The Right to Peace: A Defense-Security Approach

The Right to Peace: A Defense-Security Approach

I will focus on “security and defense approaches to peace” in order to prove that peace cannot be simply realized from a legal or political viewpoint, but there are more important viewpoints with different approaches to peace.
Here, I want to discuss those ideas which stand in contrast to common peace building and peacemaking views. There are two kinds of peace approaches in security theories: a positive approach and a negative approach.
Positive and negative approaches to peace
Proponents of the positive approach maintain that peace means absence of war. Some of them believe in the necessity of building peace and there are important theorists in this area with serious arguments. The absence of war as requisite of peace has been also underlined in liberalistic and neoliberal schools which see peace only in the context of security. As a result, they maintain that peace can only exist when security exists too.
Therefore, militaries are the main factor which endangers peace and security strategists are the main parties which make plan for peace. What happens in the United Nations or other organizations followed what really happens in the world because political discourse is a main factor determining peace and security. Therefore, realism will be more useful here. Some believe that military men only approach peace from the viewpoint of their own benefits. Therefore, we should focus on frameworks which shape mentality of security strategists and military men. In other words, there are many approaches here one of which was the approach of an international government. It argued that “war” is the main reality, not peace and all plans should be based on war.
At present, nongovernmental organizations and other influential entities have been discussing war and peace. Today, states are not the sole parties involved with peace or war, but there are other groups which can play an effective role in delineating the concepts of peace and war. Here, I will mention few claims against us (Iran) in Europe and elsewhere in the West.
What does it mean when Western countries claim that we defend peace on the one hand, while also supporting freedom movements, on the other hand? They say that we talk about peace while, at the same time, promoting war and conflict. We should immediately say that the peace formulated by them is not a just peace and the image we have of peace is quite different from their image. Our image is shaped by the military men while their image is made by security strategists.
As a result, these viewpoints will never converge. This interest-based viewpoint has been institutionalized in their minds. Therefore, a security-based approach to peace does not value peace as an absolute value, but as the absence of resistance. They say that peace exists where your enemies cannot resist you. This is quite different from the concept of peace in legal texts. They try to formulate their national security and military strategies in such a way as to prevent others from resisting them. In that case peace would exist. Such analysts maintain that countries should move to increase their military capacities. On the other hand, the military men also emphasize that the world is still exposed to serious threats of war and violence. Since they think this way, they also act this way. See how Western countries perform in Iraq or Afghanistan. How they waited for resolutions to be passed by the United Nations before taking action. These examples attest to the existence of a military approach to the concept of peace.
Covert and overt diplomacy
Security-based views are somehow more complicated because they maintain that existing paradigms cover both overt and covert diplomacies. We must try to make people believe in peace as a necessity.
Being a “necessity” does not mean that it cannot be breached in any way. Therefore, governments and security experts try to forge a balance among all players and reach an agreement. Collective security views maintained that other countries should become so dependent on them that undermining a political unit’s security would amount to weakening the security of all.
These are unwritten principles which form the minds and mentalities of security and political experts. When writing an article, they all speak about peace, but the main paradigm in their minds is what I said before. The factor which will really establish peace in the world is to form the mentality of strategists, security strategists and military personnel. It is really important for military men and security strategists to reach the conclusion that the society has been matured enough to provide guarantees for building and keeping peace.
As long as they have not reached that point, they will insist on their own paradigm and this will be quite realistic. Huge money is spent on this way of thinking, both in our country and other countries and recriminations are rife because of the abovementioned way of thinking. Can countries which rely on a rich religious culture defend that paradigm and to what extent will it pitch us against the world peace? Since other countries only care for their own interests, they defend themselves better, but we stress on human values and should have a better defense capability. Have we been able to develop that capability?
It is now clear that what is happening in the world and the realties on the grounds emphasize on peace as absence of war instead of underlining the need for a just peace. They emphasize on the absence of a war which has been started due to necessity, not the war which has actually started.
Since this concept lingers in our minds, we are always ready for a mental war even if no war has happened in actuality. In this case, how will we be able to understand the minds of civil society? One the one hand, we want to protect our national interests, but on the other hand, we are faced with serious international equations. How much do we invest on preventing attacks by the Zionist regime and how much on the concept of peace?
If you chide military and security strategists and tell them that their viewpoint will give birth to war, they will tell you that this is a just defense. On the other hand, when asking them to promote peace in the society, they will tell you that this is only a reality, not a necessity.
Conclusion
We are facing a paradox here and I ask scholars and students to tell us how this paradox should be analyzed and to prove that peace is a human value in parallel to other human parameters and factors. If peace is marginalized, it will be replaced by security and military concerns which will set direction of policies. How long will it take to achieve a just peace without totally doing away with the aforesaid mental concerns? On the whole, what happens in reality is quite different from what happens in conferences on peace. We spend a lot in those conferences because of mental paradigms which govern peace and it seems that those paradigms will continue to hold.

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