DISARMAMENT & SECURITY .
An article by Vicenç Fisas in Other News (Creative Commons: Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional (CC BY-NC 4.0)) – (translation by CPNN)
The truth, however, is that this war in the Ukraine cannot be won by anyone, however it ends, because the harm that has been done transcends any possibility of resolution. The accumulated hatred is of such magnitude, proportional to the level of destruction and loss of human lives, that any reconciliation project will not be possible in the medium term.
Ukrainian soldiers fire an anti-aircraft gun near Bajmut on February 4.
One year after the start of the war in Ukraine, it is good to reflect on what has happened and what has not been done. The balance is sinister and not at all hopeful, since there is no end in sight in the short term. In my opinion, several points should be taken into consideration to reflect on the past, present and future.
Decisions that are irreversible or difficult to reverse have been made, such as increasing military spending, ending the status of neutral countries and expanding NATO. These decisions jeopardize the future of European security, and have ruined any possibility of resuming a shared security policy that could one day incorporate Russia. Many years will pass before this possibility can occur. Even if it is very costly, it is our obligation to think about future scenarios where we all fit into European security.
We have returned to the mentality of the cold war, of friend-foe and good and bad, increasing the warmongering and arms culture, not only in Europe, but throughout the world. We are facing a brutal setback in terms of prospects for peace and conflict resolution, and in the old continent a fatal blow has been dealt to the OSCE, which was the body that could have acted promptly and effectively in the moments of tension prior to the war. However, it was completely rendered useless, turning it into an already useless and discredited body in the face of the warmongering rage. Moreover, peace diplomacy, that of States with the capacity to influence and that of regional or international organizations, was hijacked and then annulled from the start, leaving us orphaned with actors willing to play this necessary role.
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Where in the world can we find good leadership today?
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The decisions, from the first moment, have been on the military route, to the delight of the arms manufacturers, which has given rise to a continuous escalation on the war front, with the conviction of both parties that they could win the war, and in the case of Ukraine, thanks to a continuous supply of weapons by third countries. Russia, for its part, has also resorted to buying weapons abroad. The truth, however, is that this war cannot be won by anyone, however it ends, because the harm that has been done transcends any possibility of resolution. The accumulated hatred is of such magnitude, proportional to the level of destruction and loss of human life, that any reconciliation project will not be possible in the medium term. Hopefully and if things change, perhaps the next generation may be able to mend the wounds. For the moment, what can be affirmed is that everyone loses, and it is delusional to think that destruction will one day lead us to glory, when it only leads us to misery.
It is not often that, in the face of an armed conflict, people bet so much on war and put aside the negotiating path to carry out a peace process. In the last half century, 90% of wars have ended at a negotiating table and a final peace agreement. Ukraine is one of the exceptions, and we should ask ourselves if this is a merit or a very serious mistake that we are committing.
I don’t know when, but I am convinced that one day the two parties will have to sit down to negotiate the status of eastern Ukraine, with the terrible paradox that any agreement that can be reached will hopefully not be very different from what that should have been done after the Minsk agreements were signed in 2015. Failure to do so is what has led us to where we are today, so it will be terrible to think of the price that will be paid for not having acted diligently when it was appropriate. In this sense, responsibilities are shared, although no one seems capable of recognizing their own mistakes or negligence.
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* Vicenç Fisas is a Spanish analyst of conflicts, international politics and peace processes. He has directed the School for the Culture of Peace of the Autonomous University of Barcelona from its foundation in 1999 until 2016, and he was the holder of the UNESCO Chair on Peace and Human Rights at the university. He received the National Human Rights Award in 1988.
(Thank you to Other News for having sent this to CPNN.)