The Common Good

Just Peacemaking and Counterinsurgency

Biblical wisdom teaches: "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21).

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As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, and violence in Afghanistan increases, the question of effective counterinsurgency becomes paramount. Just peace theory says that truth, respect, and security are necessary for making peace. Police and military forces exist to provide security for communities and for nations, but this is only a negative peace. Negative peace is the peace that exists when people are not actively perpetrating violence upon their enemies, but where the desire to fight each other still exists. Resentment and a will to violence seethe just below the surface of things.

The positive peace is the peace that comes when people do not want to destroy each other anymore. Resentment fades and the will to violence disappears. Just peace theory intends to create positive peace. Positive peace requires more than police and military force. It requires a strong civil society and the provision of basic human needs

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