pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 10 – No. 07

The role of the military has been associated with the use of force, but it is important for the military to refrain from the use of force, and focus on conflict prevention. Conflicts today are predominately intra-national; however, conflicts have the potential to become international if not prevented. There are different stages of conflict including conflict prevention, peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peace building. The role of the military should focus on mitigating violence once it begins. However, the role of the military differs at the intra-state and inter-state levels. In intra-state conflicts, militaries can promote peace building by helping the national government address the root causes of conflict, and aid the government through peacekeeping operations. Inter-state conflicts can be overcome by the development of confidence building measures (CBM) to reduce misperception and suspicion. States can promote CBM’s through declaratory, transparency, and constraints measures to deal with uncertainty, and to reassure other states of a country’s intentions.