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What have we learned about peacebuilding in the recent past?

The Bush administration insisted that going to war was essential to keeping our country safe. Today, we continue to maintain a military presence in places like Afghanistan, where more than 1,000 U.S. military personnel have already died.

NETWORK believes that events of the past few years have shown that war is not the best way to provide security for our nation and for our world -- and the numbers agree. A 2008 RAND research brief (“How Terrorist Groups End”) found that from 1968 to 2006, only 7% of all terrorist groups worldwide were taken down by military force, while 40% were dismantled through police and intelligence work, and 43% gave up terrorism and were integrated into the political process.

A foreign policy of U.S. domination, arms-building, and preemptive war has done more to offend other nations and people than it does to defend our own. The militaristic mindset of some in our nation needs to change. The war in Iraq was an especially troubling example of U.S. reliance on military force alone to solve international problems and the ineffectiveness of this course. The cost of the war was tremendous in terms of lives lost, people grievously wounded, physical and ecological destruction, ongoing mental health problems of those involved, the plight of refugees and other victims of war, and the damage done to U.S. standing in the world. NETWORK is engaged in promoting diplomacy and development as a key way to peace.