International Conflict Resolution
International Conflict Resolution
International Conflict Resolution
International conflict resolution is concerned with processes of removing tensions between states or maintaining them at levels consistent with continued peaceful pursuit by states of their goals (individual or collective). A full description of the processes of conflict resolution within a community would entail a full description of the numerous and complex kinds and degrees of the divisive and common concerns among its members. This statement acknowledges, on the one hand, that conflict and even war are by no means an abnormal part of international life (Stone 1954; Wright 1942; Boasson 1950; Singer 1949; Boulding 1962; International Sociological Association 1957). It has been calculated that only 270 years of the 3,500 years known to history have been free of wars. On the other hand, we should not go so far as to identify “international politics” wholly with “oppositional” relations of groups (Wright 1955, p. 131). Charles Boasson correctly says that such identification does not sufficiently take into account the role of accommodation and renunciation, the influence of norms of legal and ethical judgment, and the impact of the appeal to justice (Boasson 1963, pp. 77-78; Stone 1965). The cooperative aspect is stressed by Ernst Haas, who re-explored the prospects of contemporary international “functionalism” in the face of varied and changing types of national societies and the future international environment [seeinternational integration; Haas 1964], and by John Burton, who offered the thesis that the use of power is steadily yielding place to cooperative measures even in oppositional relations between states pursuing only their own, independent, “nonaligned,” interests in regional and functional arrangements (1965).
The study of international conflict resolution cannot be reduced to a detailed study of decision making, even if we could obtain all the information, perceptions, interpretations, and alternative choices available to decision makers (Snyder et al. 1954; and for a more diffuse project for guiding decision makers, see McDougal 1953). Decisions are often deeply relevant to conflict, but such decisions are only part of the context and content of a conflict and its resolution. Detailed decision-making studies have two serious drawbacks: they entail endless and often fruitless piling up of detail, and they may lose sight of important factors by concentrating on reported or knowable decisions. The full constellation of circumstances that constitutes an international conflict is operative even if decision makers do not act and are not aware of all the circumstances. To count such inaction and unawareness as being themselves decisions would, of course, only fictionalize the whole approach (Boasson 1963, pp. 22-35, 75-77).
It is an undoubted gain that since World War i the study of international conflict and its resolution has moved out of the general monopoly of the historian (Boasson 1963, pp. 43-49) and away from the specialized, technical concerns of the international lawyer and publicist (Stone 1954, introduction; Stone 1956; Boasson 1963, pp. 50-59). There is now a Journal of Conflict Resolution, and teaching and research in this area are widespread, especially in the United States. Notable experiments in methodology are also proceeding. A project of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace sought to identify conflicts and the phases through which they pass, with relation to rise and fall of tension and violent or nonviolent resolution. At the important Center for Research in Conflict Resolution at the University of Michigan, Kenneth Boulding has essayed a systematic study of conflict as a general social process and of international conflict within this framework (1962, pp. 227-276, 304-343). Robert North at Stanford University is seeking, with the aid of computers, to identify, from the myriad of factors constituting the constellation of circumstances of past international crises, those factors that are generally significant in interpreting and handling such crises. Relevant work has also been done by biologists on animal conflicts and by psychologists and sociologists on individual and group behavior (e.g., Freud 1915-1933; West 1949; Scott 1958). These approaches, whatever they may add to knowledge, have scarcely revolutionized the handling of international conflict. But awareness of intractability even to specialized research may in itself promote patience and restraint on action that would be a positive factor in conflict resolution.
The purpose of this article is to identify and describe some of the approaches to resolution of conflict between states that have become institutionalized, or at any rate nominate. Specifically, this encompases the wide range of approaches between war and international sanctions, at one extreme, and mere negotiation, at the other, and includes good offices, mediation, commissions of enquiry, and arbitration [seeadjudication].
In municipal society we naturally think of process of law as a mandatory frame for handling major disputes. And despite the comparative weakness of international law, conflict resolution cannot neglect this. Yet, the international legal frame is not only weaker; it seems to rest on a base diametrically opposed to the municipal. There subjection to binding third-party judgment is considered normal, while international law starts from the point that a state is not, save by its own consent, subject to any third-party decision (or even the less peremptory “good offices” or mediation). Though each state remains its own judge, this gives it no competence over another state; for every other state also enjoys the same prerogative. It takes two to make a quarrel; and it also takes both disputants to confer international competence.
A simple corollary to this is that each disputant is also at liberty to give effect to its own determination of its own rights. Although this liberty has been restrained by various international instruments such as the Kellogg-Briand Pact and the League of Nations Covenant (now replaced by the United Nations Charter), the extent of the restraints remains debated and problematical. The inhibitions on the major use of force between states are today not primarily legal but factual and psychological, springing from the distribution of economic and technological power and from the universal implications of the resort to nuclear weapons. Bargaining and positional maneuvering take place within an essentially military arena, whatever the final, correct legal interpretation. The contemporary problems connected with the resort to force by major powers, which face us as a matter of fact, are largely a continuation of those that faced the pre-1914 world as a matter of both law and fact (Stone 1958; 1961).
Good offices and mediation are special forms of negotiation in which a third party plays a role (Nicolson 1954; Forgac 1937: Stone 1954, pp. 68-72). It is indicative of the comparatively recent growth and primitive nature of international arrangements for conflict resolution that even good offices is so highly valued as a method. For its import is only to restore communication and negotiation between disputants and perhaps induce some restraint in that communication; there is no obligation of the parties to go further. Its most famous success occurred when President Theodore Roosevelt’s approach to the belligerents helped to end the Russo-Japanese War in 1905; and its most abject failure, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s efforts in 1939 to stop the outbreak of World War II were unavailing. The central negative feature of good offices is that its function does not extend even to expressing opinions on the merits, much less to any decision making. These functions are extremely modest, each party maintaining (as the Palestine and Kashmir and other contemporary cases have painfully shown) both the right of final decision and that of deciding whether negotiation (with or without mediation) is to proceed at all. Such legal rules as exist for both good offices and mediation are mainly concerned with legitimizing these mild, third-party intrusions into other states’ quarrels.
It was still thought necessary in the first Hague Peace Conference, in 1899, to declare that the offer of such services was not an “unfriendly act.” And after two generations of struggle for more effective and peremptory procedures through the League of Nations and the United Nations, these tentative prenegotiation procedures still play an important role in conflict resolution.
Mediation differs from good offices mainly in the degree of noncoercive initiative permitted to the third party. The mediator, once he is invited to act, is free not only to transmit but also to initiate suggestions for solution (Wehberg 1958). However, the terms “good offices” and “mediation” are sometimes loosely used, without consistent distinction, especially in the United Nations; and the term “conciliation” (which has no technical meaning) also is often used interchangeably with “mediation” (Stone 1965, p. 71).
Success in any of these procedures being manifest in agreement, not decision, the merits of the dispute as to fact or law may never emerge at all. It is notorious that disputants see facts their own way, and this is especially true of states, which are often better able to conceal the evidence than are individuals. State resistance to third-party intrusion has always extended with particular jealousy to third-party fact finding, even when this is merely advisory. Not surprisingly, therefore, institutionalization of procedures of international fact finding is almost as recent as that of international adjudication.
International commissions of enquiry were provided for by the Hague Convention of 1899, which established a legal frame within which a commission could, by agreement of the parties, be appointed to find facts on a particular dispute. Such commissions proved useful in several instances, mostly naval incidents, of which the best known was the Anglo-Russian dispute concerning the Dogger Bank incident during the Russo-Japanese War. Both the League of Nations and the United Nations adapted this kind of technique to their own organizational arrangements, the former exploiting it particularly well as a means of procrastination and persuasion.
Alongside the scarcely inhibited powers of the United Nations Security Council to make binding decisions in conflicts involving threats to the peace or breaches of the peace, these traditional procedures seem puny and timid. The League of Nations and its successor, by collectivizing even the mild, traditional procedures, greatly developed and strengthened them (Conwell-Evans 1929; Walters 1952; Stone 1954, pp. 165-176). The United Nations, however, has been much hampered in these efforts by the steady voting alignments in the present bipolar political situation (Stone 1958, pp. 165-183; Morgenthau 1946; Claude 1958).
Peoples in crisis have always built stereotypes of themselves and their adversaries and molded the issues to the stereotypes. This, however, is greatly intensified today, when stereotyped attitudes are spread, often deliberately and with the blessing of state authorities, through all the channels of mass communication in advance of the particular crisis. These stereotypes stand ever ready to determine what version of each future dispute shall receive national credence, so that even when the conflict-initiating state has itself invited the impartial inquiry, the “facts,” as rationally found, often labor in vain to penetrate the national version. Thus, as the need for processes of really impartial fact finding increases, the difficulties of even this modest objective increase even more. Numerous specific conflicts illustrate these difficulties, but they appear most significantly in the problem of fact finding by an international organ acceptable to the two major antagonists as part of the inspection system in a world nuclear-disarmament plan. Each side has been stereotyped for the other as headed by cliques bent on world domination by treachery or force. The issues for the impartial organ involve survival for each side, and there is a lack of third parties who, on such issues, stand sufficiently above the suspicion that they are sympathetic to or intimidated by one side or the other to be trusted by both. Successful establishment of an organ with such functions would be a sign that the survival crisis is over and not just a first step toward meeting it.
“Internationalist” effort since World War I has not always respected these realities. Impatience with the weak diplomatic methods caused blueprints for more “modern” machinery to be created. Under the League of Nations the response to the ambitious General Act for Pacific Settlement of 1928 was poor. But the response of United Nations members to the proposed revision of this Act in 1949 was even more discouraging. Indeed, though each Part of the Act may be accepted separately, even Part I, on conciliation, has not been accepted by a single communist state or by any new Asian state. Disappointment of hopes for stronger measures has stimulated some interest in the possibilities of improving mediation techniques. The matter has, for example, been among the projects of the Institut de Droit International and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Rolin 1959; Jessup 1956; Efremov 1927; Hill 1932; Revel 1931; Jackson 1952; “Techniques of Mediation …” 1958; Douglas 1957).
The discussion has centered on the degree to which the mediation process could benefit from (1) being stylized and (2) permitting the mediator to make tentative, nonbinding kinds of third-party findings. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to escape the fact that mediation is valued by states precisely because of its informal, nonstylized nature, treating each case as unique, and because it affords means of catharsis and of frank exchange through the mediator. Reforms, which raise fears that concessions or admissions in the course of this exchange may be used against one party if the conciliation finally fails, frustrate the whole function of mediation.
Another question of wide sociological interest concerns the difficulty of expanding knowledge of such informal procedures. How far and in what detail should reports of conciliation procedures be made available for juristic, political, and sociological study? The problem is that the needs of efficient handling of the particular dispute are at odds with those of the accumulation and transmission of knowledge and experience for understanding interstate conflicts generally. As with “secret diplomacy,” the data for full scholarly evaluation may be rendered unavailable by the preconditions of success in the activity to be evaluated.
Even in modern times, when the binding force of arbitral decision is normally assured by the inclusion of at least one independent member in the tribunal, the parties to a dispute still maintain a quadruple control over the arbitral process (Ralston 1929; Johnson 1953; Stone 1954, pp. 73-105; Carlston 1946; Hudson 1944; United Nations …1949). They control, first, the preliminary decision as to whether a dispute is to be submitted. They control, second, the selection of the arbitrators. They can control, third, the rules to be applied. Finally, even after the award, they have a certain indirect control over its effect, since under international law an award is null if induced by fraud or made without jurisdiction or based on “essential error” leading to “manifest injustice.” Since no tribunal has jurisdiction to determine a claim of nullity, the effect is that the claimant can block further clarification.
The International Law Commission, through its Draft Convention on Arbitral Procedure of 1953, proposed to mitigate these weaknesses by designating organs or persons, such as the International Court or its president, to act in certain of these and other situations. This has received regrettably small support from United Nations members. In any case, however, as the Netherlands government pointed out, states would remain free, even under the draft, not to enter at all into agreements to arbitrate. The effect of depriving them of escapes by tightening up the law might merely reduce the number and range of submissions. No mere verbal prescriptions can alter the fact that the disputant’s freedom not to submit is the master control, as it is also the master blockage to proposals for general submission.
While these weaknesses dampen intemperate hopes of assuring peace by general arbitration, they should not lead us to underrate the actual, if modest, role of arbitration in conflict resolution. Between the Jay Treaty of 1794 (providing for third-party settlement of Anglo-American disputes in the aftermath of the War of Independence) and the end of the nineteenth century there were 238 individual formal arbitrations. In addition, since 1794 more than sixty standing (though temporary) tribunals have disposed of great categories of claims that were referred to them by the pairs of states concerned. This kind of settlement is, in effect, comparable to the business of regular municipal courts (Stone 1954, pp. 86, 97, bibliography). Arbitration has made a great contribution to the quieting of claims after great wars and as an ancillary to the modern growth of international administration.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration—consisting of a regular framework within which states desiring to arbitrate could select arbitrators from a standing panel, with related permanent registry services—was established by the first Hague conference, and well over twenty of its tribunals have functioned (Francois 1955; Stone 1954). It is true that despite its name this was neither permanent nor a court, and more than sixty years after its establishment and after more than a century and a half of modern arbitration, chronic weaknesses still persist and only a handful of persons fully experienced in dispute handling has ever emerged.
Without pinning excessive hopes on general compulsory arbitration as a recipe against war, we can distinguish at least four kinds of legal submission by states that must be far more developed and generalized before any hopes can materialize.
(1) Ad-hoc submission of particular existing conflicts of known and determinate range. The essence of distinguishing these as a class is that they are cases (for example, those concerning compensation to be paid for the requisition by a state of foreign ships) where both sides know pretty well the factual and legal limits within which their rights will be put at stake by subjection to third-party decision.
(2)Ad-hoc submission of existing conflicts of indeterminate but noncritical range. Interests at stake in a conflict, though factually or legally indeterminate, may still be seen by a state as noncritical to its safety or prosperity. The very fact that a dispute has fully matured usually allows at least the outer limits of risk to be seen. The Anglo-American dispute surrounding the Alabama case, arising from British recognition of the belligerency of the Confederate states in the American Civil War and submitted to arbitration by the Treaty of Washington in 1871, is a good example. During the Civil War itself, the dispute became almost a casus belli; afterward, submission by the parties still imported a vastly greater abnegation of state liberty of action than is involved undér category (1) above, because of the uncertainties touching law and facts and, therefore, the range of liability. But the outer range was clear enough to settle this cause célèbre, and the case is a major landmark in international arbitration.
(3)General submission of carefully delimited classes of future minor conflicts. Submission of a class of future disputes is a distinct phase, with its own subphases. The element of futurity always affects the limits of commitment, for a state cannot know in advance the precise range of its exposure on disputes that have not yet arisen. Submission here can still be restrained at various levels, however, by careful delimitation of the class of disputes involved. The commonest examples are compromissory clauses attached to and covering the range of commercial treaties, treaties of consular rights, and technical treaties of many kinds.
(4)Submission of future conflicts without close delimitation but with reservation of indeterminate classes of conflicts, the range of the reservation being self-determined by each party in each conflict. When, under pressure of internationalist sentiment, states have seemed to overcome their resistance to broad submissions, the resulting submissory clauses, when closely examined, revealed other limiting devices. The most famous of these, popular before World War I, was the overriding reservation known as the “vital interests, honor, and independence” clause. This formulation served to pay lip service to the pressure of opinion, while giving little away in a legal, political, or otherwise substantial sense. Its mood was natural enough in treaties like the one that established the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale. It was a model also, how ever, for more sober peaceful settlement under takings, such as the United States-United Kingdom treaty of 1908. The reservation tended, in over-compensation for the extent of submission, to be drawn so widely as to be virtually subjective in application. By tragic irony, excessive zeal resulted in illusory gains and actual backsliding.
Third-party decision making could become determinative for war prevention only if states were prepared to expose in advance even the gravest interest that would be affected by future conflicts. It is such a postulated (rather than experienced) phase of international arbitration that is taken as an ideal model by most of those who press for “the rule of law among nations” as an achievable alternative to “the balance of terror.” Much of this undue sanguineness arises from failure to make distinctions such as those just sketched.
In fact, it is difficult to find even unsuccessful modern instances of such submission of future conflicts unqualified as to the interests at stake. The arbitration provisions of the Locarno treaties after World War i, as part of an attempt to prevent a renewal of Franco-German struggles on France’s eastern frontiers by a regional security system guaranteed by neighboring states, contained no vital-interests reservation, but they still excluded nonjusticiable disputes from the obligation to arbitrate (Stone 1954, pp. 79-81). And the United Kingdom in 1939 showed considerable agitation when it realized that its advance submission to the jurisdiction of the Permanent Court of International Justice might have been made in terms broad enough to challenge positions concerning belligerent naval rights that Britain regarded as basic. The submission was withdrawn and suitably replaced at the earliest opportunity.
A good deal of fruitless controversy in the vast literature produced since World War I arises from the ambiguity of the word “justiciable,” especially when we take it out of its historical-international context. It is often understood, for example, to refer merely to the question whether, assuming the parties are willing to accept binding third-party decision, a tribunal could offer some kind of solution. This really makes the problem of justiciability disappear altogether. For the hard core of that problem lies not in the difficulty of getting a third party to propose some solution or other, but in getting the states in conflict to invite him to do so and in his then finding a solution that will settle the real issues about which they are in conflict (Stone 1961, pp. 18-21). What is involved here transcends the concerns of the technical lawyer; for, of course, the so-called non-justiciable problems tend to be the very ones that threaten to provoke wars.
The chronic and festering East-West conflict concerning Berlin after World War II, for example, could no doubt be reduced to a series of legal questions eminently suitable for adjudication by the International Court. Some of these would be: What is the extent of any obligation of the Soviet Union to permit traffic of German personnel and goods between the Federal Republic of Germany and West Berlin under the Jessup-Malik talks of 1949? What limits, if any, are there to the Soviet obligation to permit Allied military rail, motor, or air communications between West Germany and West Berlin? And there would also be many legal subquestions. Yet, when all such questions had been answered by a tribunal, the resolution of the conflict would not necessarily have been advanced. For the concerns that have brought about and maintain this conflict really have little to do with such questions (Stone 1954, pp. 146-152; Bloom-field 1958; Wengler 1956; Boasson 1950). The reasons why this and the numerous similar contemporary conflicts endanger peace are for the most part the very reasons they are said to be nonjusticiable.
The problem of justiciability shows itself, first, in the case of a simple refusal of the parties in conflict to submit to any third-party determination. Before such submission, the question has no technical legal import, and justiciability is then a mere policy issue between those favoring and those opposing submission.
The question whether a dispute is justiciable may also arise as a technical legal question. This happens in cases where there has been an apparently relevant submission of a class of future conflicts, the class being delimited in the instrument of submission to exclude conflicts that are “nonjusticiable” (sometimes called “political”) or to include only those that are “justiciable” (sometimes called “legal”). There is, moreover, no magic in these literal words. The distinction in the General Act of 1928 is in terms of “legal” and “nonlegal” and when states agree under the “optional clause” of article 36(2) of the Statute of the International Court of Justice to submit to the court the categories of disputes there enumerated, the whole enumeration is qualified by the problematic words, “legal disputes concerning.” There is, moreover, a view that some treaty obligations, for instance to join another party in war, are in their nature political, or nonjusticiable, in the sense that each party must determine for itself whether the obligation has matured.
Clearly, under the older “vital interests, honor, and independence” reservations formula, the determination of whether the issue was justiciable was subjective to each party in conflict. This probably remains so whenever the question of justiciability in the present sense arises, unless a state’s submission or the constitution of a standing tribunal to which the matter is submitted makes the contrary clear (Stone 1958, p. 32). The effect is to allow the state concerned, if it chooses to be arbitrary (and face any moral disapproval entailed), to escape altogether its obligation to submit to arbitration. Indeed, advocates of extended arbitration have used this as a point of cogent logical attack upon the notion that there are disputes that can be nonjusticiable. Unfortunately, the basic weaknesses of the international legal order, from which this notion continues to draw its force, are such hard empirical facts that, although they can be exposed, they cannot be removed by logic.
The term “nonjusticiable” (and its synonyms such as “political”), as used above, refers to the gravity of the interests involved in a conflict, which the states concerned regard as preventing their submission to adjustment by third parties. It can also mean that the applicable legal rules are unjust and should be changed (Clark & Sohn 1958, art. 36; Stone 1956, pp. 165-177) or that no applicable rules can be found (non liquet) (Lauter-pacht 1930; Stone 1954, pp. 152-164).
Experience has belied the wishful view that the veto in the United Nations Security Council was merely an ephemeral exception to a general movement toward giving the power of making binding majority decisions to organs concerned with conflict resolution (Stone 1954, pp. 185-186). Indeed, in the contemporary period, marked as it is by conflicts of both the old, bilateral and the new, bloc-ideological types and by dispersed but deep tensions of the thermonuclear balance of terror, the veto may have won a new and resurgent role in the handling of conflict. Disdain for the weak negotiatory procedures discussed earlier and denunciations of the veto in the Security Council have certainly faded. And there has come at least a grudging recognition of the value of predesigned, agreed methods of processing conflicts, even when each party remains legally free to the end to veto any emergent decision. For it is increasingly evident that where a strong state is convinced that its vital interests are involved, the legal veto is unlikely to be decisive, since that state will, in any case, have a de facto veto.
Related to this is also the increased awareness that to press on with hopelessly blocked negotiations is not necessarily better than ending them. Repeated confrontation of irreconcilable antagonisms can itself maintain or even increase tension, so that mutual withdrawal may be a positive step toward relaxation. Furthermore, persistence in hopeless negotiation at such a stage may deter or discourage exploration of “weaker” but more promising recourses. It is with the fading out, rather than the reinvigoration, of East-West disarmament negotiations that certain limited advances have come to be made by parallel unilateral steps. The United States and the Soviet Union took carefully synchronized, yet not mutually dependent, measures to reduce their armed forces and stockpiles of nuclear materials. In relation to this, as well as other contemporary conflicts, approaches through unilateral de-escalation, or “graduated and reciprocated initiatives in tension reduction,” are in important part applications of the general principle here under discussion (Osgood 1965).
Such parallel but studiously independent action leaves each party free to reverse its unilateral stance at any moment without formality or embarrassment. It permits a kind of prenatal veto, allowing each side to abort, if it wishes, the design behind the parallel action; and it may be the assurance of this “veto” that makes the states concerned willing to go further in fact than in law. Negotiators about commitments for the future must bring into speculative assessment contingencies in which the obligations contemplated would conceivably be dangerous. Such contingencies, contemplation of which would have produced an impasse in negotiation, may in fact, however, never occur. Therefore, when both parties turn from negotiation to act unilaterally and without commitment on matters and in ways that they failed to agree about in negotiation, the objective of the negotiations may in fact be furthered by the very recognition of their failure. Unilateralism, in certain situations, has its virtues for conflict resolution.
It is perhaps not too fanciful to carry this line of analysis somewhat further. Amid dreams of somehow replacing the “balance of terror” by “the rule of law among nations,” the cluster of problems to which the “hot line” agreement is directed is a nightmarish intrusion. For those who proposed or implemented the idea of the “hot line,” however, the assurance of adequate channels of communication right up to the last moment of possibly catastrophic crisis is, in the existing world, a critical pillar supporting in a diffuse way all the potential means of conflict resolution. The “hot line” does not ensure negotiation, much less agreement, on substantive conflict issues, but failure to assure the means of communication in crisis may certainly bar even the possibility of negotiation. Still more important is the tempering effect of the assurance that channels will remain open during intervening postures and when there is a growth of tensions. Insofar as there is reality in the notion that the nuclear giants have a common interest in survival, the “hot line” will allow this interest to operate at the moment of greatest need. Although neither of the great nuclear powers could have agreed to bind itself legally to give the other notice of an imminent danger of war, the “hot line” allows them to move together in that direction.
The nominate coercive procedures, short of war, are severance of diplomatic relations, retortion, reprisal, embargo, boycott, and pacific blockade, most of which are affected by the problems surrounding prohibition of the use or threat of force [see Sanctions, international]. Along with war, these are methods of settling disputes only in the sense that in a society where common conviction is lacking and machinery of law enforcement is weak, self-help by the aggrieved party may be the only means of “settling” them. They hover disconsolately on the Stygian waters which divide the imperfectly held terrain of international law from the uncontrolled terrain of extralegal anarchy, and in which the customarily licensed choice between war and peace still holds some sway. The United States “quarantine” of Cuba in 1962 made clear that whatever the correct answer to the legal problematics, coercive methods short of war still have their role to play.
Indeed, tolerance of certain limited coercive measures may have special significance for an age that can neither banish international conflict nor afford solutions by nuclear war. There is need to rethink the whole question of coercions short of war, juxtaposing them not with an image of a world wishfully postulated as free of all force, but with the harsh actuality of international conflict that still takes place within an essentially military arena.
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