IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

civil war and trafficking

In one of my courses, students read an article analyzing the distinction between “new” and “old” civil wars.  While too much has probably been made of such a distinction, still there are some interesting differences.  For instance, I am impressed by the degree to which many contemporary civil wars and “insurgencies” have become inextricably (apparently) involved with trafficking in illegal goods, such as diamonds or drugs.  While it is too simple to just equate war activities with “crime”–most importantly, perhaps, because what gets rebels started are often very real concerns about justice and security–it seems that, to keep going, they tend to degenerate in that direction.  So, many movements have become, essentially, mafia type organizations to sustain themselves financially and whatever merit there was in their original agendas is eclipsed by the trafficking money machine; which, obviously, makes certain people wealthy on the ill-gotten gains.

I don’t want to draw too many conclusions here, but the syndrome, in itself, is very interesting.  It seems almost that if you continue in a violent direction it will be difficult to avoid crossing over the badly defined “line” between political insurgent and trafficker.  Many would argue that the ends justify the means, but I would simply reply “look at the results…do the ends justify the means, or do the means corrupt the ends?”  This is surely a question worth considering.

IGbarb says:  “The ends are the means, and the means are the ends:  peace is as peace does.”

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October 31, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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