By Diana Francis
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Extra info for Rethinking War And Peace
This right is, however, being increasingly challenged and ‘relativised’ in practice, as recent wars have demonstrated – wars that have ostensibly been waged (among other reasons) to protect the rights of people within those countries. Many would argue, conscientiously, that state boundaries should not be sacrosanct and that when terrible things are being done within them ‘something should be done’. Current international law states that it is not acceptable for a state to take a decision to go to war against another state unless it has been invaded or is about to be attacked.
In one day in Pancevo in April 1999, NATO bombs demolished a reﬁnery, a fertiliser plant and an American-built petrochemical complex. This was one episode in 78 days of aerial assaults which caused environmental disasters across Serbia. The daily, relentless pollution caused by military aircraft and land vehicles and by military production is less dramatic but cumulatively immense. The creation, storage and transport of ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (and indeed all modern weapons of war), let alone their use, constitute a threat to our environment, at a time when we are becoming frighteningly aware of our impact on it.
Its concern is with the stability needed for the promotion of its own economic interests and political inﬂuence. Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia, when it came, was a response prompted not only by public unease about a war fought in back gardens not dissimilar to our own but also by the West’s strategic interests in the political and geographical interface between what used to be called Western Europe and the Arab Francis 01 intro 24 29/3/04 10:47:17 am What is War Good For? 25 world.
Rethinking War And Peace by Diana Francis