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“Undemocratic peace-breakers have to be met with force”

Klaus Segbers about how the West should deal with the new wave of conflicts and violence

News from Oct 28, 2014

Iraq, Syria, Libya, India, Pakistan, the Islamic State, Ukraine, tensions in East Asia: Wars, terror and conflicts are everywhere, Klaus Segbers asserts in an article published yesterday at Germany´s leading online news site, Spiegel Online. Since there is no panacea for these conflicts, European policy makers and citizens seem to be helpless, the International Relations expert and director of the Center for Global Politics at FU Berlin observes.

In his view, the conflict in Ukraine poses the most serious threat to European security since 1961/1962, when the Berlin Wall was built and the world was close to a nuclear war due to the so-called Cuban missile crisis.

Segbers strongly condemns Russia and President Putin for his intervention in Ukraine. Nothing, he argues, justifies the annexation of Crimea and the gross interference in Eastern Ukraine. “Since the Russian leadership has seriously damaged the European security architecture, one can not imagine how it should be repaired with Russia. (…) Putin has not only threatened with violence (and again does indirectly against Latvia and Estonia) - he has used it. All lies and deception cannot hide this fact.”

Europe now needs to adjust its policies, Segbers argues. Speeches as well as hesitant and half-hearted sanctions will not work. “We do not have a recipe because we thought such behavior impossible. Not only have our armed forces been designed for flexible and distant missions. Our mentality no longer contains the option of a fundamental threat that has to be met with the use of force in self-defense.”

The consequences are obvious, Segbers says. Europe has to make clear, that liberal, pluralistic and secular societies will not use force against each other. But undemocratic peace-breakers have to be met with force. “Resolutely, without warning, permanently.”

Photos: Kareen Kittelmann; Sasha Maksymenko/ Flickr/ Creative Commons

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  • International Relations Putin violence Ukraine West Europe Cold War Terrorism Maidan Hong Kong