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War is Over!

by Joe Markowitz
August 2011

Mediation's Place by Joe Markowitz

Joe Markowitz

Joshua Goldstein has an article in Foreign Policy (and apparently a book coming out on this topic) in which he proves that, as President Obama announced in June, and contrary to popular belief, the tide of war in fact is receding, and has been for some time. Compared even to the 1990's, we are seeing about half the number of deaths worldwide from war. The U.S. has substantially reduced troop levels in places like Korea and Europe, and when withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan are finally complete, will have fewer troops abroad than at any time since the 1930's. There are far fewer civilian casualties from war than in decades past. Some intractable conflicts (e.g., Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kashmir) have subsided. The great powers have essentially renounced wars with one another. And the UN seems to have figured out how to make peacekeeping work in some areas. Obviously, there is still a lot of war going on, and too much death and destruction from war, but we are so focused on all that conflict, that we might not realize just how greatly the scale of war in general has been reduced compared to past decades.

I remain fairly pessimistic on this subject, because it's hard to imagine that with expanding populations and increasing resource competition, we will not be facing some substantial man-made cataclysms and conflicts in this century. Perhaps we are only enjoying a temporary, and relative, lull in war activity. But Goldstein's thesis is still fascinating, because it goes so much against conventional wisdom. And it's probably disconcerting to a lot of people in the hate and fear business, those who have been trying to promote the fearsomeness of some new enemy or other ever since the end of the Cold War eliminated our most powerful enemy. The idea that we can actually measure progress away from war provides hope that mankind might finally be learning how to resolve at least some large scale conflicts without the waste and destructiveness, of war.

 

Biography


Joseph C. Markowitz has over 30 years of experience as a business trial lawyer.  He has represented clients ranging from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations.  He started practicing with a boutique litigation firm in New York City, then was a partner in a large international firm both in New York then in Los Angeles, then returned to practicing with a small firm and on his own.  In addition to general commercial litigation, Mr. Markowitz has expertise in  intellectual property, employment law, entertainment law, real estate, and bankruptcy litigation.  Mr. Markowitz has managed his own firm since 1994. Mr. Markowitz was trained as a mediator more than 15 years ago, and has conducted a substantial number of mediations as a member of the Mediation Panels in the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the District Court and Bankruptcy Court in  the Central District of California, as well as private mediations.  He has served since 2010 as a board member of the Southern California Mediation Association.   



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Website: www.mediate-la.com/

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