Military to Military Cooperation toward World Peace
Without a doubt that military to military cooperation is a critical issue which addresses the promotion of world peace through building trust or confidence building measure (CBM), preventive diplomacy, and improving military capacity. The word cooperation itself is a situation in which people work together to do something (Merriam-Webster, Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2008). A Human being as social creature naturally communicate and cooperate each other. In line with basic human need, military cooperation involves a global awareness to interact with international armed forces to attain particular purposes. Even for the developed and sophisticated nation like the United States, cooperation has an indispensable position to solve the problem (US National Security Strategy, 2015). Notably in this era of globalization, countries cannot avoid cooperation. For instance, in the United Nations (UN) relationship and partnership between countries becomes very crucial, because, in the resolution implementation process by the UN Security Council, vote from one country often could be a significant factor to put into discretion. The phrase "one state, one vote", would have been the adequate fact that highlighted the importance of cooperation itself.
Building trust and mutual friendship is not as easy as what it sounds. For some countries to create confidence from a former foe is hard and even meet the dead-end. However, this situation doesn’t mean that creating a trust is impossible. Nevertheless, it still required an integrated effort and a clear-mindedness from each party to achieve it. For instance in the case of the Taiwan Straits, Beijing had neither openly rejected nor acknowledged the possibility of building trust or CBM for the Taiwan Strait, while Taipei and Washington have upheld the idea with the point of easing the strain and expanding responsibility (CBM in Taiwan Straits, Cheng-Yi Lin, 2001). On the contrary, it is unbelievable that some conflicts can also contribute in building CBM such as the conflict between the North Korea and the South Korea. It could happen because both dispute parties had already found the same perspective during the agreement process and had the same interest to keep calm environment without any coercive action. Likewise, sharing information accurately in a proper manner will be the best to develop a comprehensive understanding of current issues. For example, when one country holds combine exercise near the border of another country, appropriate notification should be needed to avoid misinterpretation. Moreover, this announcement will provide fundamental belief for another party to mark positive initial attitude from his former enemy.
Diplomacy will not only use when friction occurs between two countries but also used as a preventive act far from the future predictive problems. People tend to see diplomacy as the key to solving the current challenges. However, we can also use diplomacy as a preventive action to avoid predictive problems in the early stage. This capability required insight of historical and comprehensive understanding of the situation that is currently growing. The use of diplomacy in the aftermath of conflict may not be as effective as when it used before the conflict arises. "Preventive diplomacy" was declared by Dag Hammarskjöld, UN Secretary-General in 1961, is an effort preventing new disputes into violence (The concept of preventive diplomacy by UN in Central Asia, Miroslav Jenca, 2013). A lesson learned from the failure of US diplomacy in Afghanistan in the early stage of diplomatic relation by not recognizing Afghanistan independence in 1919 that combined with half-hearted aid response in years later not only create apathy and ignorance of Afghan people but also promote Afghanistan to become a most fanatic hostile country for the US until today. On the other hand, the Soviet Union continue examining and laying down fundamental recognition of Afghan independence. Then, followed by several aid programs through friendly diplomatic channels, they successfully won Afghan people’s confidence and created an anti-American group (The failure of American diplomacy in Afghanistan, Leon B Poullada, 1983). The key factor in preventive diplomacy is the capability to predict future threats as well as challenges and a thorough political will, to prepare diplomatic action required. As a wise man said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That phrase can describe how preventive diplomacy works.
Military to military cooperation is in line with the joint effort to enhance military capacity and professionalism among troops. Even for some countries, military to military cooperation can be considered joint training, foreign military sales, or procurement. However, that terms would be different for each nation depending on their interest and objectives of cooperation itself. Because no country has a complete model of the battlefield, armed forces need to observe and absorb different tactics and techniques from other nation. Sometimes experience in particular deployment area also contributes on how military organization develops tactics as well as techniques. Differences in tactics, techniques, types of weapon and equipment will become a peak factor in igniting cooperation between countries. Therefore, the ideas on maintaining as well as improving military capacity and professionalism can be achieved through joint exercise. Joint exercise which is held regularly among military organization will contribute to interoperability and a thorough understanding of how military organization of one’s country performs its duty, how it addresses challenges and how it cooperate with civilians. This knowledge is essential to creating a peaceful environment within countries, especially countries who share distinct borders. Regarding individual achievement, joint exercise which is regularly conducted will promote understanding and interpersonal relationship that may last for years and bring a nuance of peace and security, not only in a small scale but also at a regional and strategic level. Above all, commitments to pursue peace through cooperation by all means would be very meaningful instead of achieving peace through blood and fire.
Discussing peace is always an interesting topic particularly to the people who expect it desperately and of course that is not easy to achieve, however, it still can be reached by continuous and simultaneous effort from all respective countries. Even though there are many ways to meet the most convenient effort in promoting peace, at least there are three steps are required: building trust, undertaken preventive diplomacy and improving military capacity. Creating trust may not be easy, but it can be attained by diplomatic good will, through sharing information and giving notification. Furthermore, as a part of the peacemaking effort, preventive diplomacy action could also be used to provide early steps strategy to avoid the rise of conflict even when there were still no possibilities that it may arise. The last part of an effort to make peace among the nations is improving military capacity. In this area, we use cooperation approach in joint exercises as well as other bilateral activities to share tactics, techniques and enrich or broaden experience by using another military organization knowledge. To sum up, military to military cooperation is a crucial thing regarding preserving and promoting world peace. Peace and the safer world may not be the most important issue. However, it is seemingly difficult to do anything else when peace is no longer be exist. Last but not least, as a global commitment toward world peace, every country must be aware that creating a million friends is worthless if compared to one enemy stand against you. Let’s make a better future for our next generation.