war as a source of losses and gains

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  • 8/8/2019 War as a Source of Losses and Gains


    The Third World after the Cold Warideology, conomic development and politicsJuly 5 - 8,1995

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    War as a Source of Losses and Gains

    David Keen

    Queen Elizabeth HouseOxford

  • 8/8/2019 War as a Source of Losses and Gains


    WAR AS A SOURCE OF LOSSES AND GAINSDavid Keen(ueen Elizabeth HouseOxford University )

    This paper contains some thoughts about war , and civil war inparticular . It looks briefly at some of the conceptualframeworks that might contribute to our understanding of war , andsome of the weaknesses of these frameworks . It then attempts tomove towards a way of looking at war which might , conceivably ,contribute to more imaginative thinking about how to minimise thehuman suffering arising from war .1. The bureaucratic model and the military historiansAccording to a conception of war which owes a great deal toClausewitz as well as other military historians , war is conductedby professional armies and is fought between rival states .According to this very common conception , war is something thatis "declared ", with processes of violence following more or lessautomatically as each "side" commands its respective forcesaccording to its perception of the tactics most likely to "winthe war". War , as Clausewitz put it, is "the pursuit of politicsby other means ". The model analyses war rather as one mightanalyze a wargame . When applied to civil wars , this kind of"bureaucratic " model again envisages two "sides", each with itsown political programme and each trying to gain the tacticaladvantage that will allow it to "win".The best chance for peace , correspondingly , is seen as gettingthe leaders of the two sides together , and engineering some kindof compromise .This model would appear increasingly outdated , however . Not onlyare contemporary wars for the most part civil wars rather thanwars between states . In addition , when we look closely at civilwars , it is often hard to discern two neatly delineated "sides"which are unambiguously in command of their own fighters . Theloyalty of fighters , indeed , is often highly problematic . Andthere are frequently three or more factions . Moreover ,civilians , contrary to Clausewitz 's conception of war , arefrequently deliberately targeted by one or more factions . Theprocess by which resources are raised for fighting may be highlyproblematic , rather than following more or less automaticallyfrom the declaration of war . And , rather than consisting ofbattles which lead to some kind of conclusion and a clear winner ,wars are increasingly protracted . For example , civil war inSudan has been going on for the past 12 years and , on and off ,for the past 30 years.2. Economic analysisIt would be wrong to underestimate the economic analysis of war

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    that has been conducted . Paul Collier and Frances Stewart areamong those who have written fruitfully in this area , and theeconomic dynamics of warfare have recently attracted increasedattention even from the International Monetary Fund.However , economics as a discipline has largely failed to come toterms with the importance of war, and of violence in general .Too often , as Stewart (1993) oints out, warfare is treated asan exogenous variable , with large international organizationsassuming war away when making economic plans . And , as Stewartnotes , "While war has ... been identified as a reason whyadjustment programmes do not work , no effort have been made toconsider what adjustment policies are appropriate during war ."The long duration of many contemporary civil wars makes itparticularly important to avoid conceiving of them as temporaryabberations .Consider a brief selection of definitions of economics .Economics "is about choice subject to constraints " (ayard andWalters , 1978). Economics is "descriptive of the productive andtrading relationships between people ..." (Begg , Fisher andDornbusch , 1991). Economics is "the study of how human beingsgo about the business of organizing consumption and productionactivities " (amuelson , 1980). Whatever definition one accepts ,it is difficult to see how these processes can be adequatelyunderstood without looking at the role of violence in shaping ,sustaining and distorting particular economic systems . Yetdiscussion of war and violence are almost entirely excluded fromthese texts , except a brief mention of the inflationary effectsof war in Samuelson and the comment that "Wars have always beengreat disrupters of an economy " (p.242).Significantly , war and violence have also been largelymarginalised from the study of famine. In his seminal "Povertyand Famines", Amartya Sen (1981) gives relatively littleattention to the relationship between war and famine. In theirwide-ranging study , Dreze and Sen (1989 , p . 22) mphasise :

    "It would be, particularly , a mistake to relate thecausation of famines to violations of legality ... themillions that die in a famine typically die in anastonishingly 'legal ' and 'orderly ' way".Sen's entitlement approach deals specifically with the legalframework , with the bundle of goods to which people can claimaccess within the existing system of laws. Yet violations oflegality are a key feature of civil wars.How do economies work in time of civil war? It is not a questionmany economists have addressed . Yet just as analysis of economicprocesses is relevant to the study of war and violence , so alsoanalysis of war and violence is surely relevant to the study ofeconomics .If we imagine that economic processes can be underst ood withoutan understanding of violence , we might do well to remember that

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    Western capitalism - or large parts of it - was built on theinfliction of massive violence , and that it is sustained by theinfliction of more moderate violence as well as by a variety oftaboos on the use of particular kinds of violence .The very idea of private property (a cornerstone of economics asdiscipline ) as in many parts of the world (for example , theUnited States) nly established through large-scale violenceagainst groups occupying land according to a different set ofconventions . Once property had become established as an idea,it was defended with punishments for theft , punishments eitherconsisting of violence or underpinned by the threat of violence .If such punishments were to be seen as fair and measured , thisdemanded the existence of a strong and effective state apparatuswhich could dispense violence in a moderate and routinizedmanner . Meanwhile , to take the United States as an example , theidea that it was legitimate to use violence in the economicendeavour of settlement gradually gave way to the idea that itwas illegitimate to use violence to make money . And there wereother taboos restricting the individual 's freedom to make money .One was the taboo on government officials selling favours formoney (including the granting of immunity from retaliatoryviolence to those who broke the law) This , then , was not somuch a "free market " as a market constructed out of violence , andsustained partly by violence and partly by social mores defininglegitimate and illegitimate ways of making money .1All this may seem an unwarranted detour from a discussion ofcivil war . The important point is that violence and taboos onviolence affect economic life at all times , whether in peace orwar. We would be well advised to try to understand how violenceaffects economic transactions , rather than assuming violence isbanished during peace and that it somehow "replaces " economicprocesses in wartime .Perhaps , economics - which is after all a relatively recentdiscipline - tends to look only at the historical point aftermass use of violence to create a particular economic system . Ifwe were pessimis tic - and rising violent crime rates in theindustrialised world combined with increasing numbers of civilwars in the world as a whole give grounds for pessimism - wemight go further and suggest that economics deals only with thatrelatively brief period of history before the descent back intoviolence as states and taboos on particular kinds of money -makingcollapse .One of the most promising areas where economic analysis couldenhance our understanding of wars , as Stewart has suggested , is

    Insofar as capitalism wants to suggest that "everyoneshould try to make as much money as possible ", it may contain theseeds of its own destruction in a way different from thatenvisaged by Marx : n some sense , crime and government corruption(hich may include complicity in crime and decentralisedviolence) ollow naturally from the injunction to make money .

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    in assessing the indirect costs of wars , that is the costs interms of economic devastation and reduced state services whichwar may give rise to. Such an analysis - which forms part of thefocus of a major research project at Queen Elizabeth House -offers the prospect of suggesting economic interventions thatmight reduce these indirect costs of war - both inside andoutside the zone in which fighting is actually taking place .While investigating these costs of war is undoubtedly valuable ,there may be dangers in focusing too much on the costs of war ifit leads us to assume that war is all bad. Insofar as "liberal "analysis of war is anxious to show up war as an unmitigated evil ,this may actually be unhelpful in certain ways . In particular ,if war is so bad for everyone , why does it occur? And why ,moreover , does it persist ?Among many analyses suggesting that war is economicallyirrational is a recent piece by Douglas Rimmer (1995) n whichhe notes that:

    "The data on the basis of which businesses operate arethe more reliable , and business is therefore easier toconduct , where life and property are reasonablysecure , contracts enforceable , institutions stable andgovernment policies predictable . Business , in short ,is an interest entrenched in peace ."

    While much of the reasoning here is sound , the validity of theconclusion is open to question . Much will depend on what kindof "business " we are talking about , who is conducting it, and,to put it rather crudely , whether you have something they want .3. War as "chaos"It is common , particularly in journalistic accounts , to seecontemporary warfare depicted as essentially chaotic . Closelyrelated accounts portray war as "madness ", as "mindless ", and/oras the result of "ancient ethnic hatreds ". Many accounts of theconflict and recent famine in Somalia suggested that the countryhad lapsed into anarchy , and "The Coming Anarchy " was the titleof a highly influential recent article by Robert Kaplan (1994)in the Atlantic Monthly . Kaplan warned of the imminent dangerof escalating violence and a collapse of state control not justin West Africa - his main focus - but also in much of theindustrialised world .

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    The policy implications of this "chaos" model are far from clear .Probably the most important implication is simply that littlethat can be done, and that the industrialised countries shouldsteer clear of areas "beyond the pale ", perhaps making someattempt to seal themselves off from this gathering "chaos ". Thisline of action appeared to gain some approval from militaryhistorian Martin Van Creveld in a recent appearance on Panoramawhen he suggested that gathering chaos would lead to attempts atmass emigration and that Western governments might want to "blowcouple of those boats out of the water " as an example to therest . Van Creveld added (in reference to recent Italian conflictwith Albanian immigrants) hat "This may be in the long-run amore humane solution both for the Italians ... and for theimmigrants " (anorama, March 20th 1995).Kaplan 's brand of scare -mongering was well summed up in hisopening contribution to the same Panorama programme , when heobserved :

    "You have a lot of people in London and Washington whofly all over the world , who stay in luxury hotels , whothink that English is dominating every place , but yethave no idea what is out there , and what is out thereis that this thin membrane of luxury hotels , of thingsthat work , of civil order is proportionately gettingthinner and thinner and thinner ."The apparent psychological importance of keeping this perceived"chaos " at bay reminds one of the fear of the wilderness amongthe Europeans who settled , or unsettled , the Americas (cfStannard , 1992). The power of Kaplan 's perhaps derives from asense of excitement and horror that the wildness of "the other ",the sphere of the unpredictable , is actually not so far from homeas it might seem - something , perhaps , that the bombing ofOklahoma has now brought home all the more starkly .One is reminded of a passage in Conrad 's "Heart of Darkness ",quoted by Stannard .

    "The steamer toiled along slowly on the edge of theblack and incomprehensible frenzy ... we glided pastlike phantoms , wondering and secretly appalled , assane men would before an enthusiastic outbreak in amadhouse ... It was unearthly , and the men were - No ,they were not inhuman. Well , you know, that was theworst of it - this suspicion of their not beinginhuman . It would come slowly to one. They howledand leaped , and spun, and made horrid faces ; but whatthrilled you was just the thought of their humanity -like yours - the thought of your remote kinship withthis wild and passionate uproar ."In a context where the bureaucratic model of warfare is clearlybreaking down in important respects , it is possible to observegrowing tendency for observers simply to throw up their hands

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    and declare "It's all chaos !". Perhaps traditional economics(ith a focus on peaceful markets) and traditional politicalscience (ith a focus on elections and voting ) as well astraditional military history (ith a focus on bureaucratic war)are simply too rigid and narrowly defined . Each attempts tofocus on a restricted area which is ordered and predictable . Andwhen "messy " phenomena like contemporary civil wars do not falleasily within the orbit of these "disciplines ", the temptationto wheel out the label of "chaos" is very great . In the naturalsciences , it has been suggested that theories positing particularkinds of predictability may similarly depend on limitingattention to a relatively small sphere (excluding , for example ,phenomena that , without being random , frequently defypredictability - like the evolution of the weather and themovement of water ).For all its attractions as visceral thrill or fall-backexplanation , the label of "chaos" is not analysis . Rather , itis the death of analysis . Even in physics , "chaos theories "still embrace the possibility of certain "organizing principles ".Reading many newspaper reports of contemporary conflicts , onemight frequently wish to ask : s it the violence that is mindlessor the analysis ? Such accounts do , however , have the greatadvantage that the more you fail to explain war and violence , themore convincing your explanation ("chaos") becomes .4. The functions of conflictThe progress of an infectious disease is something more that thebreakdown of the body . For the germ , indeed , it may be a triumph(lbeit a triumph which may ultimately destroy it as the bodydies) In the same way , the processes of conflict (nd the ,often related , processes of famine) ay have beneficiaries aswell as victims . To interfere effectively in these processes (swith the processes of disease ), one needs to be aware not simplyof the suffering arising from them (the symptoms , as it were , ofconflict ) ut also of the groups who may be benefiting from 'them .We need to know about war 's functions as well as its causes andeffects . By examining which groups the costs and benefits ofwars fall upon , we may have a powerful tool for explaining whywars persist , or come to an end.The functions of war may be quite complicated . Contrary to thebureaucratic model of warfare , the point of war may not be simplyto win it, as one would win a sporting contest between two teams .The point may be to engage in profitable crime under the coverof warfare .- War may involve actions that are militarilycounterproductive (nd could reasonably be predicted in advanceto be militarily counterproductive ) An important example ofthis might be large-scale attacks on civilians in retaliation forrebel or "terrorist " activity , something that has frequently

    Van Creveld (1991) as an interesting discussion of therelationship between crime and warfare .

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    increased rather than diminished the strength of opposition , asfor example in the current conflicts in southern Sudan andeastern Turkey . However , the mere fact that such an action mightstrengthen the opposition does not prove that it is irrational .It might be that raiding the civilian population is a primary aimof many of those doing the fighting . It might be that raiding ,by creatin g a rebel movement , provides legitimacy for itself .It might be , and this argument has been made in relation to theTurkish government repression of the Kurds , that parts of themilitary actually favour a strong rebel movement in order toenhance their own budgets and status . It might be that raidingcreates the impression of continuing conflict and so legitimatesthe presence of army officers in areas where they can make moneyfrom illegal economic activities - an argument that has been madein relation to Sierra Leone . It might be that soldiers in onefaction sell arms to another , motivated partly by the money theycan make from doing so - an argument that has been made inrelation to Cambodia . It might be , as John Simpson suggests inhis analysis of conflict in Peru , that government soldiershabitually set free rebel fighters (in this case from the ShiningPath) n order to perpetuate insecurity in areas where officerscan benefit from illegal trading (in this case , principally , thetrade in cocaine). And it might be , finally , that encouragingparticular patterns of violence is a way of diverting thediscontent of disgruntled social or ethnic groups or ofdistracting a potentially mutinous army by engaging it inperpetual combat . Both arguments have been made in relation toSudan (Keen , 1994).Perhaps , to modify Clausewitz , war is the pursuit of economicsby other means . We hear a lot about economically rationalbehaviour . But what are the circumstances in which it iseconomically rational to carry out acts of violence ?3War is not simply a breakdown of society ; it is a re-ordering ofsociety in particular ways . In wars , we see the creation of anew type of political economy , not simply the disruption of anold one . As Mark Chingono has argued , the gains from war may insome circumstances be quite widespread , particularly when adecline in the state 's ability to control economic lifeencourages an expansion in the informal economy .The pre-existing political economy will affect - and will in turnbe affected by - the course of the war .

    number of possible economic functions of conflict can bedistinguished .(i). Theft .Theft may effect a major transfer of assets from one group toanother , perhaps from one ethnic group to another . During famine

    We might also want to ask which groups (outh , perhaps )have a comparative advantage in the use of violence .

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    in Sudan in the 1980s , such transfers included transfer of grain ,cattle , land and , it was hoped , mineral resources . While thisorganised theft was a key cause of famine, it also yieldedsubstantial benefits . Transfer of assets may include the illegalseizure of lands from large landowners in revolutionary violence .(ii) Forced markets "

    /While much of the most influential analysis of famine (notablySen , 1981) as focused on market forces , the costs and benefitsof famine and civil war may better be understood using theconcept of "forced markets " (een , 1994) that is, markets whichare shaped not simply by supply and demand but by the use ofvarious kinds of force. Grain , livestock and labour markets maybe distorted by raiding and resu ltant famine . Threats ofviolence may reduce the price of labour to something approachingslavery . Violence may be used to create or preserve trademonopolies , a goal that Lenin saw as feeding into internationalwars but which may also feed into civil wars .

    -"(ii) rotection racketsPeople may be made to pay money or surrender commodities inreturn for "sparing " their lives and/or property or in return forallowing them to move around . Aid agencies may be made to paymoney to groups in a position to attack their aid convoys .(iv) ayMoney can be made from payment as a soldier or as a member of amilitia .() uppliesMoney can be made from providing supplies and equipment forarmies , including weaponry .(i) elief

    Money can be made from controlling the relief supplies thatconflict may conjure up.(ii) tate resourcesFinally , money can be made from gaining , or retaining , controlof the state .It will be important to examine war as a complex , shiftingphenomena occurring in the context of weak states . Civil war inthe Sudan cannot adequately be characterised as "north versussouth ". Civil war in Sierra Leone cannot adequately becharacterised as "government versus rebels ". Rather , these arecomplicated processes in which a variety of actors use violencefor a variety of purposes . These purposes are very frequentlyeconomic , perhaps increasingly so as conflict progresses .

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    In the context of a weak and impoverished state , it is unlikelythat either government leaders or rebel leaders or otherfactional leaders will be in a position to "command " a large bandof followers who have sufficient training and a sufficient salaryto make them a disciplined force . Where the state (oralternative sources of authority ) acks resources , leaders mayalso need to raise the money for warfare from private investors ,who may seek an economic return for such investment . The Spanishconquest of South America was in large part funded by merchantand noble partnerships in Spain (he Spanish crown being in noposition to finance the venture ). These investors were lookingfor a quick return , notably in the form of gold and silverextracted by Indian slaves . These minerals in turn helpedfinance further conquests . Today , those providing finance(erhaps indirectly ) for warfare may include foreign -ownedmultinationals , as has been the case in Sierra Leone and Liberia .These companies may also seek a return on investment in terms ofprivileged access to local resources . Such companies are likelyto be drawn into the business of providing security for their ownoperations , as well as certain rudimentary welfare operations ,trend no doubt encouraged by pressure from internationalfinancial institutions for the "privatisation " of many functionspreviously carried out by the state .Where violence relies on the private initiative of investorsand/or economically -driven fighters , it is quite probable thateven wars which began over an overtly "political " or religiousdispute will "mutate " into something else , with economic goalsgaining increasing importance . As with the mutation of viruses ,such changes add to the difficulty of finding effectiveinterventions . But, again as in the case of viruses , thesemutations need to be understood . As war is turned againstcivilians in the pursuit of profits , these civilians maythemselves be forced to resort to violence in order to survive .The impoverishment of particular geographical and ethnic groupsmay also precipitate a "spreading " of war to new areas aspredatory groups seek new assets to appropriate . This patterncan be seen , for example, in Sudan . In a context of a "normaleconomy " devastated by war , the economic attractions of violencemay be particularly strong .Although we have come to regard strong states capable ofcommanding a disciplined army as somehow "normal ", these statesonly emerged in Europe from a long and difficult struggle withlocal warlords . In many parts of the world , this kind of statehas never properly been established , or at least only in afragile form . Insofar as the resources available to states inAfrica are diminishing (not least through programmes ofstructural adjustment ), the opportunities for prospectivewarlords to challenge state sovereignty would appear to beconsiderable . The disintegration of states like Liberia shows

    This is evident not only in the recent fighting betweenKurdish factions in economically -blockaded northern Iraq but alsoin the fighting between rival rebel factions in southern Sudan.

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    this process is already under way . As when the monarchies ofEurope were attempting to impose their sovereignty on errantwarlords , many African states are today forced to try to confronteconomically -powerful regional warlords with government forcesthat are underpaid and undermotivated . This creates conditionsin which we might expect a military a coup , a defection to therebe ls, and/or a peeling away of government troops into their ownattacks on civilians or their own illegal economic activities .Like the state , regional warlords may seek to establish acivilian base through providing welfare as well as throughthreatening violence . Thus , it is not simply that the state iscollapsing ; in many countries , it is being reconstructed in newforms , notably through the emergence of "mini-states ". Moreover ,rather than simply "collapsing ", the state is sometimessponsoring its own demise , attempting to maintain itself byharnessing local resentments and resource conflicts and byfarming out violence to those it may eventually prove unable tocontrol .Ashort paper cannot discuss particular cases in adequate detail ,or properly convey their complexity . Nevertheless , it may beworth taking a central issue emerging from the above discussion -the discipline or indiscipline of soldiers - and discussing itin an empirical manner .Undisciplined looting by soldiers has frequently been a responseto not being paid or fed. Indeed , intense need among soldiershas often undermined any idea that warfare should be "civilised "and should exempt civilians .Among the Franks (he German tribes who settled in northernFrance and Rhineland in fourth century), pillaging even offriendly territory was common when rations ran out and foragingproved difficult .Spanish atrocities in the Netherlands in the sixteenth centurywere directly linked with the failure to pay the Spanish forceson time. Political suppression of the Netherlands revolt turnedinto something rather different , as plunder became more and morewidespread .The brutal suppression of revolt in Ireland in 1647 (includingforced starvation ) was, in part , a way of occupying disgruntledBritish Parliamentarian soldiers , whose pay was in arrears andwho, finding little prospect of alternative employment in aneconomy dislocated by the English civil war , refused todisband .6

    There are parallels here with the attempts by governmentsin industrialised countries to confront drug barons with policeforces that may also be underpaid and undermotivated .

    There are parallels here with many contemporary civilconflicts . For example , continuing economic scarcity in northernIraq has made it difficult to achieve a lasting disbandment of

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    In contemporary southern Sudan , raiding of civilians by the rebelSudan People 's Liberation Army (PLA) as often been linked withinterruptions in the supply of food to SPLA troops . In SierraLeone , raiding of civilians by government soldiers posing as"rebels " has been widely linked with the poor pay and minimaltraining for these soldiers . The poor pay itself appears toreflect a government failure to channel money raised for warfaretowards soldiers on the front .Among those who have pointed to the importance of pay andtraining in shaping contemporary civil wars in Africa is BishopW . Nah Dixon , Resident Bishop of the Don Stewart ChristPentecostal Church in Liberia . He said of the genesis of theLiberian civil war:

    "It is needless to say that one of the great lessonsthe civil war has taught us is that the security ofthe nation depends on the level of training anddiscipline of its armed forces ... Incapable of facingthe enemy on the battlefield to fight it out, theyturned against innocent civilians , holding them ashostages , killing them on suspicion of abetting andhiding the rebels - even though these civilians werefar removed from the scene of the conflict ... Thenumber of soldiers should be reduced and well paid .This will help prevent the lust of looting and armedrobbery , and the staging of military coups ."The use of wars to distract potentially rebellious troops is ahistorical phenomenon of long standing . This tactic hasfrequently led to patterns of warfare that prove deeply damagingfor civilians , though profitable for the raiders and perhaps oflasting economic benefit for groups seeking the retain thebenefits of state office .European contemporaries and historians have observed that theSpanish conquest of the New World helped to keep some limits onthe violence within Spain in the sixteenth century , particularlyas it provided an outlet for those who did not return to ordinaryemployment after the wars of Grenada against the Moors .In the early nineteenth century , the conquest of Nilotic Sudanby Mohamed Ali 's Turko -Egyptian regime offered a means ofdistracting his Albanian troops from the insubordination to whichthey were prone . In the Ottoman empire during the latenineteenth century , the Ottoman government armed Kurdish militiasand gave them a "licence to raid". This appears to have servedsomewhat similar function in appeasing the Kurds , while at thesame time offering a way of suppressing dissent (in this case ,among the Armenians ).

    the Kurdish militias that fought against Saddam Hussein 's forcesin 1991 .

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    In modern -day Sudan , warfare has been used as a means ofdeflecting the resentment of the potentially -rebellious (ndeconomically marginalised ) aggara group by turning them againstpolitically marginalised southern Sudanese . Such tactics offeredheavily -indebted Sudanese administration the prospect ofdefeating rebellion (nd gaining access to oil) on the cheap ",that is, without having to pay for a large , conscript army .6. Some implications for interventionsIt may be helpful at this stage to go back the three conceptualframeworks discussed earlier , and to wonder what light the abovediscussion can throw on the policy prescriptions that arisewithin each of these conceptual frameworks .Much of current policy in relation to peacemaking and aid isconstructed within the old-fashioned , bureaucratic model ofwarfare . Outsiders endeavour to create a sphere of neutralityfor civilians . They insist on the immunity of humanitarian aidfrom "political interference ". They attempt to get therespective leaders together , and to secure some kind ofcompromise agreement.However , this approach is severely called into question when weremember that in most contemporary civil wars , the control andexploitation of civilians have become central goals for thosecarrying out violence , rather than deviations from "normal"warfare . The manipulation of aid in order to control civiliansand to make money has also become a key goal during conflict .Finally , the diversion of aid and the infliction of violence havebecome sufficiently decentralised that merely securing anagreement among "leaders " is unlikely to secure lasting respectfor aid and peace among those who are (conveniently ) ssumed tobe their "followers ".The way forward may lie in interventions that provide realisticeconomic alternatives to the economic gains from violence . hesealternatives will have to be provided not just to "leaders " butalso to all those who engage in violence , lest they desert theirleaders . In some circumstances , the need to "wean " particulargroups from violence may mean , in effect , "rewarding " individualswho have carried out human rights abuses , rather than punishingthem . There are obvious dangers in such a policy . But simplyoffering punishment may be a recipe for abusers to "dig in" andcontinue fighting until the bitter end.Turning to the existing economic analysis of warfare , the aboveanalysis suggests that a focus on the costs of war only takes usso far. Unless we look also at the functions of war , it isdifficult to see how wars can be brought to an end . If we assumethat war is bad for everyone , then it is difficult to see how anyobserver or outsider could be expected to contribute to theprocess of peace - except by telling the warring parties to "seereason " and pull themselves together ?Secondly , if the indirect costs of warfare are to be reduced in

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    practice , then one will need to consider carefully the functionsof warfare . These will include the economic functions ofinflicting sufficient suffering on civilians that they migrateen masse from economically -coveted areas . Insofar asinterventions aim to minimise the costs of warfare , they willneed to bear in mind that governments (nd other parties ) reoften seeking to maximise the costs of warfare - either as partof a military tactic that seeks to control civilian populationsor as part of an economic lactic that seeks to gain access toresources controlled by civilians . Unless the functions of humansuffering are understood , donor organisations will risk deepenin gthe costs of war , for example by assisting in policies ofdepopulating particular geographical areas and concentratingpeople in controllable (and often disease -ridden) camps.Hostility to targeting the most needy in the areas where theylive should be anticipated , and measures taken to push reliefthrough .Thirdly , if the indirect costs of warfare are to be reduced , oneof the best ways may lie in modifying the pattern of warfare , sothat attacks on civilians become less common . This may meansupporting state institutions , even supporting (erhapsindirectly ) he creation of a disciplined , trained and well-paidgovernment army . Insofar as the new "barbarisation " of warfarecan be traced to the collapse of states , then those designinginterventions will need to think about supporting statestructures (rather than , as has been more fashionable ,dismantling them).7 This is an important adjunct to Stewart 'sargument that supporting states can help reduce the indirectcosts of warfare by maintaining welfare and health services .Insofar as foreign governments seek to "punish " states abusinghuman rights by withdrawing resources (erhaps therebyreinforcing policies of adjustment and austerity ), these foreigngovernments should remember that resource shortages (and weakstate institutions ) an themselves contribute powerfully to humanrights abuses . This is one of the problems with the EuropeanUnion decision to freeze aid to Rwanda in the wake of themassacre of Hutus by Rwandan government troops in the Kibeho campin April 1995 . Such a decision can only impede the rebuildingof judicial and police structures , making it more difficult forthe new government to re-establish the rule of law in Rwanda .Earlier , as African Rights has argued , the international drivetowards democratization in Rwanda appears to have run aground ,in part , on the resource shortages generated by internationally -generated austerity packages . The role of resource shortages inprompting inter -Kurdish conflict in northern Iraq also throws asceptical light on recent suggestions that aid to Iraqi Kurdistanshould be cut in the wake of an Amnesty report on human rightsabuses among the Kurds .Finally , existing attempts to address the symptoms and costs ofwars without looking at their functions may just be recreating

    Perhaps they should also think about supporting rebeladministrations .

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    the conditions for conflict . Let us suppose that it was possibleto achieve repatriation , reintegration , rehabilitation ,reconstruction and all the other "re's" to which United Nationsdocuments habitually refer . At this point , one would be able todeclare the "madness " of war was truly behind us. And yet,assuming external factors remained constant , the war would simplybegin again - for precisely the same reasons that it began in thefirst place . Attempts to "recreate " a strong central state inSomalia may fall within the category of endeavours that recreatethe conditions for war . An alternative strategy , as MarkBradbury has suggested , would be to work with the diverse formsof local government and clan institutions that have beenrevivified by the collapse of the Barre regime .Turning to the last of our three conceptual frameworks , the"chaos " model of warfare is disabling in many ways . It caneasily induce a sense of hopelessness , and indeed appeared toplay a role in weakening international reactions to the genocidein Rwanda . At another level , the "chaos " model makes it easierfor governments to confuse the international community bymanipulating ethnic tensions and by playing up to Westernstereotypes of "ancient tribal violence ".An alternative analysis seeking to describe the concretefunctions of violence , whilst difficult , offers at least thechance of working towards the construction of a political economythat would be less susceptible to the tactic of inciting inter-ethnic violence . A more geographically - and ethnically -evenpattern of economic development is likely to be essential in thisendeavour .

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