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Swords And Ploughshares: Bringing Peace to the 21st Century: Building Peace in the 21st Century [Paperback]

Paddy Ashdown
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

12 Jun 2008

The men and women of the British armed forces are currently engaged in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans in 'peacekeeping operations'. How do we avoid these missions turning into long-term entanglements? How do we bring our soldiers home? And what do we do about 'failed states' that are havens for gangsters and terrorists?

Paddy Ashdown fears we will soon see major wars between nation states. Many will begin as minor conflicts that will expand into full-scale wars unless the international community intervenes. The way to stop the big wars is to deal promptly with the small ones.

From his perspective as a former Royal Marine officer in the 1960s to the High Representative in Bosnia from 2002-6, Lord Ashdown is uniquely qualified to investigate the successes and failures of peace-keeping operations, reveal what lessons have been learned - and what lessons keep being forgotten.

Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (12 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753823314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753823316
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 159,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After service as a Royal Marine and as an intelligence officer for the UK security services, Paddy Ashdown was a Member of Parliament for Yeovil from 1983 to 2001, and leader of the Liberal Democrats from 1988 until 1999. Later he was the international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006.

He was made a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in 2006.

Product Description


Few people are better qualified to write about muscular international intervention than muscular Paddy Ashdown... so his book... has plenty to recommend it. (THE ECONOMIST)

What makes Ashdown attractive is his down-to-earth approach, his independence and his frankness. (Adam Roberts THE INDEPENDENT)

plainly written... He says it is not a primer, but it will rightly be taken as one... many sensible arguments. (Martin Woollacott THE GUARDIAN)

Ashdown is the best qualified person to tackle the question of whether intervention is justified and if so how it can succeed. (Richard Beeston THE SPECTATOR) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

How to convert military victory into lasting peace, not endless guerrilla war

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating book by someone with a great deal of experience. It should be compulsory reading for all the politicians and diplomats currently making policy. At times it is quite heavy for the lay reader like me, but it certainly makes you think about the problems that begin when a military conflict ends. You wonder why people like Mr Ashdown weren't listened to when it was decided to go into Afghanistan and Iraq! I hope this book will make people on both sides of the Atlantic think about the way forward and the consequences of what appears quick and easy military action.

A must buy for those interested in international relations and policy makers.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed perspective of post conflict handling. 23 Sep 2008
In this book Ashdown looks at some of the problems, issues and political challenges for post - conflict regions.

From his experience as working as a High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegivina, he immediately has some credibility. Some of his points are very simple but very relevant such as his argument that rogue leaders often fear international criminal courts more than wars. It would much more sense if we gave these courts more gravitas and get the despots on trial rather than accept policies that entail colateral damage and all sorts of civilian misery. Please take note US administration.

He also stresses the importance of understanding other cultures. He makes the point, the Muslim religion has a sense democracy in it. Every Imam is elected. These means the Imans and Mullahs must be listened to, if one wishes to guage public opinion. There's undertones as well as some much needed political sense here. We need to understand the Muslim world and culture of Islam.

I think this would be a good book for anyone studying or working in foreign policy. My only critism would be is that, the abudance of facts and detailed diplomatic speak can make it a bit dry to read at times.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effecting Change 21 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Paddy Ashdown has been at the face of international conflict for over 50 years as a soldier and diplomat. In this book he addresses the problems that are faced in rebuilding a nation after civil or international war in a direct understandable way. There are many factors at play in any conflict and Paddy has managed to lead with examples and constructive thoughts instead of being bogged down by irrelevant information or hiding behind confusing statements that fail to address the real issues. This book is exciting and easy to read and should be compulsory for all members of government across the globe.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would-be warstoppers, put this on your reading list 30 April 2012
By A buyer
Achieves the unusual feat of being both a page-turner and a highly practical guide. Plenty of good stories, each with point. Depth of thought combined with breadth of experience.

A high priority read for anyone engaged in tackling wars and making peace.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Seamless Garment 15 April 2008
By Anne Grete Groenlien - Published on Amazon.com
The book "Sword and Ploughshares" offers an invaluable insight to the study of post-conflict reconstruction. In the wordings of Lord Paddy Ashdown "The crucial mistake made and remade in interventions has been the failure to 'think through' the conflict phase and plan for the postconflict phase which follows. To win the battle for peace and for public opinion, that is hearts and minds, the international community needs to be clear on the intervention end state - upon intervening.

To maximize the chances for success it is thus necessary to view the phases of prevention, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction - as a single 'seamless garment' with each phase interlocking with the next.

I endorse the book as being important on an extremely important topic. The book provides insights in understanding the role of the international community in post-conflict reconstruction, and how and why these roles can shape and restrain how stable the peace will be.

In my understanding the Sword and the Ploughshares are equivalent to the means available to the international community to secure the peace. The Sword squares with hard power, the ploughshares squares with hard consistent work with a declared outcome.

Anne Grete Groenlien
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