About Stealth Conflicts
Here is a quick video introduction to the problem of Stealth Conflicts.
A written introduction is below. Stealth conflicts are those that do not appear on the ‘radars’ of those in a position to respond. That is, they fail to attract the attention of policymakers, the media, the public and academia. Just like the stealth bomber, they remain virtually undetected as they extract their deadly toll. It is indeed because of the stealth with which they are played out that they become so deadly: deprived of attention, starvation and disease associated with the conflict remain unchecked and claim far more victims than do the bullets and bombs.Such conflicts are often referred to as ‘forgotten conflicts’ (or ‘forgotten crises’), but this term is misleading. For a conflict to be forgotten, it must first be remembered, and this does not apply to many of the world’s conflicts that fail to attract attention. They were not remembered to begin with. Furthermore, the term ‘forgotten’ suggests that the conflict has just accidentally slipped the minds of those in a position to respond, but this is hardly the case. The marginalization of these conflicts is the result of a series of deliberate choices on the part of those in a position to respond. There is nothing accidental about it.
Selectivity in the response to conflict is sadly inevitable, as is the existence of stealth conflicts, but the world’s deadliest conflicts should certainly not be among them. And yet they are, with the deadliest conflict the world has seen since WWII – that in the Democratic Republic of Congo – being notoriously missing from our consciousness.
This blog aims to shed light on such stealth conflicts and the mechanisms that are behind their marginalization. It is an extension and exploration of ideas contained in a book written by the author of this blog, entitled Stealth Conflicts: How the World’s Worst Violence Is Ignored (the book’s table of contents is here, the introduction is here and part of Chapter One can be found using the Look Inside function at Amazon). Links to reviews of the book can also be found on the right-hand side of this page.
In addition to the full posts, don’t forget to check out the shorter Quick notes, thoughts and updates section.
Do you have something to contribute on this important subject? Go to the newly opened Stealth Conflicts Forum and write your own post on conflicts that are ignored and marginalized. The floor is open!
For those interested in the UN Security Council, here is my other book – The Silence of the UN Security Council: Conflict and Peace Enforcement in the 1990s. This also deals with stealth conflicts (and conflict resolution), but through the Security Council.
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