Swords and Ploughshares: Building Peace in the 21st Century

by Paddy Ashdown

Book cover for Swords and Ploughshares: Building Peace in the 21st Century

How can it be ensured that current missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, and other similar peacekeeping missions do not turn into long-term entanglements? How can the soldiers in these locations be successfully brought home? And what should be done about so-called “failed states” that are havens for gangsters and terrorists? Paddy Ashdown, a former Marine and diplomat, fears that major wars will soon develop between nation states. Many will begin as minor conflicts but will expand into full-scale wars unless the international community intervenes. The way to stop the big wars is to deal promptly with the small ones. There have been 15 UN-led interventions since 1946, and there are 74 wars in progress today. Lord Ashdown is uniquely qualified to investigate the successes and failures of peacekeeping operations, and to reveal what lessons have been learned, as well as the lessons that are repeatedly forgotten. His discussion of the highs and lows of previous missions covers a broad span of history. He notes, for instance, that planning for post-war government in Germany began in 1943, two years before the guns fell silent. By contrast, George Bush sacked the teams working on plans for a post-Saddam Iraq just as US and British forces invaded in 2003. With clarity and unique insight, this timely study reveals the strategies required to avoid diplomatic and military disasters.

This book is part of: