1 – Athena is the Greek goddess of war who disliked battles and preferred to end quarrels in a peaceful manner.
2 – Athena’s favourite creature was the owl, which to my mind symbolises the whistleblower.
Whistleblowers like the International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) which advocates for nuclear weapon dismantlement.
3 – “Warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development”, in the words of Principle 24 of the Rio Declaration.
4 – Principle 25 of the same Declaration states: “Peace, development and environmental protection are interdependent and indivisible”.
5 – Chapter 11 of the so-called Brundtland report, Our Common Future, from the World Commission on Environment and Development explores peace, security, development and environment. It deserves to be heeded, developed and taught.
6 – Keeping track of the arms world and leaning towards pacifism are not incompatible. No more than rubbing shoulders with patients if you’re a doctor.
7 – “Polemology” (the study of conflict) goes hand in hand with “irenology” (the study of peace).
8. – Depending on what societal model we want to promote, we incline towards different solutions in defence and security matters. Food for thought for the polemologist.
9 – Trying to understand why a citizen of the United States can end up thinking that the Pentagon poses the biggest threat to his or her security. Another point to ponder for the polemologist.
10 – Keeping in mind that nuclear power is not just a weapon, not just a tool, not just the product of various fissile materials but, above all, a way of thinking – a worldview.
11 – Although many believe that power comes from the atom and that a kind of do-it-yourself kit for self-destruction is needed to enter into “modernity”, 17 States have abandoned their military nuclear adventure.
12 – The military are sometimes lucid and what they have to say is worth hearing. At the end of his mandate, President Eisenhower pointed out: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
13 – My lucky number is 13 and in fact it’s in Chapter 13 of Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince that we find the little prince’s encounter and conversation with the businessman. “And what do you do with five hundred million stars?” A useful tale to understand the logic of those who are prepared to invest in gadgets that are way beyond them.
14 – The author of the famous saying “Anyone who believes that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist” is Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993). Already in 1962, this Quaker Anglo-American economist and political scientist, cited by the ecologists, published a book relating to polemology, Conflict and Defence: A General Theory. He can be seen as one of the “fathers of this research” according to Ivo Rens, founder of the Geneva-based GIPRI.
15 – Being concerned about “ecological security” also means evaluating what environmental impact is produced by weapon systems, the militarisation of the economy and armed forces operations both in “peace time” and war.
16 - Being concerned about “ecological security” also means evaluating the impact of “subsoil grabbing” to extract strategic minerals; given that the manufacture of every US fighter jet, for example, requires almost half a tonne of cobalt (from the DRC?). The extortion and hijacking of wealth in this system for unequally distributing the death threat…
17 - The stakes of Sustainable Development are the stakes of war and peace, even if the Kyoto Protocol chose to brush the question of military activities under the carpet.
18 – Publicise and revive or update the ENMOD Convention, with all due respect to the “French exception”. The International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (6th November) gets less press than the 8th March, less enthusiasm than 1st May, but it exists nonetheless.
19 – Take into account the crisis that the military institution is experiencing. Those who applaud it forget that the means used must be proportional to the dangers fought; and that both the knock-on effects of resorting to weapons and the damaged caused must not be greater than those one wishes or claims to avoid.
20 – “Signing peace treaties won’t make much sense when all emerged lands have become deserts and the oceans sterile”, wrote UNESCO’s former Director General, Federico Mayor. 21 – “Proliferation” is a word that didn’t exist in the 1950s and 1960s. At the time, one referred to the “spread” of atomic weapons. Today, we point a finger at proliferating States. Why not bring out a dictionary of ideas that pollute our world (cf. Glossary).