Taming War Preface

War is a very poor way to settle differences. Most of us know it’s stupid, but war goes on. It seems a shame that we should spend any of our precious time on Earth in lethal conflict.

The aim of this book is to suggest some solutions to the problem. Warfare in the past was often highly unpleasant. Sometimes it was unspeakable. Today, with modern weaponry, it could exterminate the human race. This critical change has been brought about by developments in technology. I shall suggest that technology, which has given us the power to extinguish our species, could also give us the means to blunt and control the tools of war. As well, I shall propose some strategies for changing our whole culture from one of war to one of peace.

This book promises no golden age. Even if we can avoid a nuclear holocaust, humans will continue to be stupid, greedy and cruel – and also, quite often, intelligent, moderate and kind – because that is in our nature. Hurt and sorrow are unlikely to disappear from our lives. But we might, perhaps, be able to reduce some of the extreme damage and pain that we cause each other through warfare. There may be better solutions than those offered here, but what is certain is that we must change our thinking. If we are to have an acceptable future on this planet we have to learn to tame war.