Disarmament and survival

Authored by: Marc Pilisuk

Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies

Print publication date:  February  2007
Online publication date:  March  2007

Print ISBN: 9780415396653
eBook ISBN: 9780203089163
Adobe ISBN: 9781134154814

10.4324/9780203089163.ch7

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Abstract

The importance of the quest for disarmament seems obvious. War is hell. While it is glorified in history, revered in memory as a moment of absolute life and death involvement and of camaraderie, and used as a rallying point by political leaders in calls for unity and sacrifice, the actual human consequences of armed conflict, and its aftermath, are devastating and growing worse. War has apparently caused more than three times the number of casualties in the last 90 years than in the previous 500. Upwards of 250 major wars have occurred in the post-Second World War era, taking over 50 million lives and leaving tens of millions homeless (Peace Pledge Union 2005). Rarely considered in the costs are the displaced refugees, mostly children and women, and the soldiers who return with enduring disability and traumatic disorders that diminish their lives and those of their families.

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