The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World
When a seasoned warrior like Paul Chappell calls upon us to take a hard look at the very high cost and very dubious benefits of war, we should really pay attention. Churchill once said, "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it." Chappell has studied and contemplated all aspects of conflict, studying military history, different nonviolent movements like civil and women's rights, and the recent Occupy Movement. He has delved deeply into the psychology of conflict and studied the writings of leaders like Gandhi, King, and Frederick Douglass. He shares many illuminating excerpts from speeches and writings of some of the most influential players on the stage of human history.
Today's wars are ostensibly waged to bring about peace, or to pacify a population; they are, however, having little success and are creating more enemies and bankrupting our economies in the process. The only ones who seem to benefit from war are the big military contractors. Chappell suggests leaving the "war on terror" to those better able to find the terrorists – namely the police and intelligence organizations. If we used our armies to support countries and help their populations in times of disaster – truly turning swords into plowshares – we would gain friends and allies rather than creating terrorists and enemies.
If we were to use our resources to provide health, education and infrastructure at home and aid and disaster relief abroad, we would improve the security and welfare of our people for a fraction of the cost of war, which only destroys countries and leaves no one better off.
In the process of dealing with his own rage stemming from the traumas of war and childhood bullying and abuse, Paul has developed an understanding of the psychology of conflict and how to defuse it. In "The Art Of Waging Peace" he presents a methodology that is applicable at every level of human interaction. It begins with listening with respect and empathy to opposing views. One has only to listen to news pundits and politicians to appreciate how little of that is practiced.
This book should appeal to both liberals and conservatives. It is written not to demonize any particular view, but to provide a road map to finding the common ground. It is not a collection of dewey-eyed platitudes, but rather a reasoned and logical plea to focus on our common needs and aspirations and to build upon what binds us rather than magnifying what divides us. This book is about how to wage peace and eliminate the profit-driven and power-driven state of perpetual war that our weary world cannot sustain.
An impressive book by an impressive young man. I urge you to read it and join the peaceful revolution. Our future just might depend upon it.