T F F P r e s s I n f o # 9 3



Lund, Sweden - May 15, 2000



- to abolish war as an accepted social institution, precisely as we

have done with slavery, cannibalism, child labour, rape,


- to provide survival, security and protection without causing an arms

race and threatening other societies;

- to deal with conflicts and create peace by peaceful means, in

accordance with the UN norm;

- to permanently secure the existence of the Earth and humankind,

never put it at risk;

- to enable present and future generations to live in a world where

the norms of the UN Charter are implemented;

- to preserve pluralism in all aspects of life, unity in diversity,

respect for life, and

- to live in partnership with Nature.

Lesson 1 to implement:

In the militarised world system and the nuclear age, we can not afford

to wait until war breaks out and then react with military force. We

need an active peace policy that seeks to avoid violence and resolve

conflicts long before they lead to war.

Lesson 2 to implement:

We can't disinvent nuclear and other technologies, but neither have we

disinvented cannibalism, we abhor it. It should be perfectly possible

to develop an equal, universal abhorrence against incinerating our





There are four types of threats against any society: internal and

external, direct and structural. Examples of Type 1, outside and

direct: invasion, occupation, extinction, sanctions, nuclear warfare.

Examples of Type 2, outside and structural: embargo, economic warfare,

ecological breakdown, global crisis, poverty, maldevelopment,

inequality. Examples of Type 3, inside and direct: state and private

terrorism, warlords, civil wars, minority repression. Examples of Type

4, inside and structural: alienation, social disintegration, Mafioso,

corruption, black markets, normlessness, drugs.

Lesson 3 to implement:

Only a fraction of these threats can be met with military means. Over

a certain point, military means will add to the threat-production in

one or more of the four categories. We must introduce limits to the

role of the military and to destructive potentials. It's like

medicine: up to a certain level it may be useful, beyond it has

adverse effect.

Lesson 4 to implement:

In principle, there are no limits to what can be done for peace and

security. It is possible to develop a culture of peace and nonviolence

- but not if one element dominates over all the others, in this case

the military in world security affairs.

Lesson 5 to implement:

There is far too much talk about social security, human security and

environmental security that does not challenge the supremacy of the

violent sectors. As long as this is so, these types of security will

remain residual, complementary and war as an accepted institution will





1. Good only for defending ourselves, not able to attack others.

2. Shorter range and less destructive power, but denser.

3. The defensive capacity is bigger than the offensive potentials of


4. It is adapted to the needs and features of each unit, be it a

municipality, a country or a region.

5. Shaped to not create excessive dependence on foreign deliveries

(energy supplies, military components), i.e. reduce other-reliance.

6. Does not promote arms exports, has no economic profit motives

attached and can thus be dismantled - or expanded - depending on the


7. Has no connections with mass-destructive weapons or strategies.

8. Co-functions with a variety or other defence and security measures,

including preventive diplomacy, peace-keeping, peace-making and


9. Its leaders and staff (men and women) are trained in conflict

understanding and -resolution.

10. Its tasks, structure and statutes are in compliance with the

provisions and norms of the UN Charter, including UN peacekeeping


Lesson 6 to implement:

By threatening someone else, we increase the threat against ourselves.

It is wiser not to threaten anybody but be extremely difficult for

anyone to control or subdue, should they try.

Lesson 7 to implement:

If others do harmful things, we are not helped by paying back in kind.

If others cross red lights, we are not better off by imitating their

folly. Small countries will remain weaker if they choose to defend

themselves with the same weapons which bigger ones have plenty of, but

can become stronger, more resistant, if they choose alternative means.

That's why the U.S. lost in Vietnam and the Soviet Union in


Lesson 8 to implement:

There are two types of power: a) offensive power where we try to

control and bully anybody around, effects well-known when it hits

ourselves... and b) defensive power, power over ourselves and our own

destiny, self-determination and making it impossible for others to

rule over us.





A. Armed forces

B. Civil defence and protection

C. Nonviolent resistance

(A) Defensive military and civilian components must be separated in

space. Military forces can not defend modern cities with dense

populations. For urbanised areas, there are only civilian means; any

use of destructive means will make a mockery of the word "defence".

So, the military is only for area defence, in the countryside. Cities

and town should be declared open according to international law, thus

not defended militarily and not being attacked with military means.

Women and men participate equally.

(B) Civil defence and protection is employed in urbanised areas which

is also where refugees and wounded people will seek protection. It is

about shelter, but much more. It is prepared in peace time and aims to

help the population under most difficult circumstances; it is reserve

stores of basic foodstuffs, the ability to switch to domestic energy

sources, keep hospitals functioning etc. It is to make sure that

public administration can survive computer sabotage etc.

(C) Nonviolent resistance is everything - some hundred methods, big

and small - that prevent an aggressor from gaining access to and

utilising the territory: go-slow, sabotage, deception, ridiculing,

moral appeals, demonstrations, refusing to co-operate, acting

defiantly, using culture, gaining moral support abroad - it's the

utilisation of Internet, videos etc.

B and C are particularly suitable for those who want to defend their

society but do not want to carry guns. Alternative defence offers a

role for all - it does not punish conscientious objectors nor those

who think military defence is best.

Lesson 9 to implement:

While a society may well need military defence, it can not survive in

the long run unless civilian

preparedness is much upgraded from what we have today - where little

investments have been made to secure the population's survival. So,

military and civilian components each have their role, can co-function

but must be separate in space.

Lesson 10 to implement:

This defensive defence mode is able to function as a deterrent. It

makes occupation and control, utilisation of resources virtually

impossible. It boosts social cohesiveness and any occupier will think

twice. In addition, all the world's sympathy will be on the side of

the strong and defensive, not on the (morally) weak, militarised


Lesson 11 to implement:

Legitimate defence means to protect oneself and be strong and powerful

but NOT to threaten anybody else. With alternative defence there will

be no doubt who "began" it all or who violated international norms and

laws. The party with defensive defence simply can not commit





1. Military - conventional, paramilitary, guerrilla, home guard,

techno-commandos, module defence etc, small mobile units. That depends

on the society, and models are plenty.

2. Economic - the self/other-reliance problem should focus on what a

society should be able to do on its own if cut off in a crisis or war.

Equal interdependence, trade and openness is great,

dominance-dependence or asymmetric relations are not. To be strong in

the defensive mode, each society should be able to stand on its own

feet and satisfy its citizens' basic needs when the going gets rough.

3. Political - the relations between citizens and the state operating

security means, the problem of legitimacy, law and order, of

democratic decision-making about defence and security. The above mixed

civil and military model allows pacifists as well as those who want to

carry arms to serve their country.

4. Civil defence - shelters, evacuation plans, caring for victims and

refugees, etc.

5. Civil preparedness - making society operate under the crisis

conditions, energy storage, hospitals, mass communication, schooling,

production and distribution.

6. Nonviolent defence - non-cooperation with enemy, persuasion,

strikes, moral pressure, political "jiu-jitsu," social boycott,

teach-ins, refusal to pay tax and fees, parallel society, civil

disobedience, alternative economics, dual sovereignty, symbolic

actions, etc.

7. Society's invulnerability level - decentralisation, robust

technology, infrastructure, self-reliance in basic needs categories

such as food, water, shelter, and basic health.

8. Community, human beings - cultural identity, morale, belief in the

future, crisis and problem-solving orientation, solidarity, civil

society, participation, freedom and reliable media.

Lessons 12 to implement:

There are many means, one military and 7 civilian. Traditionally, only

1 and 3 are used; we need to re-conceptualise defence and security to

integrate the rest. The more means we have developed, the safer we

are. While arms cannot be exported to crisis areas, many of these

other means will also be qualified to serve in UN and OSCE missions -

civil affairs, police, monitors, reconciliation workers etc.

Lesson 13 to implement:

Defence is an all-society matter, not the monopoly of elites. Being

protected by elites is potentially dangerous and undemocratic. The

comprehensive, democratic 'mixed defence' outlined here opens up for

public participation and the creation of strong, resistant - but

non-threatening - societies.




1. Inner human being (psychological security)

2. Individual citizens (human security)

3. Municipality/local society (local)

4. Nation-state or state-nation (national)

5. Region (regional)

6. Inter-national (international)

7. Global - or world order - level (world order, transnational)

Lesson 14 to implement:

The dominance of national security is outdated. States are too small

to handle the big conflicts and problems and too big to handle the

small ones. From contemporary history we know now that the

all-pervasive national security paradigm can co-exist with insecurity

at virtually all other levels. We need a security thinking across

these levels. The world cannot be sure if individuals feel insecure

somewhere - and individuals can't be secure when regional or global

security needs are neglected.

Lesson 15 to implement:

Security is multi-dimensional, multi-level, multi-cultural and

multi-intellectual. Neither pacifists nor military should be allowed

to monopolise it. This model offers them co-operation and thus

legitimacy throughout society.




It's not enough to have a system aimed at deterrence or military

balance. What if deterrence fails - which it is likely to in a system

where there are no rules agreed upon by all actors? Contemporary

military defence may deter many from war, that is true. On the other

hand, if it fails and war breaks out - thousands or millions may

perish. This must never happen. A genuine security system must

function well through the following five phases:

1. Prevention of violence and dissuasion from attack

2. Crisis, tension, threats

3. Defence, struggle, if need be

4. Conflict-resolution, regulation - towards:

5. Normalisation, prevention, dissuasion (full circle).

Lesson 16 to implement:

The way we are 'protected' today means that if deterrence fails and

some fool starts a larger war, it could be the end. No state has

invested enough in surviving a period of fighting or reducing the harm

an opponent can inflict.

Lesson 17 to implement:

Security is not a linear function, but one of cycles. It is not about

extinction if...but about survival and permanence. A strong,

defendable society has various means to use through the entire

conflict cycle. And it cares about protecting people - both in the

countryside and in urban areas.

Lesson 18 to implement:

Alternative defence and security are means to surviving crises without

being killed having your society totally destroyed. Thus, alternative

defence embodies the HUMAN RIGHT to live without the fear of

annihilation, a right to peace. A right for future generations,

although they cannot voice that right here and now. Alternative

defence is fundamentally responsible vis-a-vis a sacred value: that

there shall be something rather than nothing, that the world shall

exist indefinitely.

Lesson 19 to implement:

There is a fundamental contradiction between the modern industrial

society and modern military technology: if used, it will destroy that

society because its destructive power is out of proportion with

defence and because modern society is extremely vulnerable. (Even a

computer love message can paralyse it...)

Lesson 20 to implement:

Stop believing in all the 'threat' assessment, refuse to let somebody

play on your deep fear. Security and defence - and peace - is not

about death and destruction, it's about life and development. Of

course there are threats, challenges and worries. We are not taking

the easy line and saying that everything is fine and we should just

love one another. In fact, there are so many serious challenges to our

survival and well-being that it is absurd to let

military-industrial-bureaucratic complexes create even more for the

sake of their own elitist benefits. Civilian and military leaders of

virtually every state have built shelters for themselves and their

families , but not for their citizens.






Says Jan Oberg, "So,it looks like alternative defence is more or less

the opposite of what is preached today! Here is a definition by TFF

associate Johan Galtung from 1984:

'Security is simply here defined as one's own invulnerability minus

the capacity of the other Party to destroy. I think it is a fairly

reasonable definition of security: it means the capacity to come out

of a conflict unscathed, in other words the probability that human

beings, society, nature and also one's own defence system will

survive. One may later on decide to change them, but then out of one's

own will. If the invulnerability level is insufficient, then one is


In contrast, today's 'security' could be defined somewhat like:

'Security is one's own vulnerability plus our capacity to inflict

destruction on the Other. If actually used, it will destroy what

should be defended. Only when we have more destructive and offensive

power than the opponents or can intervene far away, can we be safe.'

Because the alternative defence model - and many other thinkable ones

- will reduce the threat and fear levels everywhere, resources can be

devoted to improve the living standards of those most in need. Thus,

it reduces both direct and structural violence to much lower levels.

You may see this and similar models as defence and security in

transition: after some time when the arms race and the

threat-psychology has declined, some countries may think it much safer

to go on and switch to purely non-military defence and security - we

thus get a kind of disarmament race leading in the longer run to a

nuclear-free and weapons-free world where the skills of

conflict-management and dialogue are as natural and highly developed

as are the skills today in computer management.






There is a violence of the underdog - of the disadvantaged,

humiliated, victimised, hopeless. And there is a violence of the

topdog - of the arrogantly powerful, the privileged who want more, the

empire-builders, those who need to be the judges of everybody else,

those who see themselves as God-chosen to fulfil a mission. There is a

violence with those who obsessively have to mould, force, engineer and

control their surroundings and fellow human beings.

Violence CAN be justified when used as the last resort by those who

have tried everything else - or by the dispossessed who have no other

way to be heard. But in nine of ten cases violence is an indicator of

disorder, it's a disease. It is anything but mastery of the situation,

it's the negation of leadership and statesmanship.

In contrast, there is no violence of the happy, the balanced, those

who feel they live a rich, meaningful life, those who have seen

through propaganda, who let go of fear. There are few violent impulses

with those who have some kind of inner harmony and can enjoy the here

and now.

Violence is the life not lived. The world military system is the

future not perceived. Non-violence opens opportunities in individual

and social life. It's the only means to protect pluralism.

Isn't it time we create a global dialogue - over Internet, for

instance - about what makes a healthy defence and security for the

whole human being and all human beings, sustainable over time and in

tune with the existential challenges facing us all in the 21st

century? Isn't it time to let citizens have a say in how we want to

achieve security instead of letting elites play on our fears to accept

militarist 'protection' offers-you-can't-refuse?

There are many alternatives, not only the one presented above. In

fact, given the wish for us and future generations to live in peace, I

believe there are only alternatives to the present militarist,

nuclearist system. And those alternatives are compatible with the

global campaign for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence. We shall only

achieve such a culture of peace if we kill two things: the ability to

harm and kill and the perverted belief that our security lies in that


You are hereby invited to brainstorm, explore and discuss democratic,

alternative defence. Sooner than you think, alternative security even

for big powers may be the theme of a CNN Q&A..," ends Jan Oberg.

Please also read the articles on TFF's site by our associate Dietrich

Fischer, one of the world's leading thinkers on alternative defence

and peace.



© TFF 2000

Please reprint, copy, archive, quote or re-post this item, but please

retain the source.^




Dr. Jan Oberg

Director, head of the TFF Conflict-Mitigation team

to the Balkans and Georgia


Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research

Vegagatan 25, S - 224 57 Lund, Sweden

Phone +46-46-145909 (0900-1100)

Fax +46-46-144512

Email tff@transnational.org