The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon

Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace


By Shannon D. Beebe

By Mary H. Kaldor

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 11, 2010. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

The twenty-first century has seen millions unemployed. It has seen livelihoods undermined by environmental degradation. Middle-class cities in Europe, Asia, and Africa have become cauldrons of violence and resentment. Tribalism, ethnic nationalism, and religious fundamentalism have flared dangerously, from Russia to Spain. The use of force is unlikely to help. What works when counter-insurgency has run its course: in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond?

In this book, two authors brought together from distant points on the political spectrum by their concerns about the repercussions of violent political conflict on human lives, explain and explore a new idea for stabilizing the dangerous neighborhoods of the world. They challenge head-on Condoleezza Rice’s declaration that “it is not the job of the 82nd Airborne Division to escort kids to kindergarten” contending that, in fact, it should be. When marginalized populations are trapped in poverty and lawlessness and denied political power and justice brutality, and fascism thrive. Human security is a new concept for clarifying what peace requires and the policies and priorities by which to achieve it.

  • Carroll Bogert, associate director, Human Rights Watch
    “The much-abused term ‘human security' gets a full-body makeover in Beebe and Kaldor's important new book. They start from the premise that it took Gen. Stanley McChrystal and the U.S. armed forces six years to realize in Afghanistan: ousting even a decidedly abusive government will not succeed without robust and genuine protection of the local population's human rights. Revolutionary, and complicated, and bound to get people in important places arguing.”

    H. R. McMaster, Brigadier General, U.S. Army, and author of Dereliction of Duty
    “Due to advances in communications and the increasing availability of destructive weapons, it is clear that the security of Western societies is connected to the security of populations where terrorist threats originate. The authors trace the problem of terrorism and other threats to international security to a lack of human security. They argue convincingly that preventing violence requires addressing the conditions that lead to violence. Their argument that a human security paradigm should serve as the basis for policy and strategy is important and is certain to generate valuable discussion and debate.” 

On Sale
May 11, 2010
Page Count
256 pages

Shannon D. Beebe

About the Author

Mary Kaldor is professor and director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics and Political Science. Lieutenant Colonel Shannon D. Beebe is currently serving as the Senior Africa Analyst, Office of United States Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Intelligence.

Learn more about this author