Afghanistan Is Not the End


David Adams | Transition to a Culture of Peace – TRANSCEND Media Service

1 Sep 2021 – The loss of the war of the war launched by the Americans in Afghanistan is the latest in a long list beginning with the loss of Germany and Japan in World War II and extending through the failure of the American wars in Korea and Vietnam. It is no longer profitable to launch a war.

Times have changed since the middle of the 20th Century. Before then, with the exception of World War I, war was a profitable business. It provided the colonies that enriched the European countries and ensured the neo-colonial domination of the United States over Latin America. The violence by which the colonial powers subjugated their colonies was so one-sided that they were not even recognized as wars.

In my previous blog, entiled Update on the Culture of War, I pointed out that the culture of war is now on the defensive. The progress of democracy and the rejection of war by the citizenry has forced countries, especially the American Empire, to avoid open warfare and to attack other countries by secret means or after invented and false provocations.

But Afghanistan is not the end. the culture of war continues to dominate human history. The great powers continue to increase their military spending, establish foreign military bases and prepare for nuclear war that risks the total destruction of the planet.

Can this be sustained?

It certainly cannot be sustained if there is a nuclear war: As Albert Einstein warned us in 1946, The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe.

But even if there is not a nuclear war, it cannot be sustained forever. As Karl Marx put it, spending money on the military is like throwing money into the sea. It produces nothing of value. And eventually an economy that produces nothing of value will crash from its own internal contradiction. This is the contradiction that produced the crash of the Soviet Empire in 1989. And this is one of the contradictions that led Johan Galtung to predict the end of the American Empire in the year 2020.

The crash of the global system in World War I set the stage for the first attempt at a new system of governance in the League of Nations.`

The crash of World War II set the stage for another attempt in the United Nations.

A crash of nuclear war would produced “unparalleled catastrophe.”

But a global economic crash would prepare a window of opportunity to produce a new system of global governance capable of promoting a culture of peace.

The window of opportunity may be very brief, so we must prepare now to take advantage of it.

The Declaration for the Transition to a Culture of Peace in the XXI Century is a first step in the preparation that is needed. It is being disseminated widely in Latin America and we need to extend this to the rest of the world.

Go here for more information and to add your signature.


Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace.  Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.

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