The Earth Federation

Creating a Culture of Peace

Accelerating The Transition To An Alternative Security System


24 Responses

  1. It is essential that the commons be returned to the people. The economic self-determination that this will facilitate will undermine any warmongering.

    When people are starving, they are more susceptible to following the war hawks. When the peoply are satisfied, the need, impulsr or desire for doing harm goes away.

    For more on this, read ” The Science of Political Economy” by Henry George.

    1. Yes, there are many things that facilitate war-making including economic insecurity, cultures of hatred, the presence of weapons and war plans, the absence of cultures of peace, the absence of structures of nonviolent conflict resolution. We need to work on all such areas.

    2. Yes Frank, as I am also familiar with the important economic thought of Henry George, I am happy to see your comment. In order to have a world of peace we need to fairly share instead of fight over land and natural resources. Georgist economics gives an eloquent policy approach for doing so.

  2. I have not yet read this book; I just read the table of contents and Executive Summary so please forgive me if I have rushed to judgement.

    So far, every strategy and tactic required to either dismantle the war machine or build a peace culture that you have listed in the TOC or on your website requires people to get together in groups and make decisions. Every suggestion, every plan. And yet, as far as I can tell, an analysis of meetings and group dynamics at this (small) scale seem curiously missing. Especially if you hold the view, such as I do, that the decision making process call majority rule voting is inherently violent and even using power in meetings to make decisions in all the dynamic ways we wield power is a micro-system for the very macro-system we are trying to dismantle. Is it possible to use a model of group dynamics based on war (using power to win or dominate; otherwise known as voting) to eliminate war? Do you have a Board of Directors? Is that not a model of oligarchy?

    I believe I have some standing to point this concern out. I have been a nonviolent direct actionist for over 30 years. I am deeply trained in nonviolence, have facilitated trainings in nonviolence and have participated in over 100 nonviolent direct actions in the USA. I have written three non-fiction books on this topic. One is entitled: “Food Not Bombs: How to Feed the Hungry and Build Community”. [I am a founding member of the original Food Not Bombs collective.] I also wrote: “On Conflict and Consensus” and “Consensus for Cities”. The latter is a blueprint for using cooperative, values-based decision making for large groups, such as a city. The appendix even has a model for global consensus decision making. [Note: This is not the UN model of unanimous voting consensus. Complete unanimity is a form of majority rule sometimes called consensus. Real consensus, IMO, is as different from the voting process as American football is from baseball; both are group or team activities, both are ball games, and both have the same objective but otherwise they are not at all alike. The big difference (unlike in ball games) is that in voting, each team tries to win and in consensus, everyone tries to cooperate.] In case it isn’t obvious, the very process of voting create minorities or losers or people who have been dominated. Every time.

    I have been dong this a long time. I know that the patterns and habits of using power to win are deeply engrained in every one of us (and every one of you at World Beyond War). Unless and until we collectively dismantle the tendency to “use power to win” within ourselves, and this is not easy to do, we collectively will continue to “struggle against the stream” to dismantle systems of oppression and continue to fail at making peace something you engage in rather than peace being the absence of war.

    C.T. Butler

    “If war is the violent resolution of conflict, than peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather, the ability to resolve conflict without violence.”
    -from On Conflict and Consensus 1987

    1. Can I reply to that without the two of us becoming a duopoly oppressing the rest of the world? 🙂

      We do have to speak to one another and work together to change the world, do we not?

      You are absolutely right that we need to develop cooperativeness and unlearn power and competition.

    2. I have the same analysis as you do…that we are all imbued with the “war model” in our daily lives — in the way we talk to each other, and especially in the way we make decisions in our groups, which is how all decisions are made in our society. And until we all take on the responsibility of unlearning what we’ve been taught, and learning a peaceful model of communicating and decision-making, we don’t stand much of a chance moving away from war.

      1. Hark! The model was achieved 68 years ago and is still vibrant and alive in one of the most notorious military powers of all time. Japan. Article 9 of the Japanese Peace Constitution prevents Japan from ever again making war. A proven, legal document-in-action.

  3. Very comprehensive and well thought out. I particularly liked the emphasis on the Courts. If there is a criticism it is that there should have been more emphasis on the OUtlawery movement and the promotion of the Kellogg Briand Pact which still remains the most unambiguous document,treaty, and law against war that remains in effect today,but is pretty much brushed aside as something in antiquity in your book just as it is society today.So when I say well thought out and comprehensive I mean that this was intentional and would like to know why. Steve McKeown

  4. A Global Security System raises a LOT of “red flags” in and of itself. With a “global security system” comes global invasions of privacy, violations of civil rights, and mass paranoia. A “global security system”, whether made by civilians or by governments, sooner or later, will lead to bad things happening. History reminds humanity of that and we need to learn from mistakes of the past to not allow ANY version of “global security”, regardless of how charitable it might sound, to destroy our lack of common sense in not trusting a conglomerate of any kind. Global security systems, sooner or later, become “Big Brother”, simply another form of tyranny. History proves it.

  5. When I received the email promoting a world without war I decided to download the 70 some pages and take it home to read. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for me to realize that this is utopia. To think for a single minute that you can get everyone to agree never to fight implies that you must be smoking something.

    You talk about a World Court, but where is this court when it comes to investigating the crimes of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc.? Where is this court when it comes to the crimes and murders committed by the Israeli government for the past 70 years?

    To hope that you can eliminate greed and power from the minds of many people around the world is nothing but wishful thinking. Just look at the millions made by bankers, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street, not including the many weapons manufacturers.

    And, of course, I cannot overlook the wars and crimes committed in the name of religion. The hatred of Muslims by Jews, Jews by Muslims, Christians by Jews, Muslims by Christians, etc., etc.

    Your book also indicates that you are already convinced that Arab terrorists flying airplanes brought down the three high rise buildings in New York on September 11, 2001. If this is the case this shows how out of touch you are with reality, science, the laws of gravity, chemistry, strength of materials, etc.

    I would suggest that instead of trying to reach a utopia of a world with war you consider demanding those leaders that wish to go to war be the first in the line of defense and be made accountable for their actions. This may make some of them think twice before putting their necks on the line.

    1. You’re opposed to establishing working courts BECAUSE we don’t yet have them?

      You found the elimination of greed and power in this book? Where? This is a book suggesting that when people act greedily and angrily it would be better if they do so without weapons of war.

      You’re opposed to eliminating war because wars are supported by religions?

  6. When I made a criticism of the book on one point it certainly wasn’t because it was too utopian. On the contrary it should be commended for its pragmatic outlook. What we have now can rightfully be called crackpot idealism to think we can go on without working to abolish war. Every one of the topics covered were building blocks that need to be laid. I personally think that if Defense Policies and Practices were to be put forth by each nation in how they could honor the Kellogg Briand Pact it would be the most practical thing in the world if nations really want Peace. In the World wide disarmament conference in 1932 Hoover was willing to dismantle all attack weapons including all bombers. In 1963 Khrushchev and Kennedy were seriously talking about complete and total disarmament behind the scenes. If they can be discussing this after the brink of disaster they almost took us they would want the leaders of all nations to be studying to implement most of us what is in this book…Steve McKeown

  7. A thought experiment: A well armed country or group with over population wants to take over Hawaii. They invade Hawaii. Kill all the Hawaiians. Repopulate the islands with their own people.

  8. The World Beyond War blueprint was recently circulated on the (Canadian-based) Peace listserv. It is unfortunate that big proposals like this, with solid intentions, would embrace progressive concepts such as non-offensive and non-provocative defence, unarmed civilian peacekeepers, UN reform, etc. but not a UNEPS as well. There is an ambiguous comment regarding R2P and as well to “shifting to nonviolent methods as the primary tools, and providing an adequate (and adequately accountable) police power to enforce its decisions”, but no explicit reference to a UN emergency peace service.

    To clarify (because UNEPS is not yet — but should be — in all mainstream peace community discourse), the 20 year old proposal is for a permanent, integrated multidimensional (military, police and civilian) first in/first out standing capability in the 15-18,000 person range, (a third in each rapidly deployable grouping), hired, controlled and trained by the UN. It arrives early to curtail crises before they fester and get out of hand. UNEPS would not be established for war fighting, and would “hand off” to peacekeepers, regional or national services, within six months, depending on the crisis.

    Without UNEPS, in the future peace blueprint, there is no practical, interim, realistic, deterrent measure and capability and no UN linchpin to make the peace project work. How best to go from 195 national militaries to scaling back, but retaining security than through a multi-dimensional UN capacity?

    The going from where we are now to where we want to get to is not a magical, but a practical, question that needs creative thinking. To that end, I agree with huge chunks of the WBW blueprint — as presumably all peace advocates should — but there is no longer any excuse for leaving out the UNEPS proposal.

    It’s time for the peace thinkers to talk to the peace operations experts (most of whom know as much or more about peace than anyone else.)

    I’d be interested in your thoughts about placing UNEPS into your World Beyond War blueprint.

    Robin Collins

    A good quick outline is in Peter Langille’s FES paper:

    Another good outline on OpenDemocracy:

  9. This book is excellent and as a long-time United Nations NGO representative I appreciate the clarity concerning UN reform. However there remains the need for a deep analysis of the economics of war and peace. A new economics addresses wealth inequality with the principle that “the earth belongs to everyone” and policies to fairly share land and resource rents. This along with public banks are two important keys to building a world of peace and justice.

  10. Issues of economic inequality, climate change, human rights, and of course war all require attention. All of the nonviolent tools available need to be applied at the local and national levels.

    The Earth Federation addresses the global level and recognizes that the United Nations can’t do its job because of the fatally flawed and inadequate UN Charter.

    We think the Earth Constitution provides the needed geopolitical system change since it gives us the strongest strategy to end or reduce war, and to eliminate weapons of mass destruction. The Constitution’s world judiciary/enforcement system will allow us to hold individual leaders of bully nations liable for world crimes. At present they are above the law.

    Multinational corporations will no longer be able to move from nation to nation to avoid their public responsibilities. An elected World Parliament will give “we, the people” a true voice in global affairs. This is the global system change that will be needed — from a global war system to a global peace system.

    We stand with Einstein on Peace. The Earth Federation’s Earth Constitution is the living document that manifests what Einstein argued was needed if we are to save humanity.

  11. I think I’m as excited to find so many well-thought comments by so many intelligent critical thinkers, as I am to find out about the book. Thank you; looking forward to reading.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Our Theory of Change

How To End War

Move for Peace Challenge
Antiwar Events
Help Us Grow

Small Donors Keep Us Going

If you select to make a recurring contribution of at least $15 per month, you may select a thank-you gift. We thank our recurring donors on our website.

This is your chance to reimagine a world beyond war
WBW Shop
Translate To Any Language