There were seldom many who wanted more weapons. Sweden and the EU should upgrade, and the slogan was we need more modern weapons systems. Suddenly, a semi-consensus political chorus, prominent writers, thinkers and debaters called for military solutions and military initiatives.
There is an obvious explanation – the war has not been so close to our borders in 70 years, and since the days of the Cold War no such obvious threats have been directed directly at Sweden. We are not accustomed to a superpower trying directly to influence our domestic policy agenda and control our foreign policy positions.
Refugees displaced by a brutal and unjust war now do not cross EU borders from war zones in other parts of the world, but from a country in Europe. Not since the Balkan wars of the 1990s have we seen such brutal violations of both human rights and international law within Europe’s borders.
It is not naive, it is the basis of long-term sustainable security, avoiding violent conflict
But when you look up, you can of course point out that brutal war, heinous war crimes against civilians, and attacks on hospitals, schools and homes are nothing new. It’s been happening all the time, just at a reassuring distance from us.
Now that war has raged on our retina and many voices are repeating the same slogan of using arms, it is more important than ever to discuss not only what is happening in Europe, but also all the armed conflicts going on in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Not the least of which is a discussion of why they persist.
There are those who say that in the midst of a burning war near our borders, it is naive to talk about the importance of supporting human rights, fighting corruption, stopping the looting of natural resources, investing in education, fighting hunger and talking about justice. conditions for women.
But it is not naive, it is the basis for long-term sustainable security, avoiding violent conflict.
Many of the world’s ongoing wars have their origins in the immense injustice that exists in the world
Armed conflicts over valuable natural resources have already decimated entire societies and nations, and claimed millions of lives over the past 30 years. A development that will continue if we do not succeed in stopping the looting and smuggling. The rights of local people must be protected, and business and civil society must work together to extract resources responsibly.
The origins of many of the wars and violent conflicts that are taking place in the world can be traced back to the massive injustice that exists in the world. In widespread corruption where leaders and their entourage were allowed for years to enrich themselves. Then by all means, including war, they cling to power which they clearly abuse.
Working for feminist principles, for justice and inclusive societies also means building values where all people are of equal value, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. Values act as a counterweight when tyrants with bloodthirsty rhetoric hesitate about creating empires in bygone times.
One thing is for sure – once you take up arms, we’ll all be losers
Today when we see horrific war crimes affecting civilians within Europe’s borders, we must not forget how for years the international community has looked the other way towards serious war crimes and human rights violations. The only hope for the population in many countries is the local organizations that defend democracy and human rights and document war crimes.
Allowing corruption, discrimination, and economic and legal injustice to thrive, and allowing leaders and states to violate international law with impunity is, unfortunately, a delicate recipe for a very dangerous world. This is why it is so troubling that the government is now planning to scale back the work of preventive aid that provides long-term security. For one thing for sure, once you take up the gun, we’ll all be losers.
Joachim Woolfel, Policy Adviser for Conflict and Justice, Diakonia