The restoration of America's self-confidence and the start of the
mismanagement correction programs also carried over to the conducting
of international relations. The Soviet Union was settling down to a
period of reconstruction as well. There the mismanagement started
with the Bolshevik Revolution, and continued until the rise of
Gorbachev. But the superpowers damaged many other countries as well.
Taking advantage of their rivalries many governments obtained huge
quantities of armaments. These weapons could be used for the buildup
of armies, to bully their neighbors and to oppress their own
citizens. Massive damage was inflicted on billions of people, who
were unable to reach their full potential under their militaristic
The superpower rivalries and the worldwide unrestrained arms trade created another grave danger to world peace: the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapon capability to many of these unstable Third World countries. Many of these same countries also relied on enmities and hatreds against their neighbors to retain their power over their subjects. In spite of the end of the Cold War many regional conflicts continued, and threatened to erupt into devastating conflagrations.
The support given to the Soviet Union during their times of troubles convinced their leadership that the United States and its allies could be trusted. Democratic capitalism did not try to overthrow socialism or conquer Russia. America's interest was in the growth of democracy, the development of economies and participation in the free flow of goods and services. The new United States' programs of the Warless World and the World Development Plan was also a national policy that was in the Soviet Union's interest.
The Department of Peace was the natural coordinator in these efforts toward the easing of the remaining world tensions. One of Paul's first task as Secretary of Peace was the setting up of a technology transfer function. Information was gathered about such topics as territorial defense and non-lethal weapons. As the United States military started to move toward a territorial defense, the experience of such countries as Switzerland was utilized. Research contracts were let out for non-lethal weapons. The discoveries of the research were immediately made available to the Soviet Union. That country, because of the lingering ethnic strife among their nationalities, was especially interested in non-lethal methods of containing violence.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union developed a common cause in keeping the peace of the world. In the United States the people spoke loud and clear: Enough of the mismanagement -- especially of war and militarism! In the Soviet Union the need for continuing economic assistance from the United States and its allies gave impetus to cooperation.
The biggest danger to the world remained from the unstable Third World countries. The unthinking proliferation of technologies for building weapons of mass destructions started to threaten human survival itself. While nuclear or chemical weapons were dangerous, experts were especially concerned about bacteriological weapons. It was feared that unexpected scientific breakthroughs or mutations of biological agents would cause millions of deaths, and spread even to uninvolved countries.
Paul proposed, and the President accepted, the setting up an informal World Police Force. Both superpowers agreed to prevent and contain the development and use of weapons of mass destruction. Both nations agreed to coordinate their intelligence. If a nuclear emergency threatened, they would put their forces on alert. A joint communiqu was to be issued, warning the hostile parties against using their nuclear weapons.
The new arrangements soon had their first test. The strife between India and Pakistan that existed since their independence again intensified. Lack of economic development -- caused in part by continuing military expenditures -- contributed to the rise of fundamentalist politicians in both countries. After weeks of border skirmishes the armed forces were totally mobilized. As several times in the past, India and Pakistan were ready to go to war. But this time both countries have developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, ready to carry great destruction to their major cities. After such colossal destruction it would take decades before normalcy would return to these underdeveloped countries.
The newly established joint task force was carefully monitoring the military buildups. Diplomatic reports from New Delhi and Islamabad were shared. The diplomatic efforts started with the usual United Nations resolutions and shuttle diplomacy between the two capitals. But the joint task force started to coordinate possible military action, including a specific operational plan. As it was becoming apparent that nuclear strikes were seriously considered by both India and Pakistan, the nuclear containment plan was instantly implemented. An emergency meeting was called. The joint United States-Soviet peacekeeping team met with the presidents of India and Pakistan. The two hostile nations were put on notice that at the first sign of preparations for a nuclear attack by either side, the United States and the Soviet Union would launch a massive non-nuclear strike against the aggressor, attacking key industrial centers and military headquarters.
The threat of such a military action caused both of the warring countries to back down and start the disengagement of their forces. Armed with the appropriate authorization, Paul immediately met with officials of India and Pakistan. An increase of economic development aid was offered, in exchange for the elimination of the weapons of mass destruction. The favorable response received added considerable impetus to the World Development Plan.
The success of the initial test of such a joint positive police action created further initiatives. A joint command was set up as a clearinghouse of military intelligence of Third World hostilities. Allied cooperation was solicited and received. Detailed operational procedures were set up to handle similar future emergencies. Two additional programs were also created. The research and development efforts started to produce non-lethal weapons. A joint non-lethal force was set up, to assist in international peacekeeping missions under United Nations auspices. The second program offered technology transfer and development aid in exchange for the termination of mass-destruction weapons programs and forces. These initiatives were able to prevent the recurrence of future crises in the region.
There was great relief throughout the world following the resolution of the India-Pakistan crisis. Many governments of Muslim countries were concerned about the defeat of an Islamic nation. They lauded the efforts of the United States in resolving this issue of great concern to them. This was a period of goodwill for which Paul was waiting. He now was ready for another peace initiative -- the setting up of the first Peace Confederation.
Peace Confederations were another of the social inventions in place of war. Their purpose was to secure political and economic cooperation through confederations of countries related culturally, religiously, geographically or economically. The main objective was reducing the danger of war and the burden of armaments, and securing the benefits of cooperative economic and political development.
In the past there were strong drives toward the establishment of national identities and the accentuating of religious, cultural, linguistic and other differences. These trends now became increasingly counter-productive, given the increase in global interdependence, the dangers of war and the cost of armaments and the great benefits that could accrue from scientific and technical cooperation. Accordingly, the short-term advantages to ethnic groups, religious communities, economic organizations and others from a strict separation of national identities started to yield to long-term consideration of benefits that resulted from increased cooperation among nations.
The European Economic Community was the first group of countries that moved toward confederalization. While the principal benefits were considered to be economical, there was also an element of peace seeking in the endeavor. The nations of Europe engaged in the 20th century in two world wars, at tremendous costs and few advantages. It was now time for other clusters of countries to consider this model of national coexistence in place of fruitless strife and violence. Paul knew that many governments would be able to justify giving up of strict national sovereignty for the advantages of increased political and economic development .
Paul's understanding of the origins and developments of the countries of Middle East -- what one called the Arab World -- made it possible for him to propose a peace confederation for the area. While the announced goal was to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict that festered since 1948, the main objective was the maintaining of the momentum toward a warless world.
The winding down of the Cold War should have brought a lessening of tensions, and a movement toward peace in the Middle East. Instead, we have continuing strife and crises. The strategic location of the countries involved -- including 60% of the world's oil reserves -- makes the instabilities contribute to war, instead of peace.
Mankind is also at a crossroads as we are approaching the 21st century. The ending of superpower confrontation and the freeing of the Soviet satellites eliminated the danger of war in Central Europe, and its threat of escalation into a nuclear conflict. There was hope that the lesser regional discords would be resolved gradually and peacefully. But now we are paying the penalty for the excessive arming of some countries.
What will the future bring? Can we continue the trend toward a more peaceful world, where economic, political and social development will take precedence over military adventures? Or will we see power hungry governments learn the wrong lessons, and continue the building up of military "strength" at the expense of their people? Especially worrisome is the ability and interest of some governments to acquire weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, chemical and biological.
The Need for an Arab Solution
Arabs speak a common language, most profess Islam as their religion, remember a shared history of greatness and power, and have governments and institutions -- such as the Arab League -- that acclaim the unity of the Arab nation. But a strong streak of individualism and a tendency to enmity creates obstacles to joint action, and generates quarrels among countries that ought to cooperate with each other. The lack of cooperation in coordinating their economies and foreign policies makes the Arab world an area of strife, drawing in foreign powers and destabilizing the entire region.
The problems of the Arab world continue to worsen. A population growth rate of 3 percent annually begins to create shortages of food, water and arable land. The emerging crisis over water resources is especially troubling. Industrial development is lacking. Per capita income in most Arab countries is low. But the low income is further impaired by the wide disparity between the rich and the poor Arab countries. The inadequate rate of economic development is made worse by the continuing brain drain of tens of thousands of professionals.
Far-sighted Arabs and sympathizers recognize these problems and freely offer the needed remedies. But until recently the mind-set of the Arab political leadership concentrated on the wrong solution -- militarism and armaments. Thus the Arab world was the leading importer of military equipment and weapons systems. During the last two decades over $700 billion were spent for military purposes. The fear and distrust created by these huge armies contributed to hostilities, and prevented badly needed cooperation among the Arab countries.
The past decades clearly proved that militarism and armaments are not the solutions -- they are the problem. The right solution includes the Western European model of creating a common market for cooperation in economic development. In the emerging European Community the component nation-states in the past engaged in destructive wars until finally they learned the benefits of economic and political teamwork.
A Super-Optimum (Win-Win) Solution
Super-optimum solutions are alternatives to political, economic and other policy problems, where the two or more sides of an issue or opinion difference come out ahead of their best expectations. The reasonable needs of the various parties involved must be met:
The Arab World. The people and countries of the Arab world need political and economic cooperation, and gradual social development toward democracy and human rights. By giving up the reliance on armaments and militarism, vast resources will be available for industrial and agricultural development, expansion of water supplies, and improvements to the educational and health systems.
The Palestinians need their own state, to eliminate their powerlessness, and enable them to have the needed improvement of their living standards.
Israel needs to be relieved of the crushing burden of defense expenditures. The economic development of the nation will require cooperating with the neighboring countries on the common problems of the region.
Non-Arab Minorities. Such non-Arab minorities as the Kurds, Berbers, Black Sudanese, Lebanese and Coptic Christians must retain their cultural identity, while they remain part of the new Arab world.
A Peace Confederation for the Arab World
Armies and weapons are weakening the Arab world. The endless flow of armaments to the region merely served to create fears and hatreds, and war after war. After the flow of vast petrodollars to the Arab world most of the ordinary Arabs are no better off than before. Meanwhile, much of the world continues to improve its economy and society. The industrial powers of Europe and Asia are bypassing the Arab world. In another 20 years the petroleum reserves will be exhausted, or will be made superfluous by new energy technologies. If present trends continue, there will be 300 million Arabs occupying a depleted agricultural base, perennially short of water and food.
Since war and militarism are not the solution, then peace must be the answer. A new social invention is proposed, designed to overcome the problems and take advantage of the opportunities of the Arab world. The idea of a "peace confederation" is especially appropriate for the countries of the Middle East -- the Arab countries and Israel.
A Peace Confederation is a decentralized union of countries related culturally, religiously, geographically or economically, for achieving political and economic cooperation. Such confederations could established for reducing the danger of war and the burden of armaments, and for securing the benefits of cooperative economic and political development. The European Community is emerging as an example of such a union.
Because the proposed Peace Confederation is to embrace all the countries within the Arab world -- including Israel -- the name Confederation of Abraham is proposed, to symbolize the common spiritual ancestry claimed by Muslims, Christians and Jews living in the area.
Structure of the Peace Confederation
Governmental powers will belong to the component countries. Only those powers specifically delegated will be under the jurisdiction of the Confederation.
Executive branch. The bulk of the governmental operations of the Confederation will involve areas of cooperation, development, security affairs, and the like. A chief executive will be elected by the member countries of the Confederation. Voting will be according to a formula based on population and financial contributions of the countries.
A balanced cabinet will include departments for science and technology, economic development, environmental protection, water resources management, communications, transportation infrastructure, and other problem-solving programs and operations.
Legislative branch. A single chamber legislature, based on the populations and economic contributions of the participating countries will be set up. The legislative work will involve taxation for the needed expenditures, and appropriate legislation to facilitate the programs and operations of the Confederation.
Judicial branch. The Confederation Court will have jurisdiction over disputes that may arise from the activities of the Confederation.
Military power. A main purpose of the Confederation will be the elimination of the use of war and violence in solving disputes. A significant reductions of the military forces of the participating countries can be made very quickly. The priority will be the control and elimination of the weapons of mass destruction -- nuclear, chemical and biological. The most effective of the individual countries' armaments will be made available to the Confederation's defense force, to deter potential aggressors. Further security will be obtained through security guarantees from the United States, the European Community, and other countries interested in the stability of the Confederation. Under this approach at least 75% of the military expenditures can be cut.
Economic development. The income from the continued dependence of the world on stable Middle East oil sources should ensure the needed funds and loans for industrial and agricultural development. Guaranteed access to oil -- at moderate price increases linked to inflation -- will be exchanged for technology transfer agreements and loans for economic development. The non-military debts of the countries in the region will be rescheduled and made bearable under the International Monetary Fund.
There must be a sharing of oil income, to reduce the differences between the rich and the poor states. 25% of the oil revenues should be set aside for a development fund for the needy countries of the Confederation. Similarly, water resource development and sharing agreements must be established, to make a just allocation of this vital resource.
The industrial and agricultural development programs, water supply and irrigation projects, and the general development of the economy -- including the service sector -- will gradually solve the problems of insufficient jobs and unemployment. Conditions will be created to reverse the brain drain, and make the needed progress in the scientific and technical fields.
The improvement of the economy will be favorable to political and social development as well. A process of democratization -- under constitutional monarchies or republican forms of governments -- will take place. The status of women will gradually improve, as the expanded economy will require the participation of women in the professions and in the work force.
The Role of Israel
Special attention has to be given to the role of Israel in the Confederation of Abraham. An independent Palestine must emerge in the Occupied Territories and coexist with Israel. In exchange, Israel will provide valuable "unity services" to the new Confederation:
Example. The fact that Israel -- a non-Arab country -- was able to establish relations with Egypt will weaken the arguments of those Arabs who resist the idea of cooperating with fellow Arabs.
Insurance. There may be concerns among the other powers that the Confederation will eventually gain considerable economic strength and will be hostile to their interests. The participation of Israel in the Confederation will tend to diminish these concerns.
Gatekeeper. In the past, frequently there was a power struggle between the North African and the Asian segments of the Arab world. The location of Israel between the two potential contenders will prevent this possibly harmful development.
Military balance. Israel also will be useful in the consolidation of the military forces of the Confederation. Israeli participation in the command structures will ensure the needed balance and prevent possible domination by any one of the member countries.
Resolving Territorial Disputes
The establishment of the Confederation will be followed quickly by the resolution of the remaining territorial disputes of the region. Following Israel's joining of the Confederation of Abraham, a fully independent Palestinian state can be established on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The Golan Heights will be returned to Syria. Lebanon should be partitioned between the Christian and Muslim parts of the population. The Christian Republic of Lebanon will become a member of the Confederation. The other inhabitants of Lebanon may choose to join Syria, or retain their independent republic.
The status of Jerusalem needs to be readjusted. The City of Peace will become not only the capital of Israel and Palestine, but also will offer extra-territorial privileges to the Islamic, Christian and Jewish holy places, and some Confederation and United Nations activities.
Benefits of the Peace Confederation
Establishing the Confederation of Abraham will bring substantial benefits to all concerned. These benefits make this into a true super-optimum, win-win solution.
The Arab world will become a real Arab nation, with economic prosperity and full confidence to take its rightful place among the countries of the world. A gradual democratization process will strengthen their societies, and enable the realization of their full potential.
Palestinians will finally have their state and the end of powerlessness. Cooperating with Israel and other countries will create a prosperous economy and society.
Israel will have peace, and can then concentrate on building up its economy and absorbing the Soviet Jews.
The Kurds and other minorities will have the freedom to develop and retain cultural independence, and gain the benefits of participating in a large common market.
The United States, the European Community, Japan, and the rest of the world will have a safe source of energy and valuable trading partner.
Bringing About the Confederation
A time of crisis often provides opportunities for radical, but beneficial change. The current crisis in the Gulf may offer a similar occasion to make progress in the affairs of the Arab world.
Once the major Arab countries involved accept the Confederation as the basis of the future relations in the region, then the danger of future wars is averted. A time table of specific actions can be prepared, to ensure that action indeed will be taken. The withdrawal of military forces from the several occupied territories can be completed. The various institutions and agencies can be set up and funded. Israel can be invited to join the Confederation in the roles suggested above. While outside powers must not be involved in the setting up of the Confederation, they can be requested to guarantee the eventual territorial settlements. Within one year the Confederation of Abraham can be a functioning entity.
A cultural and spiritual revival of the restored Arab nation would be the natural outcome of the Confederation of Abraham. The Confederation also would serve as a model for overcoming the futile struggles and hostilities that hamper human progress throughout the Third World.