Peace in Aceh

by John Quiggin on December 31, 2005

The long-running guerilla war in the Indonesian province of Aceh is finally over. Indonesian troops (other than those recruited locally) have been withdrawn, and the military wing of the Free Aceh Movement has been disbanded and disarmed. The pointlessness of this long war was brought home to both sides by the catastrophic tsunami a year earlier, which killed 170 000 people and forced everyone to co-operate in rescue and rebuilding.

Sadly, a similar impetus towards peace in Sri Lanka, appears to have faded. And of course the slaughter just goes on in places like Iraq and Darfur.

Overall, though, it’s Aceh that is representative of the trend. The number and severity of wars and conflicts has declined greatly since the end of the Cold War.

It would be a salutory effort to look over the wars, revolutions and civil strife of the last sixty years and see how many of the participants got an outcome (taking account of war casualties and so on) better than the worst they could conceivably have obtained through negotiation and peaceful agitation. Given the massively negative-sum nature of war, I suspect the answer is “Few, if any”.

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Tim Worstall
12.31.05 at 8:16 am

{ 43 comments }

1

Eric 12.31.05 at 3:50 am

In Darfur, an example you use, an international armed intervention may have obtained a better outcome for many of the key participants, that negotiation and appeasement has failed to deliver.

In Darfur, in a very real sense, peace is war.

I could make the same argument for Iraq; although less clear-cut than the genocide in Darfur it has been ruled in court that Saddam’s regime was involved in genocide. However, I wouldn’t want Chris Bertram to choke on his Muesli.

2

bad Jim 12.31.05 at 4:46 am

Perhaps Vietnam would have been better off if it had tolerated French dominion as long as Algeria did.

3

Louis Proyect 12.31.05 at 5:25 am

The Washington Post article states: “In the late 1980s, Washington and Moscow stopped fueling ‘proxy wars’ in the developing world, and the United Nations was liberated to play the global security role its founders intended.”

What nonsense. The war in Vietnam was not some kind of chess game. The Vietnamese were fighting for national independence before the USSR existed. Furthermore, without the USSR serving as a counterweight to the USA (ineffective as it was–it doled out aid to the Vietnamese from an eyedropper), just causes have much less chance of succeeding. Robert Kagan’s book on Nicaragua reveals how a USSR rapidly morphing into perestroika acceeded to US demands in the region. I guess Nicaragua served as a pawn, to use the chessboard analogy. It is too bad that the Nicaraguan people were sacrificed in such fashion since the end result has been economic immiseration. The Washington Post might take some satisfaction in the reduction of battlefield deaths, but the mother of a dead infant in some miserable 3rd world country under an IMF austerity regime might not. Fortunately, the gathering leftist storm in Latin American might make it possible once again for subjugated peoples to find another way to develop economically.

4

derek 12.31.05 at 7:35 am

All you would prove is that war is against the warring countries’ interests. I have long considered that wars happen because the country’s rulers judge it to be in their personal interests, and sometimes they’re not wrong. Too bad for the countries they rule.

I saw Goodfellas again last night, and was again struck by the gangster’s fine appreciation for the difference between “good for me” and “good for the enterprise I own”. The restaurant went under, but Paulie made a fortune out of its destruction. Too bad for the restaurateur.

5

Tim Worstall 12.31.05 at 7:58 am

LP. Indeed, John poses an interesting question. Would Nicaragua have been better off if Somoza had simply stayed in power until his natural death? Iran had kept the Shah? Things don’t seem to have been all that different with Stroessner there or not in Paraguay. Although only one of those was a war rather than a coup d’etat.

Kuwait better off with negotiation in 1991? Rather than GWI?

Israel in 1948, 67, 73?

Chile with Pinochet or Allende? Galtieri in the Falklands?

Yes, I do think it’s an interesting question. Which of the wars, revolutions and civil strife over the past 60 years have in fact been “worth it”?

Any nominations? No doubt somone will try Castro in Cuba.

The recent interventions in Sierra Leone and Liberia?

6

Brendan 12.31.05 at 8:39 am

Interesting article in the Post. I didn’t actually realise that the number of wars etc. had gone down. Like most people, I suspect, I had the vague idea they had gone up. Why haven’t the media highlighted this fact? Then I read this:

‘There have been some horrific and much publicized failures, of course — the failures to stop genocide in Rwanda, Srebrenica and Darfur being the most egregious. But the quiet successes — in Namibia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Eastern Slovenia, East Timor and elsewhere went largely unheralded, as did the fact that the United Nations’ expertise in handling difficult missions has grown dramatically.

A major study by the Rand Corp. published this year found that U.N. peace-building operations had a two-thirds success rate. They were also surprisingly cost-effective. In fact, the United Nations spends less running 17 peace operations around the world for an entire year than the United States spends in Iraq in a single month. What the United Nations calls “peacemaking” — using diplomacy to end wars — has been even more successful. About half of all the peace agreements negotiated between 1946 and 2003 have been signed since the end of the Cold War.’

Golly, who could possibly not want news about the successes of the United Nations to be broadcast?

7

Doug M. 12.31.05 at 10:35 am

how many of the participants got an outcome (taking account of war casualties and so on) better than the worst they could conceivably have obtained through negotiation and peaceful agitation

The Kosovo Albanians.

Milosevic stuck them under an apartheid police state, and set out deliberately and maliciously to impoverish, humiliate, and generally immiserate them. They tried negotiation and peaceful agitation for six years under Rugova. It got them nothing.

Then the KLA got going. Within three years they had de facto independence. (It’ll be de jure sometime next year.)

Freely granted, the current Kosovar government is corrupt and not very competent. But it’s their own, and they universally prefer it to their former status of Serbia’s abused spouse.

Doug M.

8

Louis Proyect 12.31.05 at 12:32 pm

Mr. Worstall,

Of course Israel was better off through the use of its military. But then again so was Don Corleone. As far as Batista is concerned, the Cubans are much better off today than they were under his oppressive rule just as the Nicaraguans were under the FSLN as opposed to Somoza. I would be happy to prove this, but that is one of the drawbacks to blog/comments. They inhibit serious scholarly enterprise.

9

soru 12.31.05 at 1:04 pm

The recent interventions in Sierra Leone and Liberia?

I think there is some confusion of terms, as in a lot of cases what in the west gets called a ‘war’ would be more accurately described as the involvement of the west in a pre-existing war, sometimes bringing it to an end fairly quickly.

Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan are probably all best described that way.

A better candidate for a genuinely ‘good war’ would be the Vietnamese invasion of Pol Pot’s Cambodia.

soru

10

Hoosier 12.31.05 at 4:11 pm

I’m not sure that I can call any war, “A Good War.” Maybe necessary, with good components such as the “espirit de corps”. But they are destructive.

Peace. Nicaragua…the choice is Samozoa or FSLN? Saying it’s better under FSLN is like saying it is better to be raped by 5 men than 6. Castro is just the flip side of Batista, kept in power by his brother, Raul.

If war can be avoided without capitulation and through resolving the disacord, then good. It seems that Turkey and Greece look at each other differently since Greeks helped in the aftermath of some horrific earthquakes in Turkey. Maybe miracles don’t have to be supernatural events, just events outside the understanding of humans (the human capacity to rationalize is indefinite though).

11

Tim Worstall 01.01.06 at 7:14 am

LP. Israel better off. That’s exactly the question John was asking as I understand it. Who got a better result by fighting than they could have got by negotiating.

I don’t doubt, BTW, that Cubans now are better off than they were in 1950. A more interesting question might be are the better off now as a result of the Castro Revolution than they would have been had Batista stayed in power, then to be replaced (as in time he would have died anyway) by the usual Latin American series of strongmen and perhaps, who knows, democracy?

Again, I think that’s the sort of question John is asking. Was the Cuban Revolution better than what would have happened without it?

12

Daniel 01.01.06 at 10:53 am

A more interesting question might be are the better off now as a result of the Castro Revolution than they would have been had Batista stayed in power, then to be replaced (as in time he would have died anyway) by the usual Latin American series of strongmen and perhaps, who knows, democracy?

I think this question in turn could be replaced by the series of questions:

are the Cubans better off than the Dominicans?
are the Cubans better off than the Haitians?
are the Cubans better off than the Jamaicans?
are the Cubans better off than the Hondurans?

the answer being “probably yes”.

I’ve always thought it strange that there are almost zero Cuban refugees showing up in the Dominican Republic or in Jamaica, which suggests to me that the main driver of Cuban boat people to Miami is economic rather than political.

13

Tim Worstall 01.01.06 at 11:49 am

Daniel, err, are you trying to imply that there is something wrong with people being driven by matters or desires economic? That, say, those who came over on The Windrush were driven by motives that we find somehow unacceptable?

Jamaica, GDP per capita around $4k. This is better or worse than Cuba?

Which, of course, rather opens up the question of what, exactly, we think is in fact better or worse.

14

Daniel 01.01.06 at 1:25 pm

are you trying to imply that there is something wrong with people being driven by matters or desires economic?

Nope, just suggesting that if Cuba really was the “brutal dictatorship” of popular myth, you would expect to see refugees showing up elsewhere than the most economically convenient place to be. This was certainly the case with respect to the Vietnamese boat people, for example.

I would have expected post-Batista Cuba to have ended up as a poorer version of Jamaica; an incredibly unequal society with a really serious cocaine and gangsterism problem. As far as I can see, it’s a little bit better than that.

15

Tim Worstall 01.01.06 at 1:33 pm

Well, nice to see it so clearly put. Cuba is better than a poorer version of Jamaica. Greater equality and the absence of a drug problem and non-state violence outweigh those bourgeois ideas about freedom and liberty, elections, freedom of speech and the rest. Even the right to leave the place, or, if the stories one hears are true, to have enough to eat.

Wouldn’t say I agree with you somehow but as I say, nice to see it so clearly put.

16

Walt Pohl 01.01.06 at 1:36 pm

Daniel, you are always a source of extremely clever arguments, like the one you just gave. It’s really a little unnerving. Please stop. :-)

17

Tim Worstall 01.01.06 at 2:06 pm

Daniel,

Could it be because the Americans actually let them in?

http://caymannetnews.com/2005/12/998/deck.shtml

“Over the Christmas weekend, 38 Cubans landed in the Cayman Islands, originally on Cayman Brac, bringing the numbers to 98. According to Mr Manderson, 10 other Cuban nationals were repatriated to their country on 26 December.

In January 2005, the Cayman Government introduced new internal guidelines for dealing with undocumented Cuban migrants entering the Cayman Islands.

Under the guidelines, migrants encountered in Cayman�s territorial waters or who come ashore any of the three Islands are refused permission to land and are not given assistance to enable them to continue their journey.”

18

Louis Proyect 01.01.06 at 2:59 pm

I am not sure whether GDP per capita says much about economic well-being, but you can check the 2005 UN HDI Reports at:

http://hdr.undp.org/reports/global/2005/

Cuba is ranked 52nd in the world, at the bottom of the “high economic indicators” group which is dominated by industrial nations. Jamaica ranks number 98 and is within the “medium economic indicators” group.

Here’s what that infamous Bolshevik World Bank director James Wolfensohn had to say about Cuba:

“Cuba has done a great job on education and health. They have done a good job, and it does not embarrass me to admit it.”

19

Daniel 01.01.06 at 4:30 pm

Tim, how much do you know about Jamaican elections?

20

Daniel 01.01.06 at 4:54 pm

(seriously, if you look at the Amnesty reports for Cuba and for Jamaica, it does not really look like Cuba is the worse place for freedom)

21

jet 01.01.06 at 6:11 pm

Korea would seem a fairly easy choice. With about 2.5 million total deaths on both sides during the war, just the famine in the 1990’s killed more than that.

I’m not sure what the rules are to this “what-if”, but if Kim Il Sung had succeeded in convincing Syngman Rhee into some sort of federation with Kim at the top, then we can probably “what-if” that the food shortages, incompetance, and stangant economy of the North would have been replicated in the South, and the 1990’s famine would have been much much worse.

22

neil 01.01.06 at 6:17 pm

JQ is implying that “negotiation and peaceful agitation” was an option in all cases. One might argue that in many instances this was not the case – South Africa and Rwanda for example.

23

John Quiggin 01.01.06 at 6:18 pm

Jet, your argument might work for the defensive stage of the Korean war, but clearly not for the attempt to conquer N. Korea, which failed, caused most of the casualties and almost certainly made the subsequent regime worse than it would otherwise have been.

In general, I’d suggest as a dividing line between self-defence and a decision to go to war, any attempt to get more than the status quo ante when that was available. In Gulf War I, for example, the decision to attack Iraq after the withdrawal from Kuwait.

24

Don Quijote 01.01.06 at 8:07 pm

Well, nice to see it so clearly put. Cuba is better than a poorer version of Jamaica. Greater equality and the absence of a drug problem and non-state violence outweigh those bourgeois ideas about freedom and liberty, elections, freedom of speech and the rest. Even the right to leave the place, or, if the stories one hears are true, to have enough to eat.

It beats the hell out of ignorance, poverty, high infant mortality rates and short life expectancy.

Given a choice between being born post 1960 in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica or Cuba which would you have picked?

25

jet 01.01.06 at 9:26 pm

John Quiggin,
I don’t know if it is useful to “what-if” down to that fine of a line. Drawing a line in a particular war and saying that was where the negative utility began is probably impossible.

How do we know that stopping at the 38th parallel would have been a better solution? Stopping at a particular line in the sand proved disastrous in Vietnam, turning a pointless war into a decades spanning pointless war. At least Korea was over in 3 years.

Obviously if Kim and cuddily uncle Joe could have been persuaded that the war should end after MacArthur’s landing at Incheon, the war should have ended there. This is probably the point you are making that when it becomes a matter of decision-instead of necessity-to prosecute war that is the time to stop?

But I’d put this one to you. The Allies retake France, Belgium, and Operation Garden is a success freeing Holland. Hitler agrees to a ceasefire pulling back all troops to Germany fleeing the Soviets and leaving Poland. But Hitler keeps the minorities and Jews and continues to kill them. Now obviously only the Jews and minorities will be killed if the ceasefire holds, while a much larger total number of non-combatants will die if the cease-fire is broken (the invasion of Germany and the rape of Berlin). What to do?

26

John Quiggin 01.01.06 at 11:32 pm

As always, WWII to the rescue! I’d agree that unconditional surrender was the right demand here, and that there are other such cases. In general, I’m happy enough to support intervention to stop mass killings, where it’s feasible to do so.

But there are very few such cases. It’s already become clear, for example, that claims about mass killings in Iraq (after about 1991, and before 2003) were almost as spurious as claims about WMD.

27

Tim Worstall 01.02.06 at 3:03 am

#20. I’m a little out of date I’m afraid. Seaga and Manley are all I remember.

28

Daniel 01.02.06 at 5:12 am

They haven’t really got any better in the meantime. I wouldn’t claim that Cuba is a paradise on earth, or even a particularly nice place. I’m just trying to make the point that by the relevant standard (Caribbean secondary theatres of the Cold War, or half-reformed narcostates), it’s not all that bad either.

29

radek 01.02.06 at 7:00 pm

Daniel, you’re right that today’s Cuba is a better place than Honduras, Dominican Republic or Jamaica, but you gotta control for initial conditions here. Cuba was a better place (economically speaking) than those countries in the 1950’s already. Even under Batista. Precise data is not available but I remember reading somewhere that pre-Castro Cuba ranked no1 in Latin America in terms of televisions per household and the same was true for most other socio-economic indicators. Literacy was already high relative to rest of the Caribean in 1950’s. Of course under Batista, the income distribution was pretty skewed but still the average Cuban was probably better off than the average Honduran, Dominican or Jamaican.
This also meant that Castro inherited a system of infrastructure better than that the other countries had. And a more educated populace.

(Also as far as human rights go, Cuba wasn’t “too bad” under Batista compared to Jamaica etc. either. This just goes to show that “not too bad” can still be pretty damn horrible. Furthermore recall that Batista actually had Fidel and his brother in his grip after they attacked a military barracks (i.e. for a legitimate reason not a trumped up charge) but released him due to pressure from a mostly free press – contrast that with Armando Valladares whom it took decades and three world leaders to get released)

Given all that, I don’t see what your point is…

30

jet 01.02.06 at 7:05 pm

John Quiggin,
Saddam’s mass executions after 1991 may be debateable, but there is no debate that he caused the additional deaths of hundreds of thousands in the 90’s. Either through his campaign to eradicate the Ma’dan, or his withholding services to Shi’ite areas, Saddam purposefully increased the mortality of large segments of his population.

Do you favor intervention when a government is shooting its people, but favor the status quo when a government dams up the rivers that the Ma’dan needed for survival? I’m not being obtuse here, I’m just seeing where you draw the line, because death by bullet is just as dead as death by refugee camp.

31

John Quiggin 01.02.06 at 8:31 pm

Jet,a minimal requirement in such cases is that the intervening power should be willing and able to do better, that is, to reduce mortality rates. Although there is still debate (feel free to continue at Tim Lambert’s or elsewhere but not with me) there is no reasonable doubt that mortality rates from both violence and illness have risen since the invasion.

BTW, I note in today’s WP that the Admin has declared there will be no more money for reconstruction. I’d be v. interested in your response to this.

32

jet 01.02.06 at 11:50 pm

John Quiggin,

Why do you think this has anything to do with the US’s invasion of Iraq? I thought we were merely discussing hypotheticals. I was not trying to say the US should have invaded Iraq, I was just pointing at a ready, well exposed and discussed example that most would be familiar with and whether a hypothetical invasion should have ocurred.

If you were a regular at Lambert’s you might even know that I agree that mortality rates rose after the US invasion.

BTW, I note in today’s WP that the Admin has declared there will be no more money for reconstruction. I’d be v. interested in your response to this.

What in the sam hell do you think my response would be? Since you so obviously know my leanings on that with your way off target assumptions, perhaps you’ll do me the favor of letting me know? Because I was under the impression that the Bush administration’s account of Iraq has been horrible, inattentive, and a basic disaster with the only redeeming merit being the dedication of the soldiers to the rebuilding effort.

You’re a great read with lots to say, but have a little patience for those who disagree as we might not disagree as much as you think. I have spent a lot of time, since your post, thinking about the possibility that almost all conflicts, US invovled or not, have been much worse than the worst possible negotiation. This will probably effect my political outlook for the rest of my life. I just wanted to see where you would draw the line over when violence becomes necessary and instead you assume I’m sneaking in some pro-Bush arguements.

33

John Quiggin 01.03.06 at 2:01 am

Jet,

I think there’s a circle of misinterpretation going on here. I may have misinterpreted your WWII analogy, but you’ve done the same about my comment.

The statement you quote was meant quite literally and seriously – I’m planning a post on this soon and I am genuinely interested to see how supporters of the war and/or Bush react to this news.

On the Lancet business, I didn’t know where you stood. I was just attempting to foreclose the possibility of another round of debate on an issue I regard as settled.

On a more positive note, I’m glad my post stimulated you to think about the question I raised. One effect of my thinking about the Iraq issue has been to push me to a more generally (though not absolutely) anti-war and anti-revolution position than I held previously.

34

Louis Proyect 01.03.06 at 5:12 am

Radek: “Precise data is not available but I remember reading somewhere that pre-Castro Cuba ranked no1 in Latin America in terms of televisions per household and the same was true for most other socio-economic indicators.”

Data gathering in the countryside under Batista was nonexistent.

This is from something I wrote on Cuba at:

http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/state_and_revolution/cuba.htm

What did Cuba look like under Fulgencio Batista, the dictator who Castro toppled?

The social and economic contradictions of the island then were typical of nearly all Latin American countries that had been exploited historically by imperialism.

The Cuban economy was based on export agriculture. The main crop was sugar, followed by tobacco, cattle and coffee. Agricultural resources were underutilized. For the hacienda owner, this was no problem. It might mean spending January through March in the US or Europe, shopping or attending the opera. For the farm worker, this meant unemployment and suffering. In 1954, for instance, Cuba’s 424,000 agricultural wage earners averaged only 123 days of work; farm owners, tenants and sharecroppers also fared poorly, averaging only 135 days of employment.

Unemployment led to all sorts of hardship. 43% of the rural population was illiterate. 60% lived in huts with earth floors and thatched roofs. 2/3 lived without running water and only 1 out of 14 families had electricity. Daily nutrition was terrible. Only 4% of rural families ate meat regularly. Most subsisted on rice, beans and root crops. Bad diet and housing caused bad health. 13% of the population had a history of typhoid, 14% tuberculosis and over 1/3 intestinal parasites.

35

Hektor Bim 01.03.06 at 10:41 am

The thing about the Korean War is that there is no question that North Koreans would be better off if China had not intervened. People always talk about the US preventing Korean unification, but it is pretty clear that if the Chinese had not sent armies to support the North Koreans, Korea would have been unified. It takes two to tango.

Judging from the relative development of the two Koreas, there is no question that had Korea been unified under the UN forces, a lot of people would be a lot better off. No huge famines, for a start, and substantially better medical care and standard of living, not even to mention far greater political and cultural freedoms in a reunited Korea. Should it have gone the other way, there would have been massacres that made the Kwanju massacre look like a walk in the park.

36

Donald Johnson 01.03.06 at 11:59 am

Hektor, I think you’re confusing the long-term consequences of the Korean War with the short term ones. In the late 40’s and early 50’s, there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference in the human rights record of North and South Korea. Well, you could probably get some sort of argument going about who murdered more people, but I doubt anyone knows. We do know that both sides committed large-scale massacres. Bruce Cumings wrote a lot about this in his history of Korea that came out a few years ago. North Korea was a Stalinist dictatorship and South Korea was a fascist one.

Now if you compare the two Koreas in the past couple of decades, you’re right.

37

Hektor Bim 01.03.06 at 12:54 pm

Donald,

Of course I am focusing on long-term consequences. My point is just that the intervention of China into the Korean War was also a decision to seek war instead of negotiation, and that it lead to very bad long-term consequences.

I’ve read Bruce Cumings’s history of Korea, and though his research and conclusions don’t hold up vis a vis the start of the Korean War after the opening up of the Soviet archives, he is of course correct about massacres on both sides.

China’s decision to intervene did prevent the unification of the Korean peninsula, and their support of North Korea is the only thing keeping that country going right now. I find this dimension of Korean history to be downplayed by people like Bruce Cumings.

38

John Quiggin 01.03.06 at 2:59 pm

Hektor, I agree with what you say, and I think it’s likely that the Chinese people, and even the Chinese Communist party would have been better off without intervention. Even more obviously, everyone would have been better off if NK hadn’t started the war in the first place. My criticism of war as a policy instrument isn’t confined to any particular side.

39

Daniel 01.03.06 at 4:51 pm

Radek: I think my point is that Cuba has more or less preserved its relative ranking with respect to most of the aggregates while improving much better in terms of inequality (and in a society with plenty of poverty, “reduced inequality” is not just a thing that makes leftwingers feel all fuzzy). It has not been a great place in terms of negative liberty (probably not even as good as Jamaica) but given how quickly civil liberties have been chucked away in the USA in the face of a much smaller threat than the USA poses to Cuba, this is not entirely incomprehensible.

I think that the definitive verdict on the Batista regime was given at the Bay of Pigs, when the Cubans had the chance to trade back, and as I recall they didn’t.

40

Donald Johnson 01.03.06 at 8:53 pm

Hektor, the problem is that people generally aren’t in a position to predict the long-term consequences of a war. South Korea turned out well, after a few decades, but I wouldn’t want to justify any war on the basis that things might turn out very well 30 years later. I think the US was right to defend South Korea, but wrong to employ mass bombing, but I don’t think it’s legitimate to defend the war on the basis of what happened decades later. At the time we were defending a fascist regime against an invasion by Stalinists–the fact that North Korea invaded was, I think, sufficient justification (though again, not a justification for some of the tactics employed.)

41

ajay 01.04.06 at 5:22 am

In general, I’d suggest as a dividing line between self-defence and a decision to go to war, any attempt to get more than the status quo ante when that was available. In Gulf War I, for example, the decision to attack Iraq after the withdrawal from Kuwait.

Slight confusion here. The first Gulf War didn’t consist of [liberation of Kuwait] followed by [attack on Iraq]; the course of events was roughly [air campaign against Iraq] followed by [invasion of Kuwait and southern Iraq simultaneously]; two days after the invasion, the Iraqi army withdrew from Kuwait, and a ceasefire was called the day after that.
Or are you referring to the 2003 invasion?

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Hektor Bim 01.04.06 at 10:28 am

Donald Johnson,

I think you are arguing against a position I have not made. There were a number of decisions made in the Korean War. The North Koreans decide to invade (pace Bruce Cumings), which was the first crazy decision. The South Koreans and the UN forces eventually repelled them. They then decided to penetrate deep into North Korea. The Chinese then decided to intervene with huge numbers of troops.

These were all decisions made that are relevant to John Quiggin’s thesis.

43

soru 01.05.06 at 7:44 am

Hektor, I agree with what you say, and I think it’s likely that the Chinese people, and even the Chinese Communist party would have been better off without intervention. Even more obviously, everyone would have been better off if NK hadn’t started the war in the first place. My criticism of war as a policy instrument isn’t confined to any particular side.

By those parameters, doesn’t the chinese invasion of Tibet count as a success?

soru

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