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COMMENT 9 February 2016 

The city of Aleppo in Syria is coming under increasingly heavy attack by pro Assad regime forces. More hospitals have been reported as destroyed by aerial bombardment. Increased Russian airstrikes are said to be a factor. But for a moment, let's not try to say who's to blame. Extremist groups, the great powers and the Assad government are all involved. The UN is working hard but so far seems unable to halt the conflict. The reality is that in 2016, hospitals are being destroyed and thousands of people killed or mutilated in a conflict that is ultimately how about who will govern a nation - manage its taxes, its schools, its trade - indeed even about who, if anyone, collects the garbage. These are all important matters but in the year 2016 disagreements about them should not result in the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of citizens. Do we really have to drop explosives on hospitals to resolve such issues?

Sure, we need to physically restrain aggressors - be they 'terrorists' or 'regimes' until the matters are resolved, but the current technology we employ of bomb and bullet is barbarous and outdated. We can do better.

COMMENT 13 January 2016 

Last week North Korea appeared to have detonated its fourth nuclear test. The rogue nation seems unlikely to have a large nuclear arsenal but we are reminded that just a single nuclear bomb - let alone a full scale nuclear war - would cause immense radiation damage. The threat of nuclear war has by no means gone away,

The adoption of nonlethal security across the world would 'lower the temperature' of potential conflict and ease the path to total nuclear disarmament. We should not delay in a world where even one nation still conducts nuclear tests.

COMMENT 16 December 2015 

Nations of the world appear to have recently agreed - in the 'Paris Agreement' - that carbon emissions must be substantially reduced. This is good news although we need to be cautious. This is just the talk – we have yet to see the walk. We can also regret the delay. An agreement ten years ago would have made the task very much easier. Relentless lobbying by the fossil fuel industry has put short term profit (to some big corporations) ahead of community benefit.

We can see the same behaviour by the gun lobby and by the private health lobby in the United States. Internationally, the arms industry exerts similar pressure. Massive peaceful community action around the world defeated the fossil fuel lobbyists to achieve the Paris Agreement. Perhaps we can look forward to peaceful community action to defeat the lethal arms lobby and move us to a world where we can ensure international security without killing people.

COMMENT 27 November 2015 

The terrorist attacks in Paris are still fresh in our memories. This is a tragic and worrying event, but predictably the response from many quarters has been that we must ‘step up the war on ISIS’. This is exactly the reaction that the terrorists would have wished for.
Obviously the world needs to express great sorrow at the death and injury - just as one would mourn the deaths from an earthquake. At the same time, the perpetrators should not be treated as ‘warriors’, but as deluded criminals.

How do such events relate to nonlethal security?

Hypothetically of course, if the conflicts in the Middle East had been confronted without killing, then the motivation for lethal terorism would have been much less. The fact that the Paris terrorists could point to the many deaths of ISIS fighters and of civilians in Syria and Iraq in no way excuses their actions but it does make them more understandable.

Effective nonlethal technology could help resolve such conflicts as we are witnessing in Syria. Terrorism might not be eliminated but it might certainly be reduced.

(earlier Comments)

TECHNOLOGY IN WAR

2015 is the Year of Committing to Nonlethal Technology in War. Lethal weapons – like fossil fuels – are becoming obsolete. Weapons cause huge grief and quite often they don’t resolve conflict. ‘Clean green’ nonlethal technology will ensure peace across the world without killing people. Just as we’re changing from burning coal and oil to sustainable ways of generating energy we can start to move from bullets and bombs to devices which keep us safe but don’t kill. During 2015 we must start making the move to a new nonlethal technology of war.

1915 – the Centenary of Gallipoli – also saw the start of World War One’s industrial scale slaughter by rifles, machine guns and artillery: over 100,000 dead at the 2nd Battle of Ypres, over 420,000 at the Battle of Loos and nearly 120,000 at Gallipoli, including some 8,000 Australians.

In the century since then the weapons of war have become ever more deadly. There is less ‘major’ warfare at present, but the ongoing lethal conflict in the Middle East puts us at risk of a nuclear war, triggered by terrorists or failed states.

In this Centenary Year, we need a commitment by nations around the world to begin the serious development of nonlethal technologies which can protect us from aggression and ensure peace and justice without death and injury.

(See Media Release http://www.tamingwar.com/media-releases)

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AIMS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN:

The overall purpose of the Nonlethal Security for Peace Campaign is to reduce the damage of war, specifically to:

  • Reduce death and injury in warfare by promoting the use of non-damaging technology in conflict resolution
  • Influence peace-keeping agencies (such as the UN) to move progressively from lethal to non-lethal weaponry
  • Subsequently influence defence forces in nations around the world to make the same transformation to non-lethal defence
  • Over the course of time, change world culture from lethal to non-lethal conflict resolution, with the result that the nuclear weapons that threaten our species will finally be eliminated
  • By removing lethality from conflict resolution, help to lower the overall level of violence in society, promoting a more peaceful and just world.

Why do we need to develop Nonlethal Security?

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TWO GOALS of the NONLETHAL SECURITY FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN

  • One day, except as curios, guns designed for killing people will be illegal

(Sporting guns – for responsible shooters – will be OK)

  • Explosives will only be used in mining, engineering and fireworks.

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