There is no reason to repeat bad history. ~ Eleanor Holmes Norton
Below, in alphabetical order, is a summary of the nine strategic cornerstones espoused by the project A Future without War, indicating in brief why each is important to a campaign to end war and maintain that peace.
Embrace the goal. No great achievement can be accomplished unless we envision what we want and how to get there and set to work. We will not build a future without war either accidentally or through good fortune if our intentions focus only on many other goals, no matter how worthy they may be. A determined group of ending-war activists must join in a focused campaign to bring the war system to a permanent halt.
Empower women. Women’s biological preference for nonviolent conflict resolution and social stability is the catalyst for making the change happen rapidly. Engaging that catalyst is also a critical factor to maintain a warless future once we’ve achieved it.
Enlist young men. Young men are the single most disruptive segment in societies. They are the “cannon fodder” of warmongers. If they are not to be sent off as soldiers into the military—a way many societies wall them off from the community at large—we need to find other positive ways to occupy and socialize them during their most turbulent years. They must be recruited as a part of the solution, defenders of the peace, not a major part of the problem.
Foster connectedness. To control our innate, divisive xenophobic tendencies we need to teach respect and appreciation for cultural and racial diversity and a sense of our oneness as human beings. We need to strengthen social and economic ties between nations so that they are dependent on each other and thus not inclined to make war. Because happiness is an important foundation of social stability, and ties to family and community are the single most important factor in human happiness, we need to strengthen family and community ties.
Insure essential resources. Many wars are fought because people do not have access to essential resources or hope of a better life. We must focus efforts on teaching them how they can acquire what they need. And we need to create and maintain a sustainable environment from which to draw those resources.
Promote nonviolent conflict resolution. Particularly in a world where aggression has been an accepted, even honored mode of conflict resolving behavior for millennia, we need to teach people to use nonviolent means. We must further explain why nonviolent conflict resolution, not aggression, leads to stable, lasting peace agreements.
Provide security and order. The coalition of countries that wants to end the use of war must be able to act from a position of strength. Societies that are themselves riven by violence and disorder will not be in a position to focus on establishing a global peace, let alone maintaining one.
Spread liberal democracy. Democracy is the best political means available to ensure that no one person or group can instigate war. Unlike illiberal democracy (which simply grants a vote), liberal democracy, with its adherence to rule of law and concerns for human rights of all citizens, can foster a large middle class that can provide life satisfaction for the most people over long periods of time, thus decreasing susceptibility to warmongers. When fully mature, a liberal democracy is characterized by equal participation of women as partners with men in governing, a critical necessary condition for ending war and maintaining the peace. Shift our economies. We cannot build a future without war for free or on the cheap. Funds for building it are available, but they are currently spent on planning for other things—some of value and some trivial—and vast amounts are poured into executing and cleaning up after wars. We need to shift our economies from ones built on war to ones built on ending war, and then dedicate the money we now spend on wars and their aftermath to programs that further the achievement of all nine AFWW cornerstones. This shifting of our economies can be done in a way to provide labor for workers and profits for businesses while at the same time moving us away from dependency on war.