Sunday, October 28, 2007


by David Hazen
(529 words)

The cost of interpersonal violence in the USA added to the cost of US military involvement in violent conflict amounts to at least $1.1 trillion per year. If one percent of that were spent on prevention strategies and the benefits re-invested in continuing improvements to human security, how many years would it take to create a "peace dividend" of $1.1 trillion?

The 2005 Human Security Report: War and Peace in the 21st Century, published by Oxford University Press, shows that most forms of political violence have declined significantly since the end of the Cold War––and finds that the best explanation for this decline is the huge upsurge of conflict prevention, resolution and peace-building activities that were spearheaded by the United Nations in the aftermath of the Cold War.

Traditional security policy emphasizes military muscle. The proponents of human security have focused on preventive diplomacy, conflict management, post–conflict peace-building, building state capacity, and promoting equitable economic development.

There are strong similarities between the supportive strategies for promoting peace on the international scene to the strategies for prevention of interpersonal violence. Both are heavily dependent on communication and education, as well as on inclusion into economic markets ...

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David Hazen, MA in systematic design-planning, lives in Eugene, and is the Oregon State Coordinator for the campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace.

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