Negative Peace: Characterizing Conditions “Short of War” (Forward Observer Radio)

What is peace?

In terms of national defense or warfighting or conflict, peace can simply be defined as the absence of war. But I don’t think anyone in America right now would characterize the country as being at peace with itself. In many ways, it’s a country greatly divided. We can develop some logical conclusions as to the outcome, or where a solution may be found. But we can say that without a doubt America is not yet at war, but it’s also not at peace.

Military strategists have a term for this, and it’s called Negative Peace. It’s the absence of armed conflict, but it can be anything but peaceful.

On today’s show, I’m talking about Negative Peace — the “absence of war” — and what that looks like. What does current and historical defense doctrine tell us about Negative Peace and how can we look for indicators that peace is breaking?

 


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Show Notes

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Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. After 39 months of deployment time to Iraq and Afghanistan, he's now the conflict and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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