Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What Brings Peace, Wealth or Democracy?

What Brings Peace, Wealth or Democracy?

by Martin Sherman
Middle East Quarterly
September 1998, pp. 13-22

Martin Sherman
 lectures at Tel Aviv University and is the author of Despots, Democrats and the Determinants of International Conflict (St. Martin's, 1998).
Israel's two most recent prime ministers have each endorsed a very different concept as to how the Middle East might one day attain peace. One holds that economics is the predominant force in the promotion of peace; the other considers politics the key. Shimon Peres champions an approach that stresses economics: "a higher standard of living," he writes, "is a precondition for mitigating the tensions among Middle Eastern countries."1 Binyamin Netanyahu, in contrast, emphasizes politics: "the main problem of achieving peace in the Middle East [is that] except for Israel, there are no democracies."2
This divergence of views reflects a debate whose roots trace back to the eighteenth century. Both Adam Smith (in The Wealth of Nations)3 and Immanuel Kant (in Perpetual Peace)4 warn of the iniquities that result from centralized control, with Smith focusing on its economic detriments and Kant on the political ones. The difference between the two approaches is not one of mere theoretical significance; each paradigm has far-reaching practical implications. If wealth reduces the fundamental motivation for violence, then economic and social development should provide the solution to Arab-Israeli peace. If political pluralism and accountable government are the crucial elements, then liberal and democratic reform of regimes is the answer.


Economic. Adam Smith warned of the perils of penury, cautioning that "No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the greater part of the members are poor and miserable."5 In line with this sentiment, the advocates of the economic paradigm see the creation of greater wealth as the preeminent factor for the achievement of political stability. In the words of Shimon Peres, the "higher the standard of living rises, the lower the level of violence will fall."6 This outlook derives from a view of man as homo economicus, a being whose conduct is dictated by a desire to maximize his utility as a consumer of goods and services. Satisfaction of material needs will generate contentment, thereby reducing the incentives for violence. Conversely, frustration of this desire generates a sense of deprivation that is liable to lead to interstate conflict as governments try to deflect the blame for the nation's plight away from themselves and channel public anger against some external enemy—whether real or contrived.
Proponents of this view hold that violence harms prosperous states more than it does impoverished ones. For example John Mueller, professor of political science at Rochester University, suggests that "As countries raise their standard of living . . . they will find the prospect of war decreasingly attractive because they will have more to lose."7 Since greater economic development implies more elaborate and interlocking commercial links, the structure of the world economy implies that economic and financial disruptions resulting from war are liable to be far more severe for wealthy countries than for poor ones. Accordingly, greater wealth will purportedly lead to greater stability.
Political. Kant articulated a rationale for the divergent behavior of what we today would term democratic and authoritarian regimes.8 He argued that regimes of the former type, because of their greater accountability to the citizenry, "would be very cautious in commencing such a poor game [of war]." By contrast, the latter could embark on war "for the most trivial of reasons."9The political paradigm holds that only by inducing greater accountability in regimes and plurality in polities can governments be made adequately concerned with the fate of the citizenry—and hence more circumspect in embarking on policies inimical to the public interest (such as starting costly and destructive wars).
This insight had no discernible effect on the theory or practice of international relations until the 1930's, when the rise of the European dictators began to heighten awareness of the effects of a state's internal regime on its international conduct. The opponents of appeasement, such as Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden, warned that a lack of democratic restraints on the governments of Germany and Italy made them dangerous not only to their own people but to other nations as well. In 1936, Churchill emphasized that military might in itself is not a threat to peace, but is so in a regime where power is concentrated in the hands of a few. "Today," he noted,
the French Army is the strongest in Europe. But no one is afraid of France. Everyone knows that France wants to be let alone, and that with her it is only a case of self-preservation. . . . They are a liberal nation with free parliamentary institutions. Germany on the other hand, under its Nazi regime . . . [where] two or three men have the whole of that mighty country in their grip [and] there is no public opinion except what is manufactured by those new and terrible engines—broadcasting and a controlled Press fills unmistakably that part [of]. . . the would-be dominator or potential aggressor.10
The disregard by French and British policy-makers of the anti-appeasers' warnings brought upon humanity one of its greatest disasters. In spite of this, it was only in the early 1980's that a serious and systematic effort began to investigate the links between type of government and peaceableness.


Both approaches are founded on seemingly sound logical arguments; but which of them conforms better to reality? Empirical research shows that the peace-inducing effects of wealth, economic growth, and trade are, at best, equivocal.11 In contrast, the record of modern history almost universally affirms the political paradigm.
Economic. So ambivalent is the correlation between wealth and peace that even an avid advocate of the "prosperity promotes peace" doctrine concedes this is a "relationship [that] may be a bit spurious."12 Furthermore, the record shows that when tyrannies become prosperous they may well become more belligerent. The most violent conflagrations of the century (such as World Wars I and II) took place between the world's richest states. The German aggression of the 1930s, in particular, came in the wake of rapid economic restoration and growth. In contrast, Soviet expansionism withered away with the onset of economic decline in the 1990s. One study of the relationship between economic success and belligerency finds that the "rich non-democracies. . . clash with one another at a rate that is substantially higher than expected [by chance]. . . [while] rapidly growing states were found to be more likely to fight other states than is to be expected."13
The same applies in the Middle East, where "history teaches us that economic relations and advantage do not necessarily deter armed conflict."14 Saddam Husayn's attack on Iran came at a time of impressive economic development in Iraq. As a biography of the Iraqi leader points out, the war "could not have been more ill-timed. [Due] to the oil boom in 1979 and 1980, the Iraqi economy enjoyed unprecedented prosperity . . . Living conditions of many groups with-in Iraqi society were on the rise. War could only risk these achievements."15
Libya was one of the world's poorest countries in the mid-1950s,16 when oil development began and quickly led to tremendous economic growth. By 1976, the Libyan gross national product (GNP) per capita had outstripped that of many advanced industrialized nations. Even the subsequent fall of oil prices left Libya with a per capita income higher than such countries as New Zealand and Italy.17 However, burgeoning wealth served only to fuel Tripoli's belligerence; precisely as the country enjoyed the greatest wealth, its regime engaged in a remarkable series of aggressive initiatives—both overt and covert—against virtually all its neighbors (notably Egypt and Chad) as well as in many countries at a huge distance from it (across the globe from Ireland to the Philippines). Clearly, it was the accumulation of wealth that gave the Libyan tyranny capabilities to embark on such a course of unabashed belligerence.
Political. In contrast, historical fact closely bears out the political explanation. Two prominent scholars review almost two decades of study and find a "near consensus" that democratically governed states rarely go to war with each other. In fact, they go further, observing that
the proposition that democracies are generally at peace with each other is [so] strongly supported . . . [it] has led some scholars to claim that this finding is probably the closest thing that we have to a law in international politics.18
The lack of war clearly does not necessarily require democracy—war is not a permanent or ubiquitous feature of relations between non-democratic states. Nonetheless, the empirical evidence does strongly suggest that democracy is a sufficient condition to ensure nonviolence between states. In other words, "a necessary condition of violence between two states is that at least one of them be. . . non-libertarian."19
Exceptions to this rule are extremely sparse, and usually attributable to anomalous or atypical circumstances. Fighting took place between the United States and Great Britain in 1812 (when both regimes fell short of many of the modern criteria for democracies), Finland against the Allies in World War II (which really was a war by the Finns against the Soviet Union), and between Peru and Ecuador in 1995 (neither of which were full-fledged democracies). Moreover, the frequency of wars that involve only democratic states is negligible compared to those in which non-democratic states take part.
While a wide consensus exists regarding the empirical fact of an absence of war between democracies—even among proponents of the economic paradigm—there is no generally accepted explanation for its occurrence. Analysts variously ascribe it to greater constraints on leaders in democracies; to the extension of internal democratic norms of negotiation and compromise to foreign policy;20 or to formal models of decision- and game-theoretic techniques.21 Despite this divergence of views, most analysts do agree that the international behavior of democracies has to do with the multiplicity of political participants, the competition between them, and the consequent dispersion of political power.
They also agree that to sustain this competition for political power, democracy requires more than popular elections—which have swept tyrannies to power in Weimar Germany or the Islamic Republic of Iran, and nearly did so in Algeria. Full democracy must comprise such elements as the legitimacy of opposition, mechanisms limiting executive power, press freedoms, and restrictions on the use of state resources, open debate, and the freedom to criticize government without fear of reprisal. These elements in the aggregate, as opposed to merely periodic elections, produce the restraint in international behavior associated with democratic regimes.


Granted that economic success does not seem to induce peace directly; is it likely that improved economic conditions engender political reform and greater democratization? In other words, is prosperity the key to democracy, which in turn leads to peace? Peres, for one, strongly endorses this line of thought:
Democratization will put an end to the danger to regional and world peace. But for the democratic process to take hold, we must first overcome poverty and ignorance. . . economic and social development are the criteria for successful democratization of the Middle East.22
On the face of things, there does seem to be a strong correlation between political regime-type and economic wealth. Most democracies are indeed rich, economically developed states with economies based on extensive external trade. Moreover, quantitative studies do generally seem to suggest the existence of a positive, statistically significant correlation in the relationship between economic development and democratization.23
The history of this century, however, shows no clear causal relationships between prosperity and democracy. Not prosperity but military defeat brought down the dictatorship in Argentina in 1983. Not economic success but economic collapse served as the impetus for democratic reform in the Soviet bloc. Conversely, the extraordinary economic boom of the 1970s in countries like Libya, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states did little to propagate the democratization of those regimes.
Further, the Muslim world in general and the Arab countries in particular do not seem to fit the proposed pattern at all. The structural rigidity of the centralized regimes in the Middle East are largely impervious to the predicted decentralizing effects of prosperity. Findings presented at the 1996 meeting of the American Political Science Association show that "the correlation between income and democracy holds within all but one region/culture. . . The one exception is Islam for which there is no significant correlation. . . Among Arab nations there is a negative correlation between wealth and freedom."24
These findings appear to fly in the face of Peres's proposition that economic advancement is the most effective way to promote democracy—and hence peace—in the Middle East. Conversely, they endorse Netanyahu's observation that the Arab regimes "show absolutely no sign of democratizing, thereby bucking the almost universal trend toward liberalization."25
It bears noting that in the case of dictatorial regimes, economic decline can also herald instability. For although it may indeed reduce aggressive capabilities, it also may prompt a declining despotic power to initiate a preventative war (i.e., hostilities initiated to head off an ongoing deterioration of one's relative power). One analyst points out that "every preventative war launched by a Great Power from Sparta [to the present day] has been initiated by a non-democratic state. . . whether the [adversary] is democratic or authoritarian."26 Egypt's 1973 offensive against democratic Israel and Iraq's invasion of authoritarian Kuwait are classic instances of "preventative" wars fueled by deteriorating internal conditions.


If both the empirical fact and analytical logic militate so strongly in favor of the political paradigm, why does the economic approach still receive such strong support? The answer to this lies in the obfuscation of a fundamental distinction about the nature of the stability each paradigm purports to provide. The economic paradigm emphasizes domestic stability; the political one focuses on stability between states.
This explains, at least partially, why increased wealth does not necessarily promote peace. Wealth usually functions to facilitate regime stability, rather than increase stability in relations between regimes. In fact, increased wealth often entrenches an aggressive dictatorial regime in power and extends its capabilities, thereby even enhancing the prospects of war. With dictatorial rulers, the prospects of military success and its economic payoff are likely to weigh more heavily than the well-being of their citizens, whose fate counts for little in determining their continued incumbency. Thus, unless economic enrichment is accompanied by political reform, there is very little reason to suppose that it will induce more pacific behavior in the external conduct of states.
Further, without political reform, there is every reason to expect economic development to be short lived, and this for three main reasons. First, dictatorial regimes cannot easily permit the liberties required to engender sustained economic advancement (i.e., the unobstructed international flow of people, ideas, capital and merchandise, and the freedom to challenge accepted conventions and perceptions). Recent economic problems in Southeast Asia, where seemingly booming non-transparent centralized economies collapsed dramatically, tend to confirm this point.
Second, ruling elites are unlikely to encourage reforms that dilute their privileges, so there seems little hope of creating the internal political conditions that induce decentralized control over resources. The distribution of wealth across a wide base reduces the resources available for buttressing the regime. Thus, dictatorial regimes often prevent the fruits of economic success from being utilized for the promotion of further wealth-creating facilities outside the control of the rulers.
Third, autocratic regimes are often inherently inefficient, requiring large, expensive bureaucratic and military apparatuses to maintain incumbents in their positions of power. The armed forces often serve to protect the regime from internal rivals more than they do from external enemies. Even Peres recognizes that "Totalitarianism has proved to be costly and inefficient. It requires a large secret police force . . . army and constant censorship."27 One wonders, therefore, how pouring money into such wasteful and oppressive regimes could produce any result other than making them even more wasteful and oppressive.
Indeed, where authoritarian regimes have accumulated riches (or received generous financial aid), it has contributed neither to the establishment of a viable economic base nor to democratic reform. Rather they have been used to finance direct government handouts (such as wasteful subsidies or the maintenance of unproductive jobs) and increased military expenditures—both of which serve to entrench non-democratic regimes. Clearly, this pattern casts grave doubts on the validity of Peres's claim that to "establish this new Middle East, we need large-scale, concentrated international investments."28
In the Middle East, examples of such costly totalitarian inefficiency abound. Not only does the regime in Riyadh maintain two armies as a hedge against one seizing power, but it spends huge amounts on its military (e.g., in 1993 it spent a mammoth $16.5 billion—250 percent of Israel's defense outlay in the same year).29 This extravagance has completely eroded the enormous surpluses amassed in the oil bonanza of the 1970s. Since 1982, the country has been running an ever-accumulating deficit, both budgetary and current account. International Monetary Fund (IMF) reports estimate that the Saudis' "total domestic debt rose from 52 percent (SR236.6 billion) of gross domestic product (GDP) at the end of 1992 to 86 percent (405.3 billion) at the end of the 1995."30 Authoritative sources warn that future budgets are likely further to exacerbate this trend.31 Two decades of peaceful relations with Israel have not induced Cairo to reduce its defense outlays; not only is there little sign of cutbacks in Egyptian military expenditures, but recent reports indicate that Cairo has actually engaged in "greater spending on defense rather than less."32 Likewise, Jordan's signature of the peace treaty with Israel was followed by a request to the United States for. . . more and better weaponry.33


According to the political paradigm, peaceable relations result from the accountability, pluralism, and competitive nature of democratic polities. But non-democratic states also can coexist peacefully, even when their interests clash. In spite of tensions between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China, the two totalitarian regimes rarely engaged in overt hostilities; similarly, Iraq and Iran refrained from warfare for decades. How does one account for this lack of belligerency between such evidently autocratic states? The answer lies in understanding that two very different conditions of peace exist—the one that exists exclusively between democratic polities and the other that involves one or more non-democratic polities—and they are maintained by very different mechanisms.
One sense of peace denotes a condition of mutual harmony between states, maintained by the inherent preference of all parties to preserve a nonviolent status quo. Such peace prevails almost exclusively between democracies, for its characteristics of openness and unfettered trans-frontier interactions run counter to the nature of dictatorial regimes. Here, states expend virtually no effort to deter hostile actions by another. Not only are differences settled in a nonviolent fashion, but the use of force is virtually inconceivable. Such openness and free movement of people, goods, ideas, and capital across national borders characterize relations prevailing across the European Union, the Scandinavian countries, and between the members of North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA).
A second sense of the word peace denotes an absence of war maintained by deterrence. In this case, only the threat of exorbitant costs dissuades one or both sides from violence. Relations between the United States and Soviet Union fit this pattern, as do those between Iran and Iraq when they are not at war. Here, the protagonists invest huge efforts in deterrence to maintain the state of non-war. Whenever the deterrent capacity of one state is perceived to wane, the danger of war becomes very real—as was the case in Iraq's 1980 offensive against Iran, when the latter appeared much weakened in the wake of post-revolutionary disarray. In this type of peace there is no harmonious interaction between peoples of the various states. Movement across frontiers tends to be highly restricted, heavily regulated, and often totally forbidden.
In other words, the same word peace refers to two very disparate political conditions, a distinction which is commonly reflected in dictionary definitions of the word.34 In this spirit, Netanyahu differentiates between "peace of democracies" and "peace of deterrence."35 Each variant requires very different, indeed almost mutually exclusive, conditions for its maintenance. To keep a democratic peace requires a mutual preference by all parties for the preservation of a nonviolent status quo; armed peace requires the effective dissuasion of at least one party from engaging in violence. Clearly, when prevailing conditions make the only feasible peace an armed peace, a policy designed to attain democratic peace is not only inappropriate but potentially disastrous.
This analysis of harmonious peace vs. deterrence-induced non-war has several practical, policy-pertinent implications, particularly regarding the Middle East. Firstly, in the absence of democratic reform, conditions of non-war are likely to hold only when premised on the armed deterrence of aggression. In this context, weakness is an invitation to attack. In a region where many rulers perceive peace more as a grudgingly accepted constraint than as a desired value, the exigencies of self-preservation compel states, and even those not necessarily inherently belligerent, to continue to allocate huge sums for defense. Netanyahu aptly observes:
As long as you are faced with a dictatorial adversary, you must maintain sufficient strength to deter him from going to war. By doing so, you can at least obtain thepeace of deterrence. But if you let down your defenses . . . you invite war, not peace.36
Second, because the Middle East is likely to remain a cauldron of violence, ready to bubble over whenever forces constraining it wane, military expenditures will most likely continue to be high. Middle Eastern states have little choice but to persist in heavy military spending, for it would be a rash government that abandons a policy of bolstering its military prowess in favor of a more pacific approach. Like a company that abandons its pursuit of profit in favor of loftier and less materialistic goals, the fate of such a country is likely to be grim.
Thirdly, the distinction between mutual harmony and armed deterrence, further underscores the inappropriateness of the economic paradigm to attain peace in the Middle East. Greater wealth is likely to entrench incumbent despots, enhance their capabilities, and make them more difficult to deter—and thereby undermine any peace based on armed deterrence.


The U.S. government has in recent years made the economic approach a cornerstone of its Middle East policy. Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat underscored this point when he asserted that "without rising prosperity there can be no lasting peace" and affirmed an American commitment to "encourage rising growth rates and living standards throughout the Middle East. . . [for this] diminishes fertile ground for radical groups"37 The economic outlook represents a radical departure from previous U.S. positions, as Martin Indyk noted when he was the American ambassador to Israel:
in recent years, it has been the political process that has led the way and . . . dragged the economic relationships along with it. Now, the challenge. . . is to use the economic process to . . . give momentum to the political process. That is counter-intuitive. It is certainly not the way we have worked in the past. The assumption was that "only if we can create the political environment for stability and exchange in relationships" would it be possible to do business together.38
The U.S. decision to make a shift in its Middle East policy from the political to the economic (but not in other regions, such as Africa) appears not only "counter-intuitive" but ill-judged. Indeed, the Middle East seems a particularly inappropriate choice for such a switch, being the only region where greater economic wealth appears to be negatively related with democratization. Consequently, the weight of both evidence and logic militate against the ideas proposed by Peres and endorsed by Eizenstat and Indyk.
Bringing U.S. policy into line with the political paradigm would have several important implications. First, it would see that the only way for the virtually democracy-devoid Middle East to leave behind armed peace in favor of harmonious peace is by installing governments whose leaders' incumbency depends on their concern for the fate of their citizens. Current rulers have a vested interest in foiling the required reforms that, at present, they alone can bring about. Without far-reaching political reforms in the Middle East, there will be no significant progress in reducing the region's inherent potential for violence. Accordingly, unless the peoples of the Middle East (with international backing and encouragement) rise up and demand the rights essential to a modern democratic society—including pluralistic polities, accountable regimes and transparent economies—there seems scant chance of making the Middle East a more peaceful or a more prosperous region. U.S. efforts should be directed (as they are in other regions) to foster greater liberalization of Middle Eastern regimes by encouraging political norms, routines, and institutions that go well beyond the ritual formality of popular elections in essentially authoritarian polities.
Second, the political paradigm prescribes that authoritarian regimes be required to institute democratic reforms before receiving economic aid, on the grounds that such regimes may well use this aid to buttress the incumbent rulers, thereby obstructing, rather than advancing, democratization. The vision of a "new Middle East," which sees peace being attained by establishing a new economic order on the basis of the existing political order (precisely the reverse of the process in Eastern Europe), appears not only infeasible but dangerously counter-productive. It would provide aid to authoritarian states without demands for democratic reform, assuming that the aid would generate a prosperity that in turn induces democratization. This position, however, is unfounded. Unless predicated on democratic reforms, international efforts to enlist economic resources are liable to strengthen existing regimes, extend their capabilities, reinforce their existing patterns of international conduct, and magnify the potential for violence. In this context, the insistence of the Clinton administration to provide the Palestinian Authority with financial assistance, no matter how undemocratic its practices, seems myopic and ill-advised.
Third, until democratic reforms are effected, deterrence is the most feasible formula for avoiding war in the Middle East. Any policy that reduces deterrent capabilities is likely to undermine the viability of armed peace. For the United States, this means ensuring that democratic states in the region (currently, Israel and possibly Turkey) maintain unequivocal deterrent capabilities vis-à-vis their dictatorial adversaries. This means not only helping with political support but also with weaponry, know-how, and preserving defensible boundaries.
More on this latter point: if territorial concessions diminish Israeli deterrence, they will be not only unproductive in attaining peace of mutual harmony but counterproductive in attaining peace of deterrence. Territorial concessions such as Czechoslovakia's cessation of the Sudetenland to Hitler led only to further violence (as Peres himself records in convincing detail in a 1978 book, where he points to the many similarities between the strategic importance of the West Bank and that of the Sudetenland).39 By contrast, democratization made previously war-torn western Europe into one of the most stable regions on the globe today.
Given the threat to Israel, it appears that territorial compromise by Israel contributes little to the cause of peace (of either variant); indeed, it constitutes a formula for further destabilization of the area. Not only would it create "almost compulsive temptation to attack Israel,"40 but it would impose on Israel the imperative for massive preemption at minimum provocation, thereby making the confrontation ever more volatile. The path to democratic peace between Jew and Arab, in short, lies not in territorial concessions by Israel but in the Arabs liberalizing their political structures.
Thus do American policymakers need seriously to rethink their present course, one which seems certain to foster warfare rather than welfare.

1 Shimon Peres, The New Middle East (New York: H. Holt, 1993), p. 62.
2 Binyamin Netanyahu, A Place among the Nations: Israel and the World (New York: Bantam Books, 1993), p. 248. Here and throughout, emphasis is in original.
3 Adam Smith, The Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, 1776 (reprint ed., New York: Modern Library, 1937).
4 Immanuel Kant, Zum ewigen Frieden: Ein philosophischer Entwurf (1795). Trans. as "Perpetual Peace," ed. and trans. by L.W. Beck (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co. Inc., 1957).
5 Smith, The Wealth of Nations, p. 79.
6 Peres, The New Middle East, p. 46.
7 John Mueller, Retreat from Doomsday: The Obsolescence of Major War (New York: Basic Books, 1989), p. 252.
8 Kant, "Perpetual Peace," p. 14. We use the term "democratic" in the modern sense of "libertarian" and not in Kant's (somewhat negative) sense; he used the term "republican" (rather than "democratic") as the antithesis to "despotic."
9 Kant, "Perpetual Peace," p. 13.
10 Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: The Gathering Storm (London: Cassell & Co., 1948), pp. 81, 163-4; also see Anthony Eden (Earl of Avon), The Memoirs of Anthony Eden: Facing the Dictators (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1962), passim.
11 Different studies produce differing, even conflicting, results. Compare for example the conflicting findings of the following studies on the effect of trade on international conflict: John R. Oneal, Frances H. Oneal, Ze'ev Maoz and Bruce Russett, "The Liberal Peace: Interdependence, Democracy and International Conflict, 1950-85," Journal of Peace Research, 33 (1996): 11-28; and Katherine Barbieri, "Economic Interdependence: A Path to Peace or a Source of Interstate Conflict," Journal of Peace Research, 33 (1996): 29-49.
12 Mueller, Retreat from Doomsday, p. 252.
13 Ze'ev Maoz and Bruce Russett, "Alliances, Contiguity, Wealth and Political Stability: Is the Lack of Conflict among Democracies a Statistical Artifact?" International Interactions, 17 (1992): 257.
14 Eliyahu Kanovsky, Assessing the Mideast Peace Economic Dividend (Ramat Gan: BESA Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University, 1994), p. 13.
15 Efraim Karsh and Inari Rausti, Saddam Hussein: A Political Biography (London: Brassy, 1991), p. 136.
16 Quarterly Economic Review of Libya, Tunisia, Malta, Annual Supplement (London: Economic Intelligence Unit, 1978), p. 4.
17 World Development Report1978 (Washington: World Bank, 1978), p. 77; World Development Report - 1985 (New York: World Bank, 1985 ), p. 203.
18 Maoz and Russett, "Alliances, Contiguity," pp. 245-6.
19 Rudolph Rummel, "Libertarianism and International Violence," Journal of Conflict Resolution, 27 (1983): 67.
20 See Maoz and Russett, "Alliances, Contiguity," p. 246; and William J. Dixon, "Democracy and Management of International Conflict," The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 37 (1993): 43-45.
21 Martin Sherman, Despots, Democrats and the Determinants of Foreign Conflict (London: Macmillan, 1998); Martin Sherman and Gideon Doron, "War and Peace as Rational Choice in the Middle East," Journal of Strategic Studies, 20 (1997): 72-102; Gideon Doron and Martin Sherman, "Free Societies and their Enemies," International Journal of Intelligence and Counter Intelligence, 8 (1995): 307-320; Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and David Lalman, War and Reason: Domestic and International Imperatives (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992).
22 Peres, The New Middle East, p. 45.
23 For example Manus Midlarsky, "Democracy and Islam: Implications for Civilizational Conflict and Democratic Peace," paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Peace Science Society, Houston, Tex., Oct. 25-27, 1996.
24 Daniel Pipes, "Muslim Exceptionalism," p. 1., and Harry S. Rowen, "Why a Rich, Democratic and (Perhaps) Peaceful Area, with More Advanced Weapons in More Hands, Is Ahead," papers presented at the 92nd annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, San Francisco, Calif., Aug. 29 - Sept. 1, 1996.
25 Netanyahu, A Place among the Nations, p. 248.
26 Randell L. Schweller, "Domestic Structure and Preventive War: Are Democracies More Pacific," World Politics, 44 (1992): 249.
27 Peres, The New Middle East, p. 64.
28 Peres, The New Middle East, p. 103.
29 Kanovsky, Assessing the Mideast Peace Economic Dividend, p. 10.
30 Country Profile: Saudi Arabia—1997-98 (London: The Economist Intelligence Unit, 1997), p. 16. Also see Eliyahu Kanovsky, The Middle East Economies: The Impact of Domestic and International Politics (Ramat Gan: BESA Center for Strategic Studies, Bar Ilan University, 1997), p. 18-19. One dollar equals somewhat less than four Saudi riyals.
31 Country Profile: Saudi Arabia—1997-98, p. 16; Europa World Year Book, 1997 (London: Europa Publications, 1997), vol. 2, p. 2841.
32 Kanovsky, The Middle East Economies, p. 16. See also Shawn Pine, Egypt's True Defence Expenditure—2.7 or 14 Billion Dollars? (Tel Aviv: Ariel Center for Policy Research, 1997).
33 Kanovsky, The Middle East Economies, p. 13.
34 Webster's Third New International Dictionary, s.v "peace."
35 Netanyahu, A Place among the Nations, pp. 241, 244.
36 Netanyahu, A Place among the Nations, p. 244.
37 New York, Oct. 27, 1997, at a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relation, prior to the Doha Economic Conference at http//
38 Tel Aviv, Oct. 23, 1996, prior to the Cairo Economic Conference at http//
39 "The fortified Sudetenland was taken from Czechoslovakia. . . . According to Liddel-Hart, the annexation [of this area to Germany] caused the `strategic paralysis' of Czechoslovakia. . . . The loss of this region in effect eliminated her ability to resist attack and sealed her fate." Shimon Peres, K'et Machar (Jerusalem: Keter, 1978), p. 235.
40 Peres, ibid., p. 255. Also see his interview in Davar, June 27, 1975.
Related Topics:  Middle East politics  |  Martin Sherman  |  September 1998 MEQ

PM Netanyahu: 'Show Me the Science!'


By Dr. David Leffler

Remember "Show me the money," from the film Jerry Maguire? We ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "Show me the Science!" He asserts that bombardment of Gaza will continue... . "We are determined to continue the campaign with all means and as is needed. We will not stop until we guarantee full security and quiet for the residents of the south and all citizens of Israel."
Can PM Netanyahu cite any scientific research published in reputable peer-reviewed journals showing that bombardment will create full security and quiet?

Is bombing going to create lasting peace? There is no statistically-validated guarantee that this non-scientific strategy will work. It certainly has not in the past. Why should it now? Albert Einstein is famously quoted as saying, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." History shows that using violence to quell violence ultimately just ratchets up the spiral of violence.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu should be commended for his lofty goals of "full security and quiet." They are statistically viable, if he supports his words with a proven, advanced military technology for Israel's military arsenals. Lasting peace and prosperity are a consequence of the scientifically-validated approach of Invincible Defense Technology (IDT). Extensive in-field military experience, coupled with peer-reviewed research shows that IDT can effectively, efficiently, and quickly end the current turmoil, and eliminate the rising spiral of violence. If the defense forces of Israel quickly deploy this statistically-verified approach it will not be necessary to base Israeli defense operations on guesswork or to risk the lives of non-combatant citizens on either side of the border.

This IDT approach to reducing stress and violence is already part of the training of America's future commanders at Norwich University, and has been field-tested by other militaries. It is validated by 23 peer-reviewed studies carried out in both developed and developing nations. They include the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Independent scientists and scholars endorse it, based on 25 years of research.

IDT Reduces Societal Stress

A specially trained military unit, an "IDT Prevention Wing of the Military" uses IDT to reduce stress in the national collective consciousness. IDT could also be introduced into other large groups such as the police forces, militias or the national guard. As the cross-border stress and frustration ease, the combatants are more capable of finding orderly and constructive solutions the issues that have separated them for generations.

Experience with IDT in other war-torn areas of the globe have demonstrated increased economic incentive and growth of prosperity. Entrepreneurship and individual creativity increase. With increased civic calm, people's aspirations are raised and a more productive and balanced society emerges. Such a society abhors violence as a means for change or as an expression of discontent. With this the ground for terrorism is eliminated. What is more fascinating is that this change takes place within a few days or weeks after IDT is introduced. The changes are measurable from such statistics as crime rates, accidents, hospital admissions, infant mortality, etc. The changes are measurable from such statistics as crime rates, accidents, hospital admissions, infant mortality, etc.

The IDT soldier's daily routine includes the practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique and its advanced "TM-Sidhi program." As a societal coherence-creating military unit, soldiers practice these techniques together in a group twice a day, seven days a week, preferably in a secure location near the targeted population. Their presence need not be disclosed to achieve the effect of violence reduction and conflict resolution. Such coherence-creating groups have achieved positive benefits to society, shown experientially, in just 48 hours. 
Modern statistical methods demonstrate a consistent causal influence of the IDT group on reducing the conflict and preclude chance or coincidence. The IDT approach has been used during wartime, resulting in reduction of fighting, reduced war deaths and casualties, and in speeding the progress toward resolving the conflict through peaceful means.

An Israeli civilian IDT group decreased the intensity of war in Lebanon in 1983 in a dramatic way in 48 hours, to name only one of 50 successful demonstrations. (See a summary of the Israel study published in the Journal of Conflict Resolution and summaries of follow-up studies in the Journal of Social Behavior and Personality and the Journal of Scientific Exploration).

Documented Transformation in Mozambique

In 1992, the Mozambique military carefully analyzed the IDT research and decided to try it. As predicted, violence disappeared by 1993 and Mozambique became more self-sufficient. Economic growth reached 19%. Once the world's poorest country in 1992, it had moved up to be the world's fastest-growing economy by 2000. Former Mozambique President Joaquim Alberto Chissano, who learned Transcendental Meditation himself, introduced it to his cabinet and then the armed forces. 19 years of civil war and drought ended and President Chissano is the first to give credit to IDT for this effect.

Mozambique continues to be a shining star for Africa and a model for development. President Chissano was awarded the inaugural Ibrahim Prize in recognition of the unprecedented positivity that unfolded throughout all Mozambique under his unique and wise guidance.


Real and lasting peace and prosperity for both sides can be assured, not by guesswork bombardment and rocket retaliation, but by a scientifically-verified means to end the decades-old cycle of violence. When the Israeli military adopts IDT it will become even more powerful and respected worldwide because this will be a demonstration of a peace technology the whole world can apply, for the betterment of all humanity.

It is important to note that the IDT defense technology supersedes all other known defense technologies (which are based on electronic, chemical, and/or nuclear forces).

IDT creates genuine and lasting reconciliation and friendship where there was once only hatred and conflict. The military that deploys this powerful human-resource-based technology disallows negative trends and prevents enemies from arising. No enemies means full security and a normal, productive life for Israel and her neighbors.

If Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu arranges for his defense forces to establish Prevention Wings of the Military, they will ease the current high tensions, reverse centuries of mistrust and hatred and permanently prevent future unrest.

Extensive scientific research objectively says, "Yes, the approach works." This is a military "campaign" that should be championed with "all means." It is desperately needed. There is truly no other solution.

Now is the best time to act, before the storm clouds of Middle East tensions explode.
David Leffler
Dr. David Leffler is the author of "A New Role for the Military: Preventing Enemies from Arising - Reviving an Ancient Approach to Peace." He was a member of the US Air Force for nearly nine years. Dr. Leffler served as an Associate of the Proteus Management Group at the Center for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College. He now serves as the Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) in Fairfield, Iowa and teaches IDT. He is 

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