Disarming Conflict

Why Peace Cannot Be Won on the Battlefield

Table of contents

  • Preface and Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Fighting to Lose
  • Chapter 1: A Quarter Century of Failed War
  • Chapter 2: Wars and Rumours of Wars: How Wars Start
  • Chapter 3: How Civil Wars End
  • Chapter 4: How International Wars End
  • Chapter 5: The Limits of Force
  • Chapter 6: Disarming Security: Preventing War
  • Chapter 7: Disarming Conflict: A Treaty to Control the Arms Trade
  • Chapter 8: Disarming the Bomb: Nuclear Disarmament
  • Chapter 9: When Prevention Fails: Protecting the Vulnerable
  • Chapter 10: Peace After the Sun Goes Down
  • Notes


“A masterpiece highly recommended to commanders-in-chief, diplomats, and peacemakers. ” – Ambassador Bethuel A Kiplagat

Wars fought over the past quarter century have been a spectacular failure. The overwhelming majority have ended in military stalemate and are settled at the negotiating table, with the grievances that led to the war still unresolved. In Disarming Conflict famed peace activist Ernie Regehr shows that force cannot simply override or transcend the social, political and economic realities of conflict. War prevention, Regehr argues, is more successful when security policies address the conditions that most directly affect people’s lives and that are most instrumental in generating deep grievances and the despairing conclusion that there are no alternatives to violence. Disarming Conflict sets out approaches, initiatives and policies that steer away from futile fighting and promote non-military efforts towards “winning the peace. ”