Paul Chappell Talk @ Stanford – Part III

This is the last in a series of articles on Capital Paul K. Chappell.

Peace v War

Paul argues that peace requires many of the same skills as war and is can be an effective replacement for war, if only signs of an upcoming war are caught and the mindset can be reversed. War CAN be prevented. The problem with war, Paul Chappell says, is “War waits until it’s too late.”

War has many warning signs – hopelessness, lack of opportunity, lack of communication, and poverty. By stopping these before they occur with antecedents to peace, war will become a relic of history.

Paul cites Sun Tzu on the 5 types of war:

  1. The best kind of war – the war that is never a war
  2. The second best war – the war that is avoided
  3. The third best war – the war without bloodshed
  4. The fourth least desireable type of war – the war with casualties
  5. The fifth and least desireable type of war – the war that never ends

This does not mean that the skills needed for waging war are useless. In fact, these skills can go towards “waging peace.”

  • Training
  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Recruiting
  • Tactics
  • Strategy
  • Understanding your enemy
  • Hearts and minds
  • Leadership
  • Discipline
  • Courage
  • Teamwork
  • Cooperation

The crucial difference is that in peace, no one is trying to kill people. In waging war, one is trying to transform a human being into a corpse; in waging peace, one is trying to transform a human being into a friend. War requires deception, whereas peace is based on exposing the truth. Peace requires trust and mutual understanding.

Paul does not advocate for the elimination of the military. Quite the contrary – while being anti-war, he is also pro-military. However, he does thinks that the military needs to employ different techniques. While talking about military use, he brought up the fact that New Zealand’s army is focused on humanitarian aid and disaster relief rather than battle. The US Army is the best organization that can deploy thousands of fit, capable people to deal with disaster. The military has lost faith in the effectiveness of violence – war is dangerous and cannot be controlled – instead there need to be non-violent solutions.

Peace can actively work towards change and a better future, but violence has no creative power because it can’t build anything; it can only tear down and destroy things. We need to wage peace to ensure the survival of the world.

War is not inevitable; world peace is possible.

Captain Paul K. Chappell believes that war is not inevitable and peace is possible. Having graduated from West Point in 2002 and served in Baghdad during 2006 and 2007, he knows the in’s and out’s of war. With this experience he decided to start thinking about the future of war and peace. He looked at the natural instincts for war or peace and came to the conclusion that not only is war unnatural, it is also unnecessary. We here at the Peace Innovation Lab were lucky enough to sit down with him for lunch and have a discussion, as well as listen to his talk on campus last night. He spoke about a variety of ideas that he connected together to promote the idea that peace is possible.

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