War and Peace

Topics: American Civil War, Slavery in the United States, Slavery Pages: 11 (4516 words) Published: December 18, 2012
Unit 7 War and Peace
“Under what circumstances should the U.S use military force against other people/countries? What should be the goal of foreign policy? Is peace possible?”
The United States should use military force in defense of personal liberties and rights, for stability and security, in self defense, and as a last resort, when peaceful resolution and/or compromise is impossible. The goal of U.S. foreign policy should be to that which benefits itself and its citizens. Peace is possible, but not always sustainable. The topic of War and Peace has been the central, continually recurring issue throughout a majority of United States history, continually affecting everyday modern life within the international community. War is an unpleasant, yet necessary instance that will likely continue to pervade human interaction. Peace, being the opposite of war, is seen as preferable, but lacks the problem solving abilities of war. Because of this intricate relationship, the two will always be in tango, each affecting each other in every way. Foreign policy, the interaction with others, will constantly dictate the states of war and peace, and when their existence is permitted. The essay will attempt to explain war in terms of conflicting self interest, compromise, and violence. The essay will attempt to form a definite stance concerning foreign policy, and answer how we should interact with other people/countries, and why. Foreign policy stance will form the baseline for clauses of when going to war is acceptable. And war will be analyzed in depth to explain why it occurs, what happens in it, and what it ends in. These ideas will be supported by examples from American History, including the American Revolution, the Civil War, the French and Indian War, and French Revolution, through recognizing patterns throughout history, in-depth analysis, and factual evidence. Peace is possible, but not sustainable in most cases. There are three types of peace: resolution, peace which exists before imminent violence and peace which exists after imminent violence. Conflict comes as a result of two or more conflicting self-interests. Compromise is the finding of a middle ground in a conflict. Resolution is the finding of an agreement between two conflicting self interests, which resolves the conflict. Compromise does not resolve the conflict at hand, it only perpetuates it. Pre-violence compromise only finds middle ground within an ensuing conflict, neutralizing tensions within the conflict without actually solving it. Because it doesn’t resolve the conflict, as long as the conflict continues to remain an issue, it will fester, and eventually erupt into violence. Violence, most notably war, comes as a result of when compromise is no longer possible between two conflicting self-interests. Violence pits an interest against another in a contest to see which proponent of their interest can incapacitate their opponent in such a way as to prevent the opponent furthering their interest. In other words, violence determines a winner and a loser, the winner being the person who will have their interest fulfilled at the expense of their opponent’s interest. This is post-violence compromise, which only fulfills one interest, as a result of the declaration of a winner and a loser, and this also does not necessarily resolve the conflict. In this way, violence can act as an emergency release valve, which only releases the building tension within the conflict without actually resolving the conflict, leaving the possibility that the conflict could escalate to violence once again. Post-violence resolution completely resolves the conflict at hand, through use of force. Theoretically, pre-violence compromise can indefinitely delay violence, as long as compromise is still possible. However, violence occurs when compromise is no longer possible, and there is no middle ground to be found between the interests. The step from the possibility of compromise to...
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