The Eight Stage Sequence of Maintaining Peace

© 2020 Jim Spence - Amazingly, there are important recurring patterns of behavior throughout human history that go ignored. Reviews of thousands of years of nation's and nation state's actions reveals one unassailable truth. Various stages of war and hostilities are the default condition for mankind. Alternatively, peace remains the great exception. Why?
To maintain peace, governments run by human beings all around the globe must behave themselves. This seems hard to do. An objective assessment of this situation suggests there is a sequence of processes that ALL nations must respect for peaceful conditions to prevail. Should only one nation violate the sequence, peace can come to an end for many other nations.

Often hapless commentary on what actions can "lead to war" gets disguised as news reporting. Often the commentary is so simplistic, it is an insult to anyone who has been paying attention to world history.

Many people claim they have a “global view” and consider themselves citizens of the earth, instead of merely citizens of a country. Too often these types offer nothing to the potential for a learning process where maintaining peace is concerned. Instead of recognizing the fundamental truths of the peace–war stage sequence, they offer one-dimensional political insults. Ignorant of history, grasping all the difficulties of maintaining peace is beyond their grasp. Good global citizens must also be good citizens of individual nations. These duties are NOT mutually exclusive as many imply.

In the 21st Century it is time to concede that the days of colonialism are not only over, but also admit it is impossible to rewind the clock. Virtually every developed nation on earth has engaged in colonialism, including the U.S. It is noteworthy that indigenous people also engaged in colonialism. Colonialism is a human failing, it is NOT merely a developed nation failing.

It was clearly demonstrated that the colonial era was OVER when the would-be late comers to the colonial era (Germany, Japan, and Italy) learned that territorial expansion was going to be considered a no-no in the civilized world after WWII began.

In the post colonial era, there are clearly eight separate sequences required to maintain peace. In fact, all stages must be continuously keep peace.

Stage one is the recognition that attempting to re-address colonial grievances is senseless and will be ultimately be fruitless. While many colonial era victims have grievances that are very legitimate, after several generations have come and gone, the essence of re-visiting colonial grievances becomes nothing more than endless feuding and bloodshed.

Stage two is the reality that a certain number of regional/local skirmishes are inevitable. The key to maintaining peace is to see to it that these skirmishes do not escalate into regional or global wars. It is best to be realistic instead of idealistic about skirmishes.

Stage three is basic. All nations must respect internationally recognized boundaries. When a nation’s borders are violated trouble almost always follows in the form of war.

Stage four requires an internationally strong reverence for diplomacy. This is required on the part of all civilized nations. It is very basic to peace, that nations maintain embassies within the boundaries of other nations to make sure there is mutual respect and diplomatic communications on an ongoing basis.

Stage five is directly tied to the importance of diplomacy. All countries must enjoy and provide safe and secure embassies. Safe and secure embassies are essential for effective diplomacy when inevitable conflicts develop. When embassies are NOT protected by the host countries, or respected by other nations, peace always crumbles.

Stage six is the essential balancing act. Civilized nations must be capable of differentiating between actions that represent 1) minor local skirmishes or 2) territorial expansion ambitions by would-be tyrants. While minor skirmishes must be tolerated to a certain extent, the appeasement of territorial aggressors will almost always lead to the end of peaceful conditions.

Stage seven requires the recognition by civilized nations that appeasement of leaders of any nations that violate the previous six stages of peace listed above, will result in the worst possible outcomes for all global citizens. The actions of Japan, Germany, and Italy and reactions by other nations provides a perfect illustration of this fundamental principle. There are many other good examples. Appeasing Tojo, Mussolini, and Hitler led to escalations, not to keeping the peace.

Stage eight is empirical. Nations that DO NOT teach their adults and their children the first seven stages required to maintain peace, will eventually suffer catastrophic consequences. Again, it was not just the leaders of Japan, Germany, and Italy that paid the price for the citizens being unaware of the implications of these sequences. Millions of citizens all around the world died as a direct consequence of the ignorance of Japanese, Italian, and German citizens of the sequences involved in maintaining peace.

Finally, a few observations on technology. Technology is a general term. Technology has advanced at a furious pace in recent years. Superior military technology, in the hands of peace-loving nations has always been important to maintaining peace. All civilized nations must not only embrace the previous eight stages of peace, they must also see the wisdom of civilized super-powers possessing superior military technology and superior intelligence gathering capabilities.

When peace loving super-powers are required to shackle their technology and appease rogue states that violate the principles listed above, the world becomes LESS peaceful. Essentially, erring on the side of appeasement once a rogue nation violates the other stages of the peace sequence, creates conditions that allow local and regional skirmishes to escalate into regional or global wars. We now have the technology to make the alternative to appeasement more focused and less invasive.