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Friday, 19 April, 2002, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Can war ever settle international disputes?
This week marks the twentieth anniversary of the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina.

The ensuing war lasted only a few months and twenty years on the Falkland Islands still remain in British hands with little prospect of them being returned to Argentina.

The twentieth century has witnessed a succession of wars on every continent - with two world wars and major conflicts in Korea, Vietnam, Sudan and Bangladesh.

More recently, we've seen the Chechen and Gulf wars of the 1990's.

But while the fighting may have stopped the resolution of many of these conflicts has been far from final - with repercussions continuing to the present day.

So is military force any way for countries to settle their differences? Do wars cause more problems than they solve? Or are there times when they are simply unavoidable?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction


It's time to recognise that the world is one place

Janet Bloomfield, England
Events in the Middle East show that violence and war is not the answer. The current US defence budget is over 1 billion dollars a day. Imagine what could be done with that money to create the conditions of peace and justice both in the US and the wider world. It's time to recognise that the world is one place and we have to deal with our differences through dialogue and non-violence.
Janet Bloomfield, England

War itself will never settle disputes unless some effort is made to eradicate or control the reasons that lead to it.
Anwar Chaudhary, Italy

Wars would be avoidable if everyone truly wished to avoid them. The problem is that some individuals/groups see war as a way to gain/retain power, or as a source of economic gain. A war is a gift to an unpopular leader or an ambitious general.
Helen, Japan

Wars do solve some problems when an opponent is completely crushed. Otherwise, it is like a spark in the ash, and can flare up any moment!
Agha Ata, USA

War leaves scars and that will always remind us of vengeance. Therefore, it never helps durably resolve differences between states.
Raja Chandran, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


War is the ultimate problem resolution

Daniel, USA
Most unsettled conflicts are a result of wars stopped before they should have been finished. World War I ended with an armistice so the deep feeling resulted in World War II. World War II was finished with unconditional surrender: the Axis powers were broken. That war needed to be carried out to finish. The Romans finally sacked Carthage, ending that dispute. War is the ultimate problem resolution. Constant never-ending peace talks and not finishing wars is what allows disputes to fester.
Daniel, USA

Will two wrongs EVER make a right? I think not. War creates more resentment, bitterness and anger, not to mention the price paid with all the innocent blood spilt. A peace built on the foundations of war is about as strong as a sandcastle. It will last as long as the tide does not turn against the victors of one war.
Valerie, Chicago, USA

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See also:

18 Mar 02 | Politics
16 Oct 01 | UK
08 Feb 02 | Health
23 Apr 01 | Europe
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