Are We Winning the War on War?

My January 5 post, “A Hopeful Side to Human Nature,” presented evidence which indicates that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the better angels of our nature may be winning the war on war. Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article which adds to that evidence. It starts off:

For a student of military history, the most astonishing fact about the current international scene is that there isn’t a single conflict in which two uniformed militaries are pitted against each other. The last one was a brief clash in 2008 between Russia and Georgia. In our day, the specter of conventional conflict, which has dominated the imagination of the West since the days of the Greek hoplites, has almost been lifted.

While the unconventional wars raging around the planet are certainly cause for concern,  it is a very hopeful sign that conventional warfare may be dying out. In the 1980’s I worked with a group called Beyond War, which started with the nuclear threat, but quickly realized that dealing with that threat required “moving beyond war” in a step-by-step process. Is it possible that we are seeing more progress in that direction than the nightly news might lead one to believe?

Martin Hellman

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About Martin Hellman

I am a professor at Stanford University, best known for my invention of public key cryptography -- the technology that protects the secure part of the Internet, such as electronic banking. But, since 1982, my primary interest has been how fallible human beings can survive possessing nuclear weapons, where even one mistake could be catastrophic. My latest project is a book, co-written with my wife Dorothie, with the audacious subtitle "Creating True Love at Home & Peace on the Planet." It's on Amazon and a free PDF can be downloaded from its website:
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