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Swords and Ploughshares


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Speaker(s): Lord Paddy Ashdown
Chair: Dr Mathias Koenig-Archibugi

Recorded on 21 May 2007 in Old Theatre, Old Building.

In this lecture Lord Paddy Ashdown discusses his new book - Swords and Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century. There have been 15 UN-led interventions since 1946, and there are at least 74 wars in progress today. From his perspective as a former Royal Marine officer in the 1960s to the High Representative in Bosnia from 2002-6, Lord Ashdown discusses the successes and failures of peace-keeping operations, questions what lessons have been learned - and what lessons keep being forgotten. The men and women of the British armed forces are currently engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans in 'peacekeeping operations'. How do we avoid these missions turning into long-term entanglements, like the current disaster that is Iraq? How do we bring our soldiers home? And what do we do about 'failed states' that are havens for gangsters and terrorists? Paddy Ashdown fears we will soon see major wars between nation states. Many will begin as minor conflicts that will expand into full-scale wars unless the international community intervenes.

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