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IF YOU WANT A PEACE PREPARE

FOR WAR
One way of looking at this quote is some people cannot stand peace. So, if you are preparing
for peace, be prepared for a war from such people. This statement cannot be true only when it
comes to world peace, but can be applied to our daily personal and professional lives. This
statement reflects diplomacy in the true sense.
For:
- In todays competitive environment, we have to be diplomatic. It helps us withstand
pressures.
- Preparing yourself for a war will make you alert and keep your radars on.
- Politically speaking, it is essential to be alert whether you are in the office or otherwise.
Preparing for war doesnt mean start a war. Preparing for a war will allow you to be more
proactive and decisive.
Against:
- War is inevitable. If it has to happen, it will. This shouldnt prohibit us from desiring for
peace.
- By following this statement, we are letting people/countries that want peace, prepare for a
war. This clan can also be your enemy.
Nobody wants war. Everybody wishes to live peacefully. However, in the modern era that we
are living in, it is essential to be alert and prepared for the worse. This doesnt mean that we
start war that leads to destruction. Like they say, a war is not a war unless its broken.
The threat of extinction that hangs over us can only be removed by abolishing war. This may
take a very long time but it will never happen unless we make a start, insists Joseph Rotblat.
Whatever view we may hold about the origins of human life, we all agree that life is our most
precious commodity. We do not dare think it might be brought to an end, least of all by the
action of man.

Yet the continuation of the human species can no longer be taken for granted. It has been
endangered since the onset of the homicidal weapons first demonstrated in 1945 in Hiroshima
and Nagasaki. The destruction of these cities heralded a new age, the nuclear age, the chief
characteristic of which is that for the first time it has become possible for man to destroy his
own species in a single action.
When we began the work on the atom bomb we had a pretty good idea of its terrible
destructive power. But we did not contemplate the ultimate catastrophe that the use of such
weapons might bring. We did not envisage this because we knew that such a catastrophe
would require the detonation of a very large number of weapons - perhaps 100,000. Even in
our most pessimistic scenarios we did not imagine that human society would be so stupid as
to accumulate such huge arsenals, for which we could see no purpose.
But within a few decades such a number of warheads were manufactured and made ready for
use. On several occasions we came very near to their use. I remember, in particular, the
Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when we were a hair's breadth away from disaster;
when the future of our civilisation hung on the decision of one man, Nikita Khrushchev.
Fortunately, Khrushchev was a sane man, but we may not be so lucky next time.
The atom bomb was the invention of scientists. They started work on it on their own volition.
Most of them were highly responsible members of the community, and their motivation was
humanitarian: to prevent Hitler from using his bomb. But the initial intention of the scientists,
to have the bomb so that it would not be used, failed miserably: the bomb was used; it was
used as soon as it was made; it was used against civilians. It also led to the obscene
accumulation of nuclear arsenals in an insane arms race, which nearly brought our civilisation
to an end. Efforts are now afoot to reduce the danger by an agreement to eliminate all nuclear
weapons. But the knowledge of how to make them cannot be erased. Moreover, nuclear
weapons may not be the only means to end the human race abruptly. Indeed, we have to
assume that other means of extinguishing the human species will be invented, perhaps more
readily available than nuclear weapons.
The threat of extinction hangs over our heads and we have to remove it. How can we achieve
this? The obvious answer is to abolish war altogether. We must learn to resolve our disputes
by means other than military confrontation. To most people, the concept of a war-free world
is a fanciful idea. Even those who have come to accept the concept of a world without nuclear
weapons still reject the notion of a world without national armaments as being unrealistic.

This is not surprising considering that civilised society has always been governed by the
Roman dictum: Si vis pacem para bellum - if you want peace prepare for war. We have
heeded this motto despite the fact that throughout history preparation for war has brought not
peace but war. Even now, when the erstwhile contenders in the cold war have become allies,
the same attitude is maintained: the nuclear powers claiming that nuclear arsenals - albeit
much smaller - are needed to prevent even a conventional war.
But the realisation that another world war is likely to bring utter catastrophe is gradually
sinking in. It has already taken hold in most nations in relation to weapons of mass
destruction, with 152 having signed the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention; 160 nations
have signed the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention that will soon come into force. By
signing the Non-Proliferation Treaty, 183 nations have renounced the right to possess nuclear
weapons, although five - the ones with declared nuclear arsenals - pay only lip-service to this
commitment.
Gradually, a new attitude is being adopted in relation to wars with conventional weapons. In
Europe, where war has been endemic throughout history, most states, including the
traditional mortal enemies in past wars, now belong to the European Union, and a military
solution to a conflict between them has become inconceivable. In other parts of the world,
military dictatorships have crumbled and democratic regimes have become the norm. There is
a genuine desire emerging to avoid military confrontations.
But for the concept of a war-free world to become universally accepted there will have to be
a new "mind-set": a conception of security in global terms. Now that military conflicts
potentially carry a threat to the continued existence of the human species, we must think
seriously about ways to remove this threat.
To a large extent this allegiance will come from the growing interdependence between
nations, an interdependence not only in the realm of economics, but also in social and cultural
matters; an interdependence brought about by the advances in science and technology. It is a
remarkable fact that the same activities - science and technology - that have created the
potential to destroy the human species have also provided the means for its salvation.
The fantastic progress in communication and transportation has transformed the world into an
intimately interconnected community, in which all members depend on one another for their
material well-being and cultural fulfilment. An increasing proportion of the world population

is now acquiring the technical means to become involved in world affairs, by being able to
observe instantly events in any part of the globe, and often to provide help where needed.
We have to build on the achievements of science to get people to know one another better.
Access to full information will help to remove prejudices and mistrust that stem mostly from
ignorance. We have to utilise the new tools for intellectual intercourse, to overcome
chauvinism and xenophobia, those malevolent fomenters of war. Tremendous excitement was
recently created by the discovery, not yet substantiated, of evidence of life on Mars. In the
reaction to that discovery I see a manifestation of the immense reverence we all have for life.
The material from Mars may contain traces of the most primitive forms of life. How much
more reverence should we have for the higher forms of life that have evolved on earth over
billions of years?
A nuclear holocaust does not appear imminent. Having come close to it on several occasions
we are now more cautious. But war is still an admissible social institution, and every war
carries with it the potential of escalation, with fatal consequences. The elimination of war
would require a radical change in our concepts of the nation-state. It would require a process
of educating every individual to feel an allegiance to the world community. Like every
process of education, the achievement of the objective will take a very long time, but it will
never happen unless we make a start.
And a good start would be to adopt the motto si vis pacem, para pacem - if you want peace,
prepare for peace.Joseph Rotblat is a Nobel peace laureate. He was a member of the
Manhattan atom bomb project in Los Alamos but resigned in 1944 for ethical reasons. This is
an edited extract from his City University lecture "Preservation of the Human Species in the
Nuclear Age".